YORBA LINDA, CA, US
U. S. Marine Corps
CPL, 3D BN 7TH MAR, (RCT-2, I MEF FWD) 1ST MAR DIV, TWENTYNINE PALMS, CA
06/22/2010, HELMAND PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN
Corporal Patino died on June 22, 2010 in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, based at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California. He was on his third deployment to Afghanistan. His battalion was deployed to Afghanistan at the end of March 2010 to assist with general combat operations, train and equip Afghan security forces, and suppress the Taliban.
The 22-year-old scout sniper was deployed to Iraq in 2008; in 2009, he had already received a combat-action medal during a tour in Afghanistan. His awards include: the Purple Heart, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon and the NATO Medal.
He was a U.S.-born son of a Mexican immigrant father from Guadalajara. His father came from a family with a strong tradition of military service in Mexico. He started talking about becoming a Marine soon after he learned how to walk. He would walk around with a toy gun screaming in Spanish, ‘I am a Marine,’ He would sneak out of the house at night and play in nearby Hurless Barton Park, pretending that he was an ancient warrior in the woods, coyotes the terrible foe. So, it was not a surprise when he joined the Marines after graduation in 2006 from El Dorado High School.
He was a tough, and well liked kid. He even started a fight club as a teenager, meeting with friends in the park after his mother banned fighting in the house. He was the kind of guy who always won at a fight, but would stick around to help the other guy up. Because of that, his foes often became his friends. He was athletic and loved to be outdoors, running in Carbon Canyon or camping in Yosemite. He was popular in high school and did well on the wrestling team. Although his his grades were mediocre at best, he would achieve whatever he decided to do. Even his tattoos echoed what was important to him. On one bicep was tattooed a Mexican eagle in honor of his father’s military service. On the other arm was an American eagle, inspired by an old USMC insignia. Tattooed brass knuckles near his heart a tough-love symbol in honor of his mother whose opinion was what really mattered to him.
Claudio Patino had a tender side. He would stop to help beggars or rescue an injured bird. He was also concerned for his fellow Marines who did not receive care packages, and his family plans to establish a charity to provide care packages in Claudio’s honor. His wife, seven brothers and sisters, and community of friends acknowledge that he died the way he wanted to die as a warrior who really believed in fighting for his country.