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Marine Staff Sgt. Marvin Best

Died June 20, 2004 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

33, of Prosser, Wash.; assigned to 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Twentynine Palms, Calif.; killed June 20 by hostile action in Anbar province, Iraq.

Washington Marine killed in Iraq

Associated Press

SEATTLE — A Marine from central Washington state was killed during the weekend in Iraq, the Defense Department said.

Staff Sgt. Marvin Best, 33, died Sunday during hostile action in Anbar province, the DoD announced in a news release.

Best was a machine gunner assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, based at Twentynine Palms, Calif.

“My son was home for Christmas for five days, for the first time in years and that was special,” the Marine’s mother, Charlotte Best, said from her home in Prosser, Wash.

Best joined the Marine Corps in June 1989 and deployed with the 2nd Battalion in February as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom 2, officials said.

Charlotte Best said that when her son reported for duty in Iraq, his comments centered on the relief other troops would feel.

“He told me, ‘Mom, I’m so thankful I’ve got a fresh, strong body. These guys we’re relieving are so tired and they’ve been here so long,” she said.

Best had received multiple awards, including the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.

Along with his mother, Best is survived by his father, William; wife, Rachelle; and sister Lorna Nunez, all from the small central Washington town of Prosser.

In a statement released through a family friend, Best’s wife said her husband was “a Marine who loved serving his country.”

Hundreds bid farewell to Marine killed in Iraq

PROSSER, Wash. (AP) — Family, friends, community members and fellow Marines filled the Prosser High School gym to say goodbye to a California-based Marine who was killed in Iraq.

Staff Sgt. Marvin Best, 33, died June 20 after the Humvee he was riding in hit a land mine and exploded.

“Marvin was a charmer. He had an engaging personality and a smile that warmed the hearts of everyone around him,” close friend Dave Walker told some 1,500 people attending the service Tuesday.

Before the service, hundreds lined the street awaiting the funeral procession, waving flags and homemade signs bearing Best’s picture and phrases such as, “We Love You, Marvin.”

Businesses and light poles were decorated with American flags. Two Prosser fire trucks were parked near the high school, a large American flag stretched between their extended ladders.

“I wanted to show my support because he put his life on the line for our freedom,” said Zillah resident Kathy Eims.

Best graduated from Prosser High School in 1989 and entered the Marine Corps on June 7 of that year. For part of his career, Best was a recruiter based in Kennewick. Many of Best’s fellow Marines, including some he recruited, turned out for the service.

Best married his wife, Shelly, 29, a dance instructor, in 1999. They did not have any children.

Best was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, based out of Twentynine Palms, Calif. He was deployed on Feb. 12 and was scheduled to return home in September.

He was the second Yakima Valley serviceman to be killed in Iraq. Dustin Sides, a 22-year-old Marine lance corporal from Yakima, died of injuries after an ambush while returning from a mission in Fallujah in late May.

— Associated Press

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