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Release No: 344-04
April 20, 2004

DoD Identifies Marine Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of four Marines who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Maj . Richard J. Gannon II, 31, of Escondido, Calif.

Lance Cpl. Michael J. Smith Jr., 21, of Jefferson, Ohio.

Lance Cpl. Ruben Valdez Jr., 21, of San Diego, Texas.

Lance Cpl. Gary F. VanLeuven, 20, of Klamath Falls, Ore.

All four Marines died April 17 due to injuries received from enemy action in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. They were assigned to 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, at Twentynine Palms, Calif.

For further information related to this release, contact Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms Public Affairs Office at (760) 830-5472.

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