ASHTABULA, Ohio - As the local family of a fallen Marine waits for his body to return home, they are thanking the community for its support. Lance Corporal Kevin M. Cornelius, 20, was from Ashtabula. He and a fellow Marine were killed in Afghanistan on Saturday.
His calling hours will be held at Durco Funeral Services, 4524 Elm Ave., in Ashtabula, but the exact days and times will not be decided until his body is returned home.
Here is a portion of the letter from the Cornelius family:
“ The family of Lcpl Kevin M. Cornelius would like to first thank the countless number of individuals who have come forward with thoughts, prayers, and support in this difficult time in our lives. The outpouring of love from the community has been overwhelming, and has given us much comfort. Anyone that knew Kevin can attest to his personality - always smiling, always caring, always willing to help those in need, and always finding a way to make people laugh.
Kevin loved his family and friends, and was so proud of being a United States Marine. In every letter and conversation with Kevin, he never forgot to remind us that he was, "exactly where he wanted to be doing exactly what he wanted to do."
According to his commanders, Kevin was serving as a radio operator and rifleman assigned to 3rd Platoon, Company C, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines in Helmand Province, Afghanistan on the evening of August 7th. After a heavily-armed detained enemy combatant escaped from the Afghan National Police and retreated into a building, Kevin was one of the first Marines to volunteer to respond.
Part of a four-man element, Kevin led the way in this initial entry. As he fired his weapon through smoke and debris, Kevin was mortally wounded when struck in the head by an enemy round. His actions helped gain a foothold in the building and ultimately lead to the death of the enemy fighter.
Although Kevin was immediately treated on the scene by competent medical authority, he succumbed to his wounds. John 15:13 tells us, "greater love hath no man than this, than a man lay down his life for his friends." Kevin did that for his friends.
Kevin returned to Dover Air Force Base the night of August 9, 2010 and is currently awaiting a transport schedule to return to Ashtabula. Details of his return and the schedule of calling hours and funeral services will be released to the press and public as soon as they are known.”
Copyright 2010 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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