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Marine Cpl. Brad P. McCormick

Died August 19, 2004 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

23, of Overton, Tenn.; assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, Marine Corps Reserve, Nashville, Tenn.; killed Aug. 19 by enemy action in Anbar province, Iraq.

As a little boy, Brad McCormick was always taking things apart and putting them back together again. "He loved tinkering with things," said his mother, Gail. "I used to get so aggravated with him when he was little." But it was his interest in the military as he grew older that really irked his mother. When he joined the Marine reserves, she said, "It killed me." McCormick, 23, of Allons, Tenn., died Aug. 19 in an explosion in Najaf, Iraq. He was based in Nashville, Tenn. McCormick joined the reserves while studying wildlife biology at Tennessee Tech and putting his tinkering skills to use with a part-time job at a hardware store. When he learned that his Marine unit would be sent to Iraq, he moved up his planned wedding to Courtney Curtis to Dec. 20, just a couple weeks before he reported for duty. The Marine had long been a hero to his 13-year-old brother, Blake. Their mother recalled a 4-H Club speech the younger boy gave. "At the end of the speech, he held up Brad's picture and said that if he could be like anybody, he wanted to be like his brother," she said.

— Associated Press

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