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Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class David J. Moreno

Died July 17, 2003 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

26, of Gering, Neb.; assigned to the Naval Medical Center San Diego, 4th Marine Division Detachment; killed by a non-hostile gunshot wound July 17 in Hamishiyah, Iraq.

Moreno eulogized as a ‘rich man’ for his good works

Associated Press

GERING, Neb. — The Rev. Gerald Harr told the family of David J. Moreno that they should take comfort in knowing the Navy hospital corpsman’s accomplishments will endure forever.

Moreno was buried just a few feet from his grandparents’ graves as a large group of family and friends gathered to remember the petty officer third class.

Moreno, 26, died July 17 in Iraq of an accidental gunshot wound. As weapons were being unloaded after a mission, one of the weapons discharged, instantly killing him.

During Moreno’s funeral at Christ the King Catholic Church, Harr drew a parallel between Moreno and Gen. George Patton, who often talked about how much he loved war.

Harr said there is something in the human spirit that longs for greatness, and war seems to be a vehicle to draw greatness from an individual.

“He was a rich young man,” Harr said. “D.J.’s joy came as a Navy medic, and when he delivered a baby it was part of a holy presence.”

Harr said there is no greater love than to give one’s life for his friends, and the priest asked the family members to hold strong with their faith.

Naval and Marine Reserve units presented military honors, including a color guard and rifle squad from Cheyenne, Wyo.

Moreno, who was assigned to the Naval Medical Center in San Diego, lived in Gering for a brief time after graduating from Lincoln Southeast High School before enlisting in the Navy.

Moreno’s commander, chief hospital corpsman Paul Jones, presented a folded flag to Moreno’s mother, Yolanda, who was surrounded by her family.

Moreno will be memorialized at the Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego, where a new pediatric wing will be named in his honor, family members said after the service.

Nebraska Lt. Gov. David Heineman and Maj. Gen. Roger Lempke, adjutant general of the Nebraska National Guard, offered words of comfort to the Moreno family. Gov. Mike Johanns visited with the family Saturday while in town for another occasion.

Moreno was the third Nebraskan killed in the war in Iraq.

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