WOODRUFF, SC, US
U. S. Marine Corps
LCPL, 1ST BN 10TH MAR, 2D MAR DIV, CAMP LEJEUNE, NC
12/21/2010, HELMAND PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN
Marine Lance Corporal William H. Crouse and his bomb-sniffing dog, Cane were killed December 21, 2010 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He and his unit were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. Lance Cpl. Crouse was assigned to 1st Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. He was twenty-two years old and into the first six weeks of his first tour of duty.
“Billy” was a Woodruff, South Carolina resident who grew up in Fort Wayne and Angola, Indiana before moving to South Carolina while in high school. Billy joined the U.S. Marine Corps. in 2007 following graduation from Clinton High School, Clinton, South Carolina. He played football in high school and joined the Marines, his mother said, because “he always lived life on the edge.”
As a military dog handler the bond between service member and canine service member is one of strong trust and care, so it was not surprising that with this bond and Billy’s personality his dying concern was for his canine companion. Both of them had been working to wrest away control of what had long been a Taliban stronghold. The dog was put in the helicopter with Crouse but died. It was the Marines’ fifth bomb-sniffing dog to be killed in combat. Billy’s remains returned the day before Christmas 2010. He was the 161st Marine killed in Afghanistan in 2010.
Family members remaining include his mother, two sisters, two brothers, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Billy’s father preceded him in death. His family continues to support the Arthritis Foundation, the Wounded Warrior Project, the Save the Children Organization and several local churches to honor Billy’s life.
“He which hath no stomach to this fight let him depart. But we in it shall be remembered. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers!! For he today, that sheds his blood with me, shall always be my brother.” William Shakespeare