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Marine Lance Cpl. John J. Thornton

Died February 25, 2006 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

22, of Phoenix; assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Twentynine Palms, Calif.; attached to the 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward); killed Feb. 25 in an enemy mortar attack in Ramadi, Iraq.

Phoenix Marine killed in Iraq attack

PHOENIX — A Marine from Phoenix has died in combat in Iraq, the Department of Defense announced Friday.

Lance Cpl. John J. Thornton, 22, died Feb. 25 in Ramadi after a mortar attack. Thornton was assigned to the 1st Marine Division based at Twentynine Palms, Ca., but his unit was serving with the 2nd Marine Division while in Iraq.

Thornton is the 63rd member of the military with Arizona ties to die in the war in Iraq.

A graduated from Tolleson Union High School in 2002, Thorton enlisted in the Marines in 2004. His uncle, John Alvarado, of Phoenix, said Thornton planned to make a career out of the military.

“He wanted to be a Marine since he was little,” Alvarado said. “It was his dream. The Marines was his whole life.”

Alvarado said Thornton’s body will be returned to the Phoenix area for burial, though funeral arrangements had not yet been made.

Thornton is survived by his brother, Kyle, 16, and sister, Brianna, 14.

— Associated Press

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