MAURICE, IA, USA U.S. Marines LCPL, K CO, 3D BN, 3D MAR, (RCT-7, I MEF FWD), 3D MAR DIV, MCBH KANEOHE BAY, HI AL ASAD, IRAQ 05/22/2006
Lance Corporal William “B.Jay” Leusink was from Maurice, Iowa. He and his wife Miranda, originally of Chaska, Minn., lived in Honolulu where he was stationed prior to his deployment. The son of William and Elaine Leusink of Maurice, he also leaves behind three siblings.
B.Jay was a young man who always wanted to be a Marine, but that desire was even more strongly confirmed after September 11, 2001. From that point on he decided he wanted to do something for his country and he did so with the best of every effort. As a typical farm boy who exemplified Iowa with his good character and love for cars and sports, he also had a thoughtful, quiet side.
His pastor, who had known B.Jay since he was seven years old, remembers him agonizing whether to wear his hat with his dress uniform just before his wedding in October 2004. B.Jay did not agonize over his faith, and while playing football games for Sioux Center High School, he played with his favorite Bible verse taped to his uniform. The Phillipians 4:13 verse says: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Those who knew B.Jay have no doubt that he also took that Bible verse with him to the battlefield. B.Jay had written to friends and family that he knew he was where he was for a purpose. And, he understood and accepted the risks and danger of what he was doing. Now the people of B.Jay’s small Iowa town of 257 who pray for several local soldiers and Marines in church each Sunday is struggling to deal with what has struck so close to home.
Lance Corporal Leusink was killed 22 May 2006 during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was the forty-first Iowan to die in Iraq or Afghanistan from combat, illness or accident since the war began in March 2003. He was on patrol in Haqlaniyah, Iraq with members of the 3d Battalion, 3d Marine Regiment, III Marine Division, 3d Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Base Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. Prior to his tour in Iraq, Lance Corporal Leusink had also served in Afghanistan, He was twenty-one years old.