- NATO Kosovo Force
- Operation Enduring Freedom
- Operation Freedom’s Sentinel
- Operation Inherent Resolve
- Operation Iraqi Freedom
- Operation New Dawn
- Operation Odyssey Lightning
- Operation Spartan Shield
- U.S. Africa Command Operations
- U.S. Central Command operations
- The People Behind The Sacrifice
Marine Lance Cpl. David K. Fribley
Died March 23, 2003 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom
26, of Warsaw, Ind.; assigned to 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; killed in action near Nasiriyah, Iraq.
David Fribley was cruising through life in sunny Fort Myers, Fla., organizing activities for retirees, until the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
He had a job he loved, putting his Indiana State University degree in recreation and sports management to good use. But he wanted to do more. He told co-workers at Shell Point Retirement Community he wanted to join the Marine Corps.
“The greatest gift one can give another is the gift of service,” Fribley wrote as he resigned last May. “The following is my gift to you and others. With all the strength of my fellow Marines, we shall always provide you with the comforting feeling of safety that you have each day.”
Lynn Schneider, a Shell Point spokeswoman, said he was full of enthusiasm about his new role. “He felt like he was doing something really important with his life,” she said. “He was very excited about it.”
Fribley, 26, was born and raised in Atwood, Ind.
“This is what he chose to do. He was right in the thick of it,” said Evelyn Fribley, 72, David’s grandmother. “I was proud of him.”
There was a moment of silence March 25 at Indiana’s Warsaw High School, Fribley’s alma mater. Before his father retired, he coached track at the school for 20 years. Fribley, one of three siblings, was a standout high school athlete in both football and track. At Indiana State, he competed in the shot put.
His younger brother, Steve, enlisted in the Air Force shortly after David joined the Marines, their grandmother said. David recently became engaged to be married.
Fribley was always ready to pitch in, friends and family say. When an uncle took sick, he mowed his aunt’s lawn. When a cousin wanted to attend Indiana State, he took her to the sprawling campus, showing her shortcuts and introducing her around.
“War is hell,” Evelyn Fribley said. “It’s bad, and it’s going to get worse. I don’t think we’ve seen anything yet.”
_ USA Today, Associated Press