2 more service members with isle ties die in Iraq
Casualties with isle ties reach 132 since 2003
A Kaneohe Marine and a Schofield Barracks soldier are the latest Hawaii-related deaths reported in Iraq.
The Department of Defense said yesterday that Lance Cpl. Lance Daniel T. Morris, 19, of Crimora, Va., died Wednesday while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province. Morris was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, from Kaneohe Bay.
The military also reported the death of Army Pfc. Nickolas Aaron Tanton, who died Tuesday from an undisclosed illness in a Kirkuk Army hospital.
Morris was the Kaneohe unit's 22nd combat casualty in what has been described as an insurgent stronghold in the most volatile district in Iraq.
Morris joined the Marine Corps in September 2005 and reported to Hawaii in March 2006. He deployed to Iraq in September.
His awards include the Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
COURTESY OF THE TANTON FAMILY
Pfc. Nickolas Aaron Tanton died Tuesday from an illness in Kirkuk, Iraq. Tanton joined the Army in January 2005 and was assigned to Forward Operating Base Warrior in Kirkuk. He "always knew how to have a good time," his family said.
Tanton, of Schofield Barracks, was "a loving and caring son and brother, who loved his family, friends and his music," his family in San Antonio said in a written statement.
The 24-year-old private was described as "charming" with a "charismatic way of touching the hearts and souls of those around him and finding a way to make them smile," his family said. "His sense of humor was unique, and no matter what mood you were in, he could turn it into a great one."
The Schofield Barracks soldier was said to be "a family guy with a big heart." According to his family's statement, he "always knew how to have a good time, whether it was at home our out with his buddies."
"Nickolas' life was never lived as a political statement or as part of any collective," his family said. "He was an individual who believed that life was meant to be lived, and he meant to live it.
"Just rockin' and rollin' Mama, just rockin' and rollin'."
Tanton had celebrated his 24th birthday on Jan. 20.
He was a member of the 25th Infantry Division's 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team and a chemical, biological, radiological and high-explosive identification and defense specialist.
Tanton joined the Army in January 2005 and was assigned to Forward Operating Base Warrior in Kirkuk.
This was the brigade's 15th casualty since it deployed to Iraq in August.
Since March 2003, when the United States invaded Iraq, 132 service members with Hawaii ties have been killed in Iraq.