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Marine Gunnery Sgt. John D. Fry

Died March 8, 2006 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

28, of Lorena, Texas; assigned to 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; killed March 8 by an improvised explosive device in Anbar province, Iraq

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Marine willing laid down his life for comrades, says wife

LORENA, Texas — Gunnery Sgt. John D. Fry could have left the dangers of Iraq after injuring his hand last fall. But the 28-year-old Marine continued working for seven more hours disarming an explosive, his family said.

Fry was working to disarm another bomb when he was killed Wednesday in the Anbar province.

The explosive ordinance disposal technician was assigned to the 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics group, II Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

“He laid down his life so other Marines would be safe, and he did it willingly,” said his wife, Malia Fry. “Every EOD tech that is over there does the same thing a hundred times a day, and they don’t think about themselves.”

A graduate of Waco Christian Academy, family members described Fry as someone who was often deep in thought, shy and quiet. The Lorena native had been happy about graduating as salutatorian of his high school class because he could avoid giving the speech required of the valedictorian.

Fry planned to return from Iraq later this month before returning for another tour in September.

“He was so proud to be there doing what he was doing,” said his mother, Beth Fry. “Not just the war part ... but the Marines and all the military people that are there have restored power, built schools, built hospitals and they have running water. Those are the things that nobody talks about and that nobody hears about.”

Fry is also survived by his three children: Kathryn, 9; Gideon, 7; and C.L., 2.

— Associated Press

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