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Marine Sgt. Justin F. Hoffman

Died August 3, 2005 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

27, of Delaware, Ohio; assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, Marine Forces Reserve, Columbus, Ohio; attached to Regimental Combat Team 2, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward); killed Aug. 3 when his amphibious assault vehicle was attacked by an improvised explosive device while he was conducting combat operations south of Hadithah, Iraq. Also killed were Marine Lance Cpl. Timothy M. Bell Jr., Lance Cpl. Eric J. Bernholtz, Lance Cpl. Nicholas William B. Bloem, Sgt. Bradley J. Harper, Cpl. David Kenneth J. Kreuter and Cpl. David S. Stewart.

A great brother and a great friend

The Associated Press

Justin F. Hoffman’s mom chuckled at his quirks: the playful voicemail messages left on her cell phone, the endless AOL Instant Messenger chats, his curious ability to eat mealworms at pet shops.

“Justin was more or less a reality show,” Carole Hoffman said. Hoffman, 27, of Delaware, Ohio, died Aug. 3 during combat operations south of Hadithah. He was based in Columbus.

His father, Robert Hoffman, said Justin was bright — an Ohio State University graduate who worked in information systems at Cardinal Health — but was big and strong and needed an outlet for his energy.

After six years, his time in the Marine Reserves was up last year, but when he learned his unit was to be activated, he signed up again.

“He wanted to be there for his men,” Carole said. “He wanted to lead his men.”

Lately, he had enlisted family members to scout for a diamond ring.

“He teased about proposing as soon as he got off the plane,” said his girlfriend, Teri Price. “I can’t imagine my future without him. I loved him more than anything.”

Justin’s younger brother, Tyler, said, “He was a great brother and more than that he was a great friend.”

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