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Marine Pfc. Jason Hanson

Died July 29, 2006 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

21, of Forks, Wash.; assigned to 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Twentynine Palms, Calif.; killed July 29 while conducting combat operations in Rawah, Iraq.

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Marine saved by body armor dies in combat

FORKS, Wash. — A young Marine whose life was saved by a protective vest last spring and survived three car accidents in Iraq has died in subsequent combat, his family has been told.

Pfc. Jason Hanson, 21, of Forks, was one of four Marines who died Saturday in combat in Anbar province, west of Baghdad, military officials said. One of the others was Cpl. Phillip E. Baucus, 28, of Wolf Creek, Mont., the nephew of Sen. Max Baucus, D- Mont.

Military officials informed the family that all four were in a building that collapsed from a nearby explosion, Hanson’s mother, Carol Hanson, told The Seattle Times on Wednesday.

She said her son had dreamed of entering the Marines from age 14.

“He believed in fighting for his country,” she said.

Hanson, a scout for the 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, based in Twentynine Palms, Calif., was leading a patrol in June in Habbaniyah, near Fallujah, when a 7.62 mm bullet fired by a sniper was stopped by a vest with small arms protective inserts known as SAPI, leaving him with only bruises on his chest.

He arrived in Iraq in March, a month after he got married, and described the close call in an interview for a Marine Corps online news service.

His mother said he also had survived three car accidents in Iraq.

Other survivors include his wife Maria Parias-Hanson, father Stephen Hanson, sister Sarah Hanson and brothers Sam and Jacob Hanson, all of Forks, and by grandparents Ed and Geraldine Finley of Forks, Mary Hanson of Rockport, Mass., and Ellis Hanson of Naples, Fla.

— Associated Press

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