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Marine Lance Cpl. Nicholas Wilt

Died September 3, 2004 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

23, of Tampa, Fla.; assigned to 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif.; killed Sept. 3 by enemy action in Anbar province, Iraq.

Marine from Tampa killed in Iraq

The Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. — A Tampa man who enlisted in the Marine Corps because of the outrage he felt over the Sept. 11 attacks was killed by enemy action on his second tour in Iraq, his family said.

Lance Cpl. Nicholas Wilt, 23, was killed Sept. 3. Two officers from his unit were killed at the same time, the Department of Defense announced Sept. 5.

“Two Marines showed up here yesterday and said he had been killed in action” while en route to his position near the Syrian border, his widow, Mercedes Wilt, told The Tampa Tribune Saturday. “There was some kind of explosion,” she said.

Also killed were 1st Lt. Ronald Winchester, 25, of Rockville Center, N.Y., and Capt. Alan Rowe, 35, of Hagerman, Idaho, the Pentagon said. All three were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms, Calif.

Wilt was planning on serving four years in the Marines before leaving to attend law school at Stetson, said Mercedes Wilt.

She said they grew up in Tampa and met in preschool.

“He was fun loving. He loved the outdoors, concerts and being on the lake,” she said. “Anything I wanted to do, he would go for it.”

Tampa Marine killed in Iraq laid to rest

The Associated Press

BUSHNELL, Fla. — Shy of her first wedding anniversary, Mercedes Wilt dropped to her knees, clasped a folded flag to her chest and stretched her right arm toward her husband’s grave as the Marine killed in Iraq was buried on the third anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.

Lance Cpl. Nicholas Wilt, 23, a heavy machine-gun section leader, died Sept. 3 on his second tour of duty in Iraq, along with two officers from his unit, during fighting in Anbar province.

“He always seemed to do what was right,” said cousin Brian Scussel, 19.

The Tampa man was buried Sept. 11 in a military service at Florida National Cemetery.

“I should have been right behind his truck,” said Cpl. Ryan Hester, who stayed behind during last month’s deployment for health reasons. “I’m here to support Mercedes. This is the reason for keeping me back, I guess.”

Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio attended the funeral Mass for the Tampa Catholic High School graduate.

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