In the early days of the U.S. battle with the Sunni insurgency in Iraq, the four Marines from Camp Pendleton were among those troops on the front lines in Anbar province.

The two enlisted Marines would not survive those violent days in the spring of 2004: one was killed by “friendly fire” when a mortar round went awry and one was mortally wounded while hurling a grenade to repel an enemy assault, bravery for which he was posthumously awarded the Silver Star.

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