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Marine Cpl. Ian T. Zook

Died October 12, 2004 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

24, of Port St. Lucie, Fla.; assigned to 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif.; killed Oct. 12 by enemy action in Anbar province, Iraq.

Ian T. Zook once thought his future lay in the heavens until he decided it should be on the streets. After graduating in 1999 as valedictorian of the Faith Baptist Christian School, Zook attended a year of Bible college while considering whether that was his calling. He eventually chose to follow in his father's footsteps in law enforcement and enlisted in the Marine Corps. "He was a unique individual. His wit was uncanny," said his father, Mark, a corporal with the Florida Highway Patrol. Zook, 24, of Port St. Lucie, Fla., died Oct. 12 in Iraq’s Anbar province. He was based at Twentynine Palms, Calif. Just the month before, Zook narrowly escaped death when his Humvee ran over a mine while going to rescue wounded soldiers. Zook liked to send his family pictures of everything, especially the sunsets in the desert. After a recent promotion to the rank of corporal, he called his family. "He said now we have two corporals in the family," his father said. "I was very proud." He also is survived by his mother, Karen.

— Associated Press

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