- 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. Dominic J. Ciaramitaro
Died April 23, 2011 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom
19, of South Lyon, Mich.; assigned to 3rd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died April 23 in Helmand province, Afghanistan, while conducting combat operations. Also killed was Sgt. Sean T. Callahan.
Roadside bombs kill 2 Marines from Michigan
By Joe Rossiter
Detroit Free Press
Two Marines from Michigan and another from Virginia were killed in fighting in Afghanistan during the weekend.
Lance Cpl. Dominic J. Ciaramitaro, 19, of South Lyon was one of two Marines killed April 23 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, the Defense Department said. The other Marine was Sgt. Sean T. Callahan, 23, of Warrenton, Va.
In addition, Don Day, father of Sgt. David Day, 26, of Gaylord told the Herald Times of Gaylord on April 25 that his son, who had been stationed in Afghanistan since November, was killed by a roadside bomb.
Ciaramitaro, who lived most of his life in South Lyon, also was killed by a roadside bomb, according to his grandmother Susan Boston of Haslett.
Ciaramitaro was in a four-vehicle convoy when he was hit by the bomb, Boston told the South Lyon Herald. “He was in the gunner position,” she added. “He was the only one big enough to hang on to it. He had been disarming IEDs and he was happy that he was active.”
Ciaramitaro, who played on the football team, graduated from South Lyon High School in 2009. He joined the Marines the day after his graduation.
“He was just a really neat kid,” Boston said. “He called his mom two weeks ago. We sent him packages of goodies all the time. He loved Skittles and we sent him Skittles. He was really a wonderful boy, a very smart boy.”
The announcement regarding Ciaramitaro came one day after Don and Kathy Day received word of their son’s death when a military detail arrived at their Gaylord home.
“We don’t have any real information that has come down to us yet,” Don Day told the Herald Times. He said he planned to travel to Dover Air Force Base, Del., to meet the plane with their son’s body. He said he would meet with his son’s wife, Nicole, to make funeral plans.
David Day, who completed bomb disposal training in 2009, graduated from Gaylord High School in 2003 and joined the Marine Corps soon after. He served two tours of duty in Iraq.
“He would have been coming home in late June,” Don Day said. “But now ... you can’t help but wonder when you have a son overseas if he’s going to make it home all right.
“He was happy with the group he was with [in Afghanistan] and had extended his original enlistment when he was in Iraq,” Don Day said.
‘He was really a wonderful boy’
By Diane Gale Andreassi
South Lyon (Mich.) Herald
SOUTH LYON, Mich. — Marine Lance Cpl. Dominic J. Ciaramitaro, 19, of South Lyon died April 23 while serving in Afghanistan.
“He is the first Marine and the first service member from South Lyon to be killed in action in the Middle East conflicts for as far back as our records show,” according to Michael Gordon, South Lyon VFW incoming commander.
Ciaramitaro, who lived most of his life in South Lyon, was killed by an improvised explosive device, according to his grandmother, Susan Boston, of Haslett. She said he apparently died from brain injuries.
“He was a great kid and has many, many friends in South Lyon,” Boston said.
Ciaramitaro, who graduated from South Lyon High School in 2009, played football while he was in school. He joined the Marines the day after his high school graduation, Boston said.
“His mom [Debbie Beaupre] is leaving tonight to bring him home,” Boston said April 25.
His remains will be flown to Selfridge Air National Guard Base.
“Then to us,” Boston said. “We are having him escorted by the Patriot Raider riders, because he would have loved it.”
Ciaramitaro was in a four vehicle convoy when he was hit by the bomb, Boston said.
“He was in the gunner position,” she added. “He was the only one big enough to hang on to it. He had been disarming IEDs and he was happy that he was active.”
Gordon said he hoped to have a representative from the local VFW to be present when he returns home.
In addition to his mother and grandmother, Ciaramitaro is survived by his father, John Ciaramitaro; his brother, Sam Ciaramitaro, of South Lyon; sisters Holly Ciaramitaro of Los Angeles and Lucy Ciaramitaro of South Lyon; and his grandparents, Marie and Sam Ciaramitaro of Grosse Pointe.
“He was an extremely outgoing, loving, active, athletic guy,” Boston said. “He was never afraid of anything. As a child he was always taking off, missing for hours and always coming home and saying, ‘Why were you worried about me?’ All of us thought he would get through the war just fine.”
Boston said she was unsure about the funeral details.
“He loved his friends, he loved dogs and his family,” Boston said. “He was just a really neat kid. He called his mom two weeks ago. We sent him packages of goodies all the time. He loved Skittles and we sent him Skittles. He was really a wonderful boy, a very smart boy.”
Honor, duty drove lance corporal
By Megha Satyanarayana
Detroit Free Press
GROSSE POINTE PARK, Mich. — Before there were words, there were tears.
Heads lowered and hands clasped April 30 as about 200 friends and family members gathered at St. Clare Montefalco Catholic Church to mourn Marine Lance Cpl. Dominic Ciaramitaro. The 19-year-old was killed the day before Easter by a bomb in Afghanistan. He died young — but he died honorably, said associate pastor Thomas Griffin, a former Navy chaplain who also ministered to Marines.
“You could see it in his eyes — he was a Marine, he had chosen his path,” his aunt Mary Sullivan said to the mourners. “Honor and duty became the driving force behind all that he did.”
But before he was a Marine, Ciaramitaro was a kid from Grosse Pointe who spent Saturdays with his father at his produce business in Eastern Market. He moved to South Lyon, a teenager who never doubted he’d fit in at his new school.
“He climbed on the bus, and he was golden,” father John Ciaramitaro said after the service, as a lowered flag wafted in the breeze behind him at the war memorial in Grosse Pointe Park. Ciaramitaro left for Afghanistan in December, six months after boot camp. He called home on satellite phones that were patchy. Things were slow, he’d tell his father. It’s winter.
But spring bloomed new dangers. Lance Cpl. Ciaramitaro started telling his dad about new snipers — better trained and better shots.
“He was right in the meat grinder,” said John Ciaramitaro, himself the son of an Air Force veteran.
On April 23, John Ciaramitaro cleaned out the garage and colored Easter eggs with his family. With one foot in the shower, he heard someone yell that men in uniforms were at his front door. He said it was just like a movie.
“I can’t begin to explain what that feels like,” he said.
Ciaramitaro was evacuated to a field hospital after his Humvee, which was carrying five Marines, hit a bomb, his father learned. Another Marine died. Ciaramitaro died of massive head trauma, his father said. His body is still en route to Michigan.
Flags flew all over the grounds of St. Clare Montefalco. Marines filled a front pew, including Staff Sgt. Tyson Wade of Kentucky, who presented John Ciaramitaro with an honorable service award in a red cover.
“In grateful memory of Lance Cpl. Dominic John Ciaramitaro, who died while in the service of our country,” Wade said, reading the certificate to the family.
As the attendees knelt in prayer, John Ciaramitaro hugged his youngest child, Grace, 5.
“He was God’s son, God’s child,” Pastor David Brecht said during Mass. “It was God who gave him his life. It was God who gave him his destiny.”