Bomb kills Kaneohe Marine in Iraq
A Kaneohe Marine unit completing its seven-month combat tour in Iraq next month has suffered its 12th casualty this year.
The Marine Corps said Cpl. Yull Estrada Rodriguez, 21, of Alegre Lajas, Puerto Rico, was the gunner of a 7-ton truck when it struck a homemade bomb Wednesday in Al-Anbar province.
Estrada Rodriguez enlisted in the Marine Corps in February 2004 and reported to Hawaii in July 2004.
It was his second combat tour. Estrada Rodriguez deployed to Afghanistan in late 2004 with Kaneohe Bay's 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment.
He left Kaneohe for Iraq with the same unit in March.
His awards include the Purple Heart, two Combat Action ribbons, the National Defense Service Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and two Sea Service Deployment ribbons.
He is survived by his mother and father.
Estrada Rodriguez's unit, the 3rd Battalion, is being replaced by its affiliate unit, the 2nd Battalion. A Kaneohe spokesman yesterday said that a majority of Rodriguez's unit is expected to be home next month.
About 100 Marines of the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, left Marine Corps Base Hawaii last month for a seven-month deployment to Iraq. An additional 900 Marines from the same regiment will join them this month in Al-Anbar.
Three 3rd Battalion Marines were killed in Afghanistan in 2004.
Thirty-three soldiers, two sailors, 56 Marines, one Air Force personnel and one civilian with Hawaii ties have been killed in Iraq since the war started in March 19, 2003.