Cpl. Lance M. Thompson, US Marine
21 years of age, from Upland, Indiana.; assigned to 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif.; killed Nov. 15 by enemy action in Anbar province, Iraq.
During Lance M. Thompson's time in Iraq, he saw both the ridiculous and the profound. At one point, he found himself sitting in Saddam Hussein's abandoned hot tub. At another, he saw the bodies of a young mother clutching a small child in a mass grave. "He saw that and thought he was doing the right thing," said his father, Gregory Thompson said.
Lance Thompson, 21, of Upland, Ind., was killed Nov. 15, 2004 in an explosion in Ramadi. He was based at Camp Pendleton, Calif., and was on his second tour of duty in Iraq.
"He made a comment to me in an e-mail in October," Greg Thompson said. "It was better to be fighting terrorists in a foreign land than in the streets of New York or Chicago." Thompson graduated from high school in 2001 and joined the Marines a few months later. "Lance's motto was 'gung-ho,' and he wanted to keep going," said Matt Dalton, Thompson's stepbrother.
Dalton said he knows Lance is looking down on him. "When I'm working the streets, patrolling as a deputy sheriff and as a firefighter, I know he's going to be my guardian angel," he said.