ARLINGTON, WA, US
U. S. Marine Corps
LCPL, H&S CO, 3D BN, 1ST MAR, 1ST MAR DIV, CAMP PENDLETON, CA
07/16/2007, AL HABBANIYAH, IRAQ
Shawn Starkovich lived life to the fullest. He rode skateboards and motorcycles and raced cars.
“He liked living on the edge with those sports,” said his mother, Kelly Starkovich. “He loved anything fast.” His sense of adventure led him to sign up with the U.S. Marine Corps in 2005, before his 18th birthday. His mom was a little apprehensive, but knew it was something he really wanted to do. She and his father, Jim Starkovich, supported their son.
“It takes a tough person to be in the Marine Corps, but he (also) was such a gentle person,” Mrs. Starkovich added.
Chentelle Smith, 19, was Shawn Starkovich’s best friend. They met in high school. “He was probably the most adventurous of my friends,” Smith said. “I could really count on him for something original.”
His openness and sincerity made him popular, according to Smith. “He made friends with bums on the street.” Shawn was always one to make friends with whoever was there.
“When people say that somebody has lived their life to the fullest, I know it’s cliché, but he seriously did a lot in his 20 years,” Smith added.
It’s the unfinished plans that have made Shawn Starkovich’s death particularly hard, Smith explained.
Shawn played the saxophone, liked to snowboard and was learning how to surf California style. Shawn wanted to deploy and reasoned it wasn’t worth being in the Marine Corps if he couldn’t fight for his country, Mrs. Starkovich said.
Perhaps the best description of Starkovich comes in his own words: “Some talk it, I live it. Some walk it, I go full throttle with no regrets, nothing to look back and be sorry for.”