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Marine Lance Cpl. Vincent M. Sullivan

Died July 23, 2004 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

23, of Chatham, N.J.; assigned to 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force Camp Lejeune, N.C.; killed July 23 by enemy action in Anbar province, Iraq.

Last April, Erika Sullivan took a leap of faith and wrote to her one-time boyfriend in Iraq, telling him how much she loved him. Across an ocean, Lance Cpl. Vincent M. Sullivan was doing the same thing at about the same time. The letters passed in the mail, and after Vincent Sullivan returned from his first tour in Iraq, the two were engaged. They celebrated their Dec. 27 wedding by going bowling and planned to visit Hawaii for their honeymoon when he returned for good. Sullivan, 23, of Chatham, N.J., died July 23 during a firefight in Anbar province. He was based at Camp Lejeune, N.C. Sullivan had worked for a Manhattan accounting firm while taking classes at County College of Morris, said his mother, Susanne Sullivan. He had toyed with the idea of joining the Marines before, but after Sept. 11, "he was determined to do the right thing, join the Marines and fight," his mother said. "He was there so that other people would not have to be, so that other people would not die," said his wife, Erika. "He was there because his instincts told him to be."

— Associated Press

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