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Marine Cpl. Nicolas D. Parada Rodriguez

Died May 16, 2010 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

29, of Stafford, Va.; assigned to 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died May 16 while supporting combat operations in Marjah, Afghanistan.

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Served in Navy before joining Corps

The Associated Press

Nicolas Parada-Rodriguez didn’t have any kids of his own, but he loved to sit with his nieces and nephews to tell them tales from the battlefield.

He also encouraged them to do positive things with their own lives. The Marine was a native of El Salvador who came to the U.S. 19 years ago with his family, his sister said.

“He said he just liked defending his country,” said his sister, Norma. “He wanted to do something that people would remember him for.”

Parada-Rodriguez, 29, of Stafford, Va., was killed May 16 during combat in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to Camp Lejeune, N.C. He had served previously with the Navy and did a tour in Afghanistan during that time.

He graduated from Robert E. Lee High School, where he was a protector of sorts for his friends — “being their leader ... defending people ... always looking out for people,” his sister said.

Norma also said her brother couldn’t wait for the weekends, when he would make the long drive from Camp Lejeune to be with his family.

Parada-Rodriguez also is survived by his mother, Luisa; and a brother, Lisandro, and a sister, Maria.

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