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Marine Lance Cpl. Richard R. Penny

Died May 6, 2010 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

21, of Fayetteville, Ark.; assigned to 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died May 6 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

‘Everything he did was just 100 percent’

The Associated Press

Richard R. Penny seemed to get along with everyone, his friends said. He had their backs and vice versa.

“Richard was that guy,” friend Daniel White said. “He just showed up to every party, every event we had.”

White, who’s in the Army, said he tried to talk Penny out of joining the Marines and into a potentially safer job, to no avail.

“Everything he did was just 100 percent, you know, he wanted to be there in it,” he said.

Childhood friend Michael Hurshman said Penny “respected the flag more than most.”

“If he were here right now, he’d say he was doing what he wanted,” Hurshman said. “It was something he talked about since he was a kid.”

The military said only that Penny, 21, of Fayetteville, Ark., died May 6 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to Camp Lejeune, N.C.

He had an adventurous spirit, enjoyed riding motorcycles and sometimes sang Willie Nelson songs to his friends, they said. He was a football player and graduate of Greenland High School, where mourners hope to put up a memorial in his honor.

Survivors include his parents, Merv and Sharon Easterly Messender; and a brother, Jon, and sister, Jennifer.

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