Ex-HS Wrestler Among Wisconsin Marines Killed in Iraq

From the Duluth (MN) News-TribuneÂ, 
Marine Reservists from Waukesha, Omro killed in Iraq
Associated Press

Two Wisconsin Marines serving in the same platoon died the same day in
an explosion in Iraq, including one whose twin brother is to be married
during the Christmas holidays, authorities said Tuesday.

Lance Cpl. Richard D. Warner, 22, of Waukesha, and Pfc. Brent Vroman,
21, of Omro, died Monday from wounds received in an explosion during
combat operations in Babil Province, the military said.

Both riflemen were with the Marine Corps Reserve’s 2nd Battalion, 24th
Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, headquartered in Chicago, and
assigned to the first platoon of Fox Company in Milwaukee, said 1st
Sgt. Cecil Goodloe, a spokesman for the company.

“This is the fourth comrade that Fox Company has lost and it’s really a
deep and sad occasion that this has happened during the holiday
season, “Goodloe said.

Families remain “incredibly proud “of the two Marines, both of whom
were single, he said.

Warner and Vroman are the 30th and 31st soldiers from Wisconsin to die
in fighting in Iraq.

A moment of silence in Vroman’s honor was observed before Omro High
School’s wrestling meet Tuesday against Kaukauna, Principal Bret
Steffen said.

Vroman, a 2001 graduate of the school, excelled as a wrestler and
lettered all four years in high school, Steffen said. As a senior, he
competed in the 125-pound class, the principal said.

Warner, a graduate of Kettle Moraine High School, joined Fox Company in
January 2002, and Vroman joined in March 2003, Goodloe said. The
company was activated on June 1 in support of operations in Iraq.

Members of Vroman’s family and law enforcement officials notified Omro
High School Monday night of the Marine’s death, Steffen said. Vroman’s
stepsister is a sophomore at the school.

“He was just the kind of student that American high schools are built
on – hardworking, all around good kid, “Steffen said. “He was a student
who worked hard to make things happen for himself.”

Vroman also played some football as a defensive back, participated in
track and was a member of the baseball team during his years in high
school, the principal said.

Steffen said Vroman has a twin brother who is also in the military and
plans to be married during the Christmas holidays before possibly being
deployed to Iraq himself.

Vroman had planned to attend the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh when
he finished his tour in the Marines, Steffen said.

Goodloe said the families of Vroman and Warner wished to privately
mourn the deaths.

Warner’s family issued a statement saying his relatives “are beyond
devastation “over his death.

“We will always be so proud of him and his tireless effort and hard
work as a U.S. Marine serving in Iraq, “the family said. “We can only
continue to pray and hope for the safe return of his fellow Marines and
a finality to this war.”

As of Monday, at least 1,296 members of the U.S. military have died
since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an
Associated Press count.

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