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Pa. Marine is killed in Iraq blast

October 23, 2005|By Daniel J. Sernovitz

WARFORDSBURG, PA.

A 20-year-old U.S. Marine from Warfordsburg was killed along with two other members of his battalion Thursday by an improvised explosive device while conducting combat operations near Nasser Wa Salaam, Iraq, the U.S. Department of Defense announced Saturday.

Lance Cpl. Steven W. Szwydek was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force out of Camp Lejeune, N.C. He was dispatched to Iraq about two months ago, 2nd Battalion spokesman Lt. Barry Edwards said.

Also killed by the explosive device were Staff Sgt. Richard T. Pummill, 27, of Cincinnati, and Lance Cpl. Andrew D. Russoli, 23, of Greensboro, N.C.

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Edwards said Szwydek enlisted in the Marines in June 2003, and was assigned to the battalion in November of that year. His unit was conducting security operations along with Iraqi troops seeking to keep insurgents out of two towns in Iraq, including Fallujah, Edwards said.

Szwydek previously had served in Kosovo and had been awarded several medals, including the Combat Action Ribbon, the Iraqi Campaign Medal, the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Kosovo NATO Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.

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