Two of ten Marines killed in Iraq from Illinois
December 3, 2005 (WLS) -- It was the deadliest attack against US troops in four months. Ten Marines were killed Thursday while on foot patrol in Iraq. Saturday we learned two of the victims were from Illinois.
Nineteen-year old Andrew Patten, from Byron, and 19-year old Adam Kaiser, from Naperville.
"He was my son so he was wonderful," said Wade Kaiser.
Wade Kaiser says his son Adam had been interested in the military all his life. After deciding in high school that he wanted to join the Marines, getting in became his focus.
"He chose them because they're supposedly harder to get into and have a wonderful reputation and esprit de corp," Kaiser said.
Lance corporal Adam Kaiser died Thursday with nine other Marines. The troops were on patrol when a bomb made of four large artillery shells went off. A crater in the ground near Fallujah marks the spot where they were killed.
The blast also killed lance corporal Andrew Patton. He grew up in Byron, Illinois, a town southwest of Rockford.
"I just remember him being a committed kid. He was committed to being a good student, he was committed to being the best person he could be," said Ben Dalton, football coach.
It seems he achieved that goal. At Byron High School classmates and teachers remember Andrew Patton as a good kid and an athlete who always tried his best.
"We're really proud of him," said Britney Lindgren, friend. "Sad, obviously, that it had to end like this. But we're really proud that we can say that we knew him."
"He knew the sacrifice that had to be made and the commitment, and it's just too bad we've got another fallen hero," said Dalton.
Kaiser's father says his son also knew the risks
"It's probably as horrible as anyone could imagine," he said. "You know the risks, and he knew the risks when he joined. But of course you never expect it to happen. A father couldn't be prouder of his son more than I am."
Kaiser is survived by his parents and two sisters, one of them is his twin. On Friday they will bury their 19-year-old son and brother.
The military said Patten is survived by his father, Alan, and mother, Gayle Nachansky, of Byron. Both home telephone numbers were unlisted.
Kaiser and Patten were assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, out of Twentynine Palms, Calif. The unit was attached to the Regimental Combat Team 8, which is part of the II Marine Expeditionary Force based at Camp Lejeune, N.C.
The unit has suffered some of the highest casualties of the Iraq war. In the nearly three years since the war began, 147 Marines from II MEF have died in combat, according to 2nd Marine Division spokesman Lt. Barry Edwards.
"Words will never describe accurately the honor, courage and commitment of these fallen Marines and Sailors," 7th Marine Regiment commanding officer Col. William B. Crowe said in a statement. "These men did not give their lives in vain, and we will not soon forget our fellow brothers."
Kaiser is survived by his father, Wade, and mother, Christine, both of Romeoville, Ill. A telephone number for a Wade Kaiser was unlisted.
The roadside bomb in Fallujah, the former insurgent headquarters 40 miles west of Baghdad, was fashioned from several large artillery shells, the military said after the attack. The team was conducting "counterinsurgency operations throughout Fallujah and the surrounding area" to improve security for the Dec. 15 elections.
The attack was the single deadliest against U.S. troops in Iraq since 14 Marines were killed Aug. 3 when a bomb destroyed their vehicle near Haditha, 140 miles northwest of Baghdad.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report. Copyright 2005. All Rights Reserved.)
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