Marine from Moore dies in Iraq

Tuesday, December 14th 2004, 11:29 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ A U.S. Marine from Moore is one of three Marines who died of injuries suffered in Iraq, the military said Tuesday.

Staff Sgt. Melvin L. Blazer Jr., 38, died Sunday after coming under enemy fire in Fallujah in Al Anbar Province, Iraq, family members and the U.S. Department of Defense said.

Also killed were Lance Cpl. Hilario F. Lopez, 22, of Ingleside, Texas and Lance Cpl. Gregory P. Rund, 21, of Littleton, Colo.

No more details were provided by the military about circumstances of the deaths.

Blazer was one of seven Marines to receive a Purple Heart for injuries sustained in November, when an explosive hit their convoy.

``To know my husband was to love my husband,'' Dana Blazer told The Oklahoman by telephone from her home near Camp Pendleton, Calif. ``Everybody loved him and admired him and respected him and held him in such high regard. He was a hero in his everyday life.''

Blazer graduated from Moore High School in 1984, and decided he would make the military his career a few years later. He married his wife in 1989.

``We were such wonderful friends for many, many years,'' Dana Blazer said. ``That friendship blossomed into a wonderful love. The stuff fairy tales are made of.''

Blazer's father, Melvin Blazer Sr., said he was awaken early Monday by a doorbell ring.

``They told me that he was killed in Fallujah with small-arms fire and that he was not alone when it happened,'' Melvin Blazer Sr. said as he fought back tears.

``I loved him dearly,'' the elder Blazer, a Vietnam veteran, said. ``I was very proud of him.''

All three were assigned to 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif.