The Stateline Loses Another Marine in Combat in Iraq

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In late September 2001 while our nation mourned the attacks on its own soil, Lena's Neil Petsche took his patriotism a step further and joined the Marines.

Neil Petsche enlisted in the Marines while still a senior in high school. In preparing for boot camp, his Freeport recruiter remembered Neil's great enthusiasm and motivation to serve his country.

This was Neil's second deployment in Iraq. He served in the heart of the action as a Marine gunner and was scheduled to return in March 2005.

Friends remember how the Eagle Scout carried himself graciously with others. His recruiter says Neil will be sorely missed by his Lena and extended Marine family.

"He loved being a marine. He loved his family. He loved hanging out with his friends. It's a tragedy what happened last night," SSgt. Robert Hochbaum said.

Funeral arrangements are still being made. Neil is one of four generations to serve in the military.