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Marine Sgt. Charles I. Cartwright

Died November 7, 2009 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

26, of Union Bridge, Md.; assigned to 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, Camp Pendleton, Calif.; died Nov. 7 while supporting combat operations in Farah province, Afghanistan.

MarSOC NCO killed in Afghanistan

Staff report

A California-based Marine was killed Saturday during combat operations in Afghanistan, Marine officials said.

Sgt. Charles I. Cartwright, 26, of Union Bridge, Md., died in Farah province. He was a reconnaissance man assigned to 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion at Camp Pendleton, Calif., according to a news release. The battalion is part of Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command.

It’s not immediately clear how he died.

Cartwright enlisted in the Corps on Sept. 10, 2001, and joined MarSOC in October 2006, just a few months after he was promoted to the rank of sergeant.

His military awards include: two Purple Hearts, Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal, two Combat Action Ribbons, Navy Presidential Unit Citation, Navy Unit Commendation, two Marine Corps Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, two Iraqi Campaign Medals, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, four Sea Service Deployment Ribbons, NATO Medal and two Certificates of Commendation.

Was on his 5th tour in a war zone

The Associated Press

Charles Cartwright had been wounded in combat before — he had received two Purple Hearts before his death — but still fought without fear, a fellow Marine said.

Staff Sgt. Gerald Hooee Jr., who served in Iraq with Cartwright, recalled one of their missions to draw enemy fire.

“We sat there for about 45 minutes to an hour, and I’m dodging bullets the whole time, and he’s standing there saying, ‘Hey, what are you doing? Get up,’ ” Hooee said. “Is he crazy? But he stood there, firm in his position.”

Cartwright, 26, of Union Bridge, Md., died Nov. 7 in Farah province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to Camp Pendleton, Calif. He was serving his second tour in Afghanistan and had served three tours in Iraq since joining the Marines in 2001.

During that same mission, Hooee said, the two Marines encountered more gunfire on a rooftop. Hooee fell backward onto a staircase as he ducked behind some boxes.

“It was one of those moments where he picks me up, pulls me up, we look at each other and just start laughing. I mean how many people do that?” Hooee said.

Cartwright’s family said he enjoyed running, having run a marathon in California and a triathlon, as well as surfing and strolls along the beach with his wife and dog.

Among the survivors are his wife, Marissa; parents, Carol Ann and Michael; and his sister, Rebecca Ann.

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