BRYANT, IN, USA U.S. Marines LCPL, G CO, 2D BN, 7TH MAR, 1ST MAR DIV, TWENTYNINE PALMS, CA FARAH PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN 06/19/2008
Jay County residents, already mourning the death in Afghanistan of a young Marine from Bryant, are likely to begin the official commemoration of his passing today.
Lance Corporal Andrew Francis Whitacre, 21, a 2005 graduate of Jay County High School, was among two Marines reported killed Thursday during the operations in Farah Province. Whitacre was from the Jay County town of Bryant.
Whitacre was assigned to the Marine Expeditionary Force based at Twentynine Palms, Calif. Whitacre’s family was not yet ready to comment this weekend, according to family friends.
Many flags in the small town of about 300 have been flying at half-staff to mark the death of Lance Corporal Andrew Francis Whitacre. Ernie Whitacre said his son wanted to be a Marine since the age of 14.
“He was real community oriented,” Whitacre said. “He loved his town, he loved Indiana. He was always ready to stand up for somebody.”
“Even if he had nothing to do with them, he would fight their battles,” said his fiancee, Casey McGuire. McGuire, 18, said she last spoke to her finance by phone from Afghanistan on June 16.
“I asked him if he was scared and he said ‘No,’ that he was just doing his job and he didn’t have time to be scared,” she said. “He would just tell me, ‘Everything is going to be OK. I’ll be home.”‘
McGuire, who recently moved from her hometown of Parker, Ariz., to live with Whitacre’s father and stepmother, said their engagement photos arrived in the mail day after Whitacre was killed. They had set their wedding for next April in Arizona, where they had met last year
“We were supposed to be planning a wedding, not a funeral,” said his stepmother, Norma Whitacre.