- NATO Kosovo Force
- Operation Enduring Freedom
- Operation Freedom’s Sentinel
- Operation Inherent Resolve
- Operation Iraqi Freedom
- Operation New Dawn
- Operation Octave Shield
- Operation Odyssey Lightning
- Operation Spartan Shield
- U.S. Africa Command Operations
- U.S. Central Command operations
- The People Behind The Sacrifice
Marine Cpl. Michael D. Anderson Jr.
Died December 14, 2004 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom
21, of Modesto, Calif.; assigned to 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.; killed Dec. 14 by enemy action in Anbar province, Iraq.
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Modesto Marine killed in Iraq
MODESTO, Calif. — When Cpl. Michael Anderson Jr. first arrived in Iraq in September, the risky duties of searching house-to-house for insurgents was a thrill for the 21-year-old from Modesto.
“At first, he was all gung-ho, like everybody is,” his father told the San Francisco Chronicle. “He called after the first firefight he was in and said it was the greatest day of his life.”
But the horror of the war quickly changed his attitude. He told his family he was having nightmares and couldn’t get the smell of flesh and blood out of his head.
Anderson was killed Tuesday on one of those missions in Fallujah. The Department of Defense released no additional details Wednesday about his death.
“He was tough as nails,” his father said. “You know when they say that Marines are a different breed? I didn’t know what they were talking about until I had one for a son.”
As a child growing up in Modesto, Anderson enjoyed skateboarding, snowboarding and motorcycles. He graduated from Johanson High School in 2001 and then joined the Marine Corps.
He served stints in Japan, Guam and Haiti before being sent to Iraq this past Sept. 11.
Anderson was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, based at Camp Pendleton.