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Marine Lance Cpl. William J. Leusink

Died May 22, 2006 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

21, of Maurice, Iowa; assigned to 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Base Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii; died May 22 from wounds sustained while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Asad, Iraq. Also killed was Sgt. David R. Christoff.

Two Marines killed in Iraq fighting

ROSSFORD, Ohio — An Ohio Marine serving his second tour of duty in Iraq was killed by a roadside bomb along with another member of his unit, the military said Tuesday.

Sgt. David Christoff, 25, of Rossford, and Lance Cpl. William Leusink, 21, of Maurice, Iowa, died in fighting in Anbar province, according to the Defense Department.

Christoff’s grandmother, Ann Christoff, said military officials came to the family’s home in this Toledo suburb around noon Monday with word that Christoff had been killed Sunday while on patrol.

Christoff and Leusink were assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, based at Kaneohe, Hawaii.

— The Associated Press

Marine believed serving his country was his calling

SIOUX CITY, Iowa — A 21-year-old Marine from Sioux Center has died after a bomb exploded in Iraq, according to a funeral home handling his burial arrangements.

Lance Cpl. William Leusink was hit in Haqlaniyah — northwest of Baghdad — and died Monday in a nearby hospital. He had served a tour of duty in Afghanistan before heading to Iraq, according to a release from Memorial Funeral Home in Sioux Center.

Leusink grew up on his parents’ rural Maurice farm and graduated from Sioux Center High School in 2003. He married his wife two years ago and also leaves behind his parents, a brother and two sisters.

Wayne Sneller, the reverend at the First Reformed Church in Maurice, said Leusink had always hoped to be a Marine and did not want anyone to question his decision to serve.

“He was what I would call patriotic — believed in his country, believed in what he was doing,” Sneller said.

“He always said, ‘If something happened to me, this is what’s supposed to happen. I’m doing what I’ve been called to do.”’

Funeral services are pending.

— The Associated Press

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