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Marine Sgt. James R. McIlvaine

Died April 30, 2009 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

26, of Olney, Md.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Twentynine Palms, Calif.; died April 30 in Camp Baharia, Iraq, while supporting combat operations. Also killed was Staff Sgt. Mark A. Wojciechowski.

Patriotic father inspired son to serve

The Associated Press

James R. McIlvaine’s father was very patriotic, loved the flag and country.

“James felt the same way. His father missed out on serving, so when James joined, he was proud to have a son in the military. He was proud to see him in uniform. I was proud of him, too,” said Patty DeSimone, his grandmother.

McIlvaine, 26, of Olney, Md., died April 30 while supporting combat operations in Anbar province, Iraq. He was assigned to Twentynine Palms, Calif.

He graduated from the Massanutten Military Academy in Woodstock, Va., where he was a member of the National Honor Society and was awarded a commission to the Virginia Military Institute.

“He was full of life,” DeSimone said. “And when he was around, he made everybody laugh. He will be greatly missed. He’s one of those people that you knew when he was in the room.”

After a deployment in Afghanistan, he was on his first deployment in Iraq. Family members say he loved Washington sports.

McIlvaine’s uncle said his nephew played hockey, and he was teaching his 7-year-old son the game.

McIlvaine is survived by his wife, Cheryl, and children, Michael, 7, and Alexa, 3.

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