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Marine Pfc. Kenneth L. Sickels

Died September 27, 2004 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

20, of Apple Valley, Calif.; assigned to 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif.; died Sept. 27 due to a non-combat-related incident in Anbar province, Iraq.

Not long before he left for Iraq, Kenneth L. Sickels tackled his "To Do" list. He rode a mechanical bull. He made a trip to a theme park, Magic Mountain. And he took a swim with his cousins and nieces. "There was only one thing he didn't do," his mother, Joyce Lacy, said. "He wanted to go skydiving." Sickels, 20, of Apple Valley, Calif., died Sept. 27 in a non-combat accident in Iraq’s Anbar province. He was based at Twentynine Palms, Calif., and had been in Iraq only 34 days. Sickels loved video games and music, and was fond of singing along with his favorite songs, including Tim McGraw's "Live Like You Were Dying." The character in the song, who is facing a serious illness, goes bull riding and sky diving. "He wanted to live life to the fullest," his mother said. Sickels talked of making a career in the Marine Corps, and enlisted in April 2003. After he arrived in Iraq, his family recalled sending him a CARE package of tortillas, beans and cheese to make burritos, which he said he could heat up on the engine of his Humvee. He also is survived by his father, Glenn.

— Associated Press

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