Vermont Marine killed in Iraq

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A Marine from Albany, Vermont, has been killed in Iraq. Twenty-four-year-old Sergeant Jesse Strong was one of four Marines killed in the attack in Iraq’s Anbar province on Wednesday. The four belonged to a Marine reserve company stationed in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Strong’s mother, Vicki Strong, told The Associated Press that her son was killed in a roadside attack. Strong had just graduated from Liberty University in Lynchburg. Vicki Strong says Jesse “had a deep love for God and his country. He didn’t give his life in vain.” Jesse’s father, Nathan Strong, is the pastor of the Methodist Church in Albany, a tiny town not far from the Canadian border.

Strong was the fourteenth service member with Vermont ties to be killed in action in Iraq. A fifteenth service member died of natural causes in Kuwait before entering Iraq.

And a corporal from Merrimack, New Hampshire, was among the 30 Marines killed in Wednesday’s helicopter crash. Family members said 23-year-old Timothy Gibson was on the transport helicopter when it crashed in western Iraq, killing the Marines and a Navy medic.

Gibson is the seventh New Hampshire soldier killed during the conflict. Several dozen members of the New Hampshire National Guard have been wounded or injured.

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