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Marine Lance Cpl. Alberto Francesconi

Died January 1, 2009 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

21, of Bronx, N.Y.; was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died Jan. 1 while supporting combat operations in Now Zad, Afghanistan.

Ex-banker wanted to be pilot

The Associated Press

Alberto Francesconi graduated high school in 2005 and then got a job with Bank of America. At 18, he was a personal banker.

“But he always wanted to be a pilot and ‘What better foundation than the military,’ he used to say,” said his wife, Cynthia Francesconi. “He always wanted to strive a little bit more — to make it easier for his family.”

Francesconi, 21, of New York City, died Jan. 1 during combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to Camp Lejeune.

He and his wife, teenage sweethearts who grew up two blocks from each other, were married in December 2006. They planned to start a family when he returned home from his second tour in June, ending four years of combat duty. Francesconi saw action in Iraq for six months in 2007.

“He will be missed,” said Marine Cpl. Alfonso Matos, who served with Francesconi in Iraq. “He was motivated, dedicated. He loved what he did. He was a good kid.”

“This is especially hard for me, losing Albert, because he pretty much followed in my footsteps,” said Robert Rivera, Francesconi’s older brother and a Navy reservist. “We did everything together.”

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