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Marine Cpl. Derek C. Dixon

Died June 26, 2007 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

20, of Riverside, Ohio; assigned to 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died June 26 while conducting combat operations in Saqlawiyah, Iraq.

N.C.-based Marine killed in Iraq

The Associated Press

RIVERSIDE, Ohio — Marine Cpl. Derek Dixon, 20, a North Carolina-based Marine from this Dayton suburb, was killed while conducting combat operations in Iraq, the Pentagon said June 27.

Dixon, who died June 26 in Anbar province, was based at Camp Lejeune, N.C., assigned to Company A, 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force.

Dixon graduated in 2005 from the military careers program at the Mound Street Academies in Dayton.

“He was determined to be a leader, and he truly was,” said George Hurbanek II, principal at the school. “He was a great role model.”

Hurbanek said Dixon was interested in computers and took engineering courses at the school. He said Dixon returned to the school after graduating to help put on a Veterans Day presentation.

Hurbanek said Dixon enjoyed being in the military and was excited about going to Iraq.

“If he was going to die, it was for his country,” Hurbanek said. “He was totally all about being a Marine.”

“He was a great kid,” Hurbanek added. “It’s a huge loss.”

Dixon joined the Marine Corps in July 2004 and was trained as an information systems specialist. He was promoted to corporal in March, according to the military.

Family remember Marine killed in Iraq

The Associated Press

Will Couts, who taught Marine Cpl. Derek C. Dixon at the Military Careers Academy, said he would often talk to Dixon for hours after school about everything from computers to MP3 players.

Couts called him a young man who “could have gone either way” when he was a teen but “found himself and got on the right track.”

Dixon, 20, of Riverside, Ohio, was killed June 26 while working at a vehicle checkpoint in Saqlawiyah, Iraq. He was assigned to Camp Lejeune, Calif.

“Even when he was real young, he always knew he was going to do something wearing a uniform. He was such a good kid, and I’m not just saying that because he was mine,” said his grandmother, Glenda Brightman.

In November 2004, Dixon and another student put together a presentation on Veterans Day for the school. Dixon spoke about the history of the Marine Corps.

“He really believed in it and wanted to serve his country,” Couts said. “He found his niche there.”

“I talked to him before he left,” his sister, Mindy Trochelman, said. “He said he was ready to go, but he was scared.”

He also is survived by his mother, Melissa Trochelman, and father, Tom Trochelman and his wife Ercela.

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