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Marine Cpl. Clifton B. Mounce

Died July 14, 2005 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

22, of Pontotoc, Miss.; assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; attached to 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Regimental Combat Team 2, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward); killed July 14 when his vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device while he was conducting combat operations near Trebil, Iraq. Also killed was Marine Cpl. Christopher D. Winchester.

Hundreds attend funeral for fallen Marine

Associated Press

PONTOTOC, Miss. — An overflow crowd of about 300 filled the West Heights Baptist Church on Thursday for the funeral of 22-year-old Cpl. Blake Mounce of Ecru, killed July 14 in a roadside bombing in Iraq.

More than 100 people listened from the church lobby because all the seats in the sanctuary were filled.

Blake Mounce’s father, Johnny Mounce, read aloud two letters he received from his son days after the family learned about the death. The first brought smiles and chuckles as Johnny Mounce read his son’s words about missing home.

As Johnny Mounce prepared to read the second letter, he took a deep breath, looked toward the ceiling and said, “It’s a reason I saved this one for last. It’s very hard for me to read so I’ll only read some of it.”

The letter addressed each person in the Mounce family. With every word he read, tears filled the father’s eyes.

After the service, a caravan of about 200 cars headed to the Ecru Cemetery. Both sides of a downtown street in the tiny town of Ecru were lined with American flags. Dozens of people stood outside businesses waving flags and holding signs that read, “We love you, Blake.”

Mounce’s wife of three years, Tiffany, was presented with an American flag and his family was given the Purple Heart medal. Mounce was the oldest of four siblings and is also survived by his mother, Pat.

Mounce and Cpl. Christopher D. Winchester, 23, of Flomaton, Ala., were killed when their vehicle was hit by a bomb near Trebil, Iraq.

The Marines were assigned to the 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Regimental Combat Team-2, 2nd Marine Division while deployed to Iraq.

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