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Marine Sgt. Derek L. Shanfield

Died June 8, 2010 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom

22, of Hastings, Pa.; assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died June 8 in Helmand province, Afghanistan, while supporting combat operations. Also killed was Sgt. Zachary J. Walters.

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‘He felt very strongly about what he was doing’

The Associated Press

Like his brothers, 22-year-old Sgt. Derek Shanfield was a Marine. But for him, the Marines was his calling.

“He was truly amazing,” said his older brother, Sgt. Sydney Shanfield. “He rose up through the ranks very high in a very short time. He was basically a picture of perfection when it comes to being a Marine.”

That comes as no surprise to Tim Laurito, Derek Shanfield’s high school principal. Shanfield, of Hastings, Pa., stood out as a leader at Cambria Heights High School, Laurito said. He had the grades and aptitude to do whatever he wanted and graduated in 2006 near the top of his class, he said.

As a Marine squad leader, Shanfield went to Afghanistan ahead of his unit. He had been there only two weeks when he was killed during an attack. It happened on his first day on patrol, June 8.

“He felt very strongly about what he was doing — very strongly about the cause — and paid the ultimate price for his country,” Laurito said.

Shanfield was assigned to Camp Lejeune, N.C., where his twin brother, Cpl. Devin Shanfield, serves in a different unit.

Survivors also include his parents, David and Pamela Shanfield, and sisters, Jessica and Allison Shanfield.

Bridge, ballfield renamed for Marine

The Associated Press

HASTINGS, Pa. — A baseball field and a small bridge in a western Pennsylvania town have been named for a Marine who was killed in Afghanistan three years ago.

The dedication ceremonies in Hastings occurred Saturday, the three-year anniversary of the death of 22-year-old Sgt. Derek Shanfield.

The baseball field and a state-owned bridge over Brubaker Run Creek in the borough about 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh are now named in his honor.

State Rep. Gary Haluska said the field and the bridge were renamed so future residents of Shanfield's hometown can remember his sacrifice.

Shanfield didn't play baseball at the field but was an athlete at Cambria Heights High School in nearby Patton and served as a lifeguard at the community swimming pool in Hastings.

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