FAYETTEVILLE, PA, USA
LCPL, G CO, 2D BN, 2D MAR, (RCT-7, MEB-A FWD), 2D MARDIV, CAMP LEJEUNE, NC
HELMAND PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN 02/01/2010
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives Tuesday unanimously adopted House Resolution 774 honoring the life of Lance Cpl. Michael Freeman Jr. of Fayetteville, who was killed Feb. 1 in Afghanistan while participating in Operation Enduring Freedom.
“Michael was an outstanding Marine, a great son, brother, nephew and, most of all, a great American and son of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” said state Rep. Rob Kauffman, a Republican whose district includes Franklin County and the resolution’s sponsor. “He will be greatly missed by his family, friends and brothers in arms. This House resolution is just one small token of our appreciation for his courageous service to our country.”
Freeman joined the Marine Corps immediately after graduating from Chambersburg Area Senior High School. He was assigned to the Second Battalion, Second Marine Regiment, Second Marine Division, Second Marine Expeditionary Force stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C.
He lost his life when a roadside bomb exploded in the Helmand Province.
Freeman has been awarded the Purple Heart, the Combat Action Ribbon and the Afghanistan Campaign Medal for his service.
Present on the House floor during passage of the resolution were Freeman’s father, Michael Freeman Sr.; his mother, Christine Freeman; his Freeman widow, Stephanie; his uncle Terry Fahnestock; his mother-in-law, Tessa Short; his father-in-law, Michael Wagaman; and family friend Anna Cuff.
Freeman, of Fayetteville, Pa., married Chambersburg Area Senior High School senior Stephanie Short on Oct. 1, 2009. They were planning a June 12 ceremony for family and friends.
“He just wanted to come home and be with us,” Stephanie, 18, said Tuesday, explaining that her husband was conflicted because he also wanted to serve his country.
Freeman, a machine gunner, joined the Marine Corps in August 2008 and was promoted to lance corporal on his wedding day.
“He was a sweetheart. He was very polite and mannerly,” said Lenora Short, Stephanie’s “gram.”
Freeman was an outdoorsman who enjoyed target shooting, fishing and visiting Caledonia State Park. He and his wife met at a graduation party in 2007, and he proposed five months into their relationship.
“I said ‘yes’ immediately,” Stephanie said.
Lenora Short said she vividly remembers the Monday afternoon cell phone call saying two Marines were at Stephanie’s home and wanted to talk to her immediately.
“It was a very, very unexpected thing,” Lenora Short said.
Freeman’s wife said she suspects he’d want to be remembered as “a crazy, goofy Marine.”