ROCK POINT, AZ, US
U.S. Marine Corps
LCPL, 1ST CEB, (RCT-7, MEB-A FWD) 1ST MAR DIV, CAMP PENDLETON, CA
02/16/2010, HELMAND PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN
A Marine from the small Navajo community of Rock Point has died in Afghanistan, community members and the Department of Defense say. The remains of Lance Corporal Alejandro Yazzie, 23, arrived Thursday at Dover Air Force Base, Del.
Yazzie, assigned to the Camp Pendleton, Calif.-based 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, died Tuesday while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, according to a Defense Department release.
Tribal officials say Yazzie was a 2004 graduate of Rock Point High School and is survived by his parents, three brothers, a sister and his grandmother.
The Defense Department says Yazzie died on Tuesday while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. That’s the site of a major offensive by U.S. and Afghan forces against the Taliban.
He was assigned to 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, in Camp Pendleton, Calif.
A spokesman for the Navajo Nation president says 11 Navajos serving in either Iraq or Afghanistan have been killed.
He was the first Marine in this battalion to die in the Marjah offensive. According to a National Public Radio reporter, Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, embedded with his unit, Lance Corporal Yazzie had planned to call his wife on her satellite phone that night after returning from the patrol.
Lance Corporal Yazzie liked to be with his family and grandmother. His favorite sport was bullriding. He enjoyed volunteering and talking to young students about the need to stay in school to finish college or vocational school. He also enjoyed target shooting with his brothers and nephews, listening to country and heavy metal music and eating traditional foods made by his grandmother.
He is survived by his wife Kalandra Rae Lonehorse-Yazzie, his mother Eva Yazzie, his father Johnson Yazzie, his grandmother Minnie Yazzie, his brothers Ferlando Lorin Bitsuie, Rodello Holyan and Chance Holyan, and one sister Rayona Holyan.
Marine Lance Corporal Alejandro J. Yazzie was killed in action on 2/16/10.