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Marine Lance Cpl. Eric J. Orlowski

Died March 22, 2003 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

26, of Buffalo, N.Y.; assigned to the 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; killed in a machine-gun accident in Iraq.

Lance Cpl. Eric Orlowski was a proud Marine, but above all he was a proud father of his 3-year-old daughter, CamerynLee. “He was always there for his daughter, and he loved her more than anything,” said Nicole Kross, the child’s mother, herself an Air Force Reservist.

Eric Orlowski, a reservist assigned to a Marine tank battalion, died on his first deployment. He was killed March 22 in an accidental discharge of a machine gun. Orlowski was separated from his wife, but their daughter kept them close. He sent Kross letters from overseas, the last saying he was headed for Iraq. “I don’t think he was scared,” Kross said. “The thing he feared most was leaving his daughter.”

— Associated Press

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