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The Final Duty Station This forum is presented by Retired GySgt Bill Conroy. It is a listing of those that have received orders for their final duty station. These Marines have given their all. We now give our honor.

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Old 08-17-2004, 13:55
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Helicopter crash in Iraq kills two Virginia Marines

Helicopter crash in Iraq kills two Virginia Marines
Associated Press
August 17, 2004 | Last updated 10:58 AM Aug. 17

Two U.S. Marines from Virginia were killed when their helicopter crashed in Iraq, the Department of Defense said Monday.

The victims were Staff Sgt. John R. Howard, 26, of Covington and Lance Cpl. Tavon L. Hubbard, 24, of Reston. The crash occurred last Wednesday in Al Anbar Province and is under investigation.

Howard was assigned to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 465 at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif. He entered the service on June 11, 1996, according to a statement from the base.

Hubbard was based at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. Additional information about Hubbard was not immediately available.

Howard's mother, Kathryn Howard of Covington, said the helicopter was on a supply mission when it caught fire and went down with five Marines aboard. Her son was the crew chief.

"We weren't even sure he was in Iraq until this happened," Kathryn Howard told the Roanoke Times. "We figured he was, but we didn't know for sure."

She said she last saw the youngest of her three sons June 28 in San Diego, where he lived with his wife, Amie, and two stepchildren, 5-year-old Kaitlyn and 7-year-old Sean. Howard was just about to return to Iraq and spoke well of his job, his mother said.

"He did love flying in those helicopters," she said. "He loved it, and he wanted to go back. He said that was his job and those people needed him."

Howard graduated in 1996 from Alleghany High School, where he was on a wrestling team. John Hutchison, who was Howard's guidance counselor, said military recruiters always piqued Howard's interest when the school had career fairs.

"He always did indicate a desire to go into the military" and decided on the Marines during his senior year, Hutchison said.

Kathryn Howard said her son joined the Marines just two days after his high school graduation. "I begged him not to do it," she said.

But Howard had his mind and his heart set on becoming a Marine, so he and his mother compromised: He would join the Marines, but he would train to be a mechanic rather than a combat Marine.

A funeral with full military honors will be held for Howard in Alleghany County, but his mother isn't sure when.
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