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Marine Lance Cpl. James M. Gluff

Died January 19, 2008 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

20, of Tunnel Hill, Ga.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died Jan. 19 in Ramadi, Iraq, while conducting combat operations.

‘Big James’ remembered as a protector

The Associated Press

James M. Gluff was 6-foot-3 and known as “Big James.” Friends said he was always defending smaller boys.

Nick Wynn, 21, said Gluff defended him in the ninth grade against bullies. I was puny back then,” said Wynn. “Michael, he kept the boys away.”

Often, he just had to stand next to a smaller boy to protect him. “I think he was pretty much everybody’s protector,” said Adam Gregory, “in one way or another.”

Gluff, 20, of Tunnel Hill, Ga., died Jan. 19 during combat operations in Anbar province. He was a 2005 high school graduate and was assigned to Camp Lejeune.

James H. Gluff, his father, said he always wanted to buy military surplus clothing as a 6-year-old shopping at flea markets.

“That’s all he ever talked about was he wanted to be a soldier,” he said.

He also is survived by his wife, Hope, and son, Michael 1. The last time his father saw his son was in September, just before the younger Gluff left for Iraq.

“I hugged him and told him I loved him and that I wanted him back,” said his father. “He always called me ‘old man.’ He said, ‘Old man, I love you and I’ll see you when I get back.”’

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