STARK, OH, USA U.S. Marines PVT, 2D BN, 3D MAR, RCT-7, I MEF FWD HAQLANIYAH, IRAQ 11/22/2006
Marine Private (PVT) Heath D. Warner, 19, of Canton, Ohio, was killed while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq on November 22, 2006. Heath was a gunner on a Humvee that encountered a makeshift bomb in Haqlaniyah, where many Sunni Arab insurgents are based. He was stationed in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, and had been serving in Iraq since September 11, 2006.
Heath was born on January 2, 1987, to Melissa and Scott Warner. He had two brothers, Chandler and Ashton. Brother Chandler was 14 at the time of Heath’s death; Ashton was 7 years old. Heath was devoted to helping others, his father said, a trait best illustrated by the instructions he left behind on the use of his death benefits. He asked his parents to use them to pay for his two brothers to go to college.
Heath dreamed of going into the military from the time he was 5. While at Canton McKinley High School, he decided to join the Marines. The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on America played a part in Heath’s desire to serve his country. Heath enlisted in his senior year and following his graduation, he departed for boot camp. His service to his country is commemorated in his December 12, 2006 burial at Arlington National Cemetery, in Arlington, Virginia, where he is collocated with the fallen troops for the Afghanistan and Iraqi Wars. The family held a private ceremony in which Heath received full military honors. At the closing of the service, Heath’s Purple Hearts were presented to his brothers Chandler and Ashton.
The young Marine loved to break dance. He performed at community and school events in Ohio and taught others at the Living Fountain Dance Company in Canton. Heath was also intrigued by other cultures. He enjoyed martial arts, exotic foods, and foreign languages. He taught himself Japanese, and had taken Arabic lessons in the Marines. Heath was a member of Bethel Temple Assembly of God, who had a deep love for God, family, and his country.
In his memory, his family has established a web site (http://www.pvtheathwarner.com) and founded an annual Pvt. Heath D. Warner 5K Memorial Run and Family Fun Walk. The web site serves to honor Heath’s life and sacrifice, centralize and archive historical information about Heath, link with Heath’s friends, and continue his legacy by promoting the endowment fund.