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Soldier, Oklahoma Native Dies Of Heart Attack Years After Injury In Iraq

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Sgt. Richard Marshall was severely injured by a roadside bomb in 2007. Sgt. Richard Marshall was severely injured by a roadside bomb in 2007.
"It's our family duty, it seems, to serve our country," said Marshall's cousin, William Lowe. "It's our family duty, it seems, to serve our country," said Marshall's cousin, William Lowe.
Instead of the military life, Marshall settled into his most important roles: that of Dad, to Autumn and Jalen, and husband to Brittany. Instead of the military life, Marshall settled into his most important roles: that of Dad, to Autumn and Jalen, and husband to Brittany.
Sgt. Marshall died last Tuesday and was laid to rest on Friday at Fort Mitchell National Cemetery in Alabama. Sgt. Marshall died last Tuesday and was laid to rest on Friday at Fort Mitchell National Cemetery in Alabama.
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma -

Sgt. Richard Marshall was severely injured by a roadside bomb in 2007. The bomb had killed three of his fellow soldiers, but Marshall somehow managed to kick open the door of his humvee to let the other survivors know he was alive.

He'd show the same fighting spirit for the next six years.

Marshall was born to be a soldier.

"It's our family duty, it seems, to serve our country," said Marshall's cousin, William Lowe.

Lowe said Marshall was serving his country proudly during his third tour of duty in Iraq, when he volunteered to go on a routine patrol.

That's when Marshall's humvee was hit by a roadside bomb.

"My mother calls me and says, 'Hey, Richard has been severely hurt,'" Lowe said.

Marshall needed open heart surgery immediately after the explosion in Baghdad. He survived the attack and was eventually sent back to his home in Alabama, still ready to fight.

"He was pretty adamant about staying in the Army, and I know he gave it his best efforts to even serve after he was injured, but his health just wore him," Lowe said.

So, instead of the military life, Marshall settled into his most important roles: that of Dad, to Autumn and Jalen, and husband to Brittany.

"Really, as an adult, I got to see him become a loving father, a loving husband, and he really took those things serious," Lowe said.

But as time went on, Marshall's battle began again. His heart was weakening and the medication he'd taken for that damaged his liver. He'd need a new heart and liver to survive.

His final trip to Oklahoma was earlier this month, when he filmed a Veterans Tribute for the Muscogee Creek Nation. He also got to visit his tribe's museum and see firsthand the Purple Heart plaque in his honor.

That was the last time his cousin would ever see Marshall alive.

By the time he made it back to Alabama, the soldier suffered cardiac arrest. Nothing could be done. An enemy that had followed him home from Iraq had finally won.

"God has a plan for everybody, and for Richard Marshall, it was his duty to come back to America, to see his family, to see his kiddos grow a few years older, to get that much closer to his wife," Lowe said.

Sgt. Marshall died last Tuesday and was laid to rest on Friday at Fort Mitchell National Cemetery in Alabama.

Marshall was born and raised in Eufaula, and his family says he was very proud of his Muscogee Creek heritage.

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