Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Miguel A. Marcial III killed in 'non-combat' incident

Marine Pfc. Miguel A. Marcial III, 19, of Secaucus, died Sunday in Al Anbar province of Iraq, the Defense Department announced yesterday.

A statement about Marcial's death released by U.S. Central Command described it as "non-combat related incident," but provided no further details. The military referred all questions about his death to the 2nd Marine Division's public affairs office, which did not return phone calls last night.

The circumstances surrounding Marcial's death are still being investigated, according to the Defense Department.

Marcial was assigned to 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force based at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. He was trained as a field radio operator.

"He was outgoing and funny, and had just a good personality," said his mother, Diana Cabrera, now of Chatham.

"He was my only son. He had a great smile."

"He was a really nice young man, a pleasant, personable kid who will be missed by the entire community," said Patrick Impreveduto, Marcial's principal at Secaucus High School, which he attended through 11th grade before transferring to the New Jersey National Guard Challenge Youth Program at Fort Dix.

After earning his high school diploma in 2005, Marcial enlisted in the Marines in February 2006, according to former teacher and mentor Mike Kelly, who described Marcial as "your typical nice kid. He was very popular with the girls, and he had a real playful side to him."

Kelly said that Marcial went to Iraq just last month. "He was only there a month. The whole thing is so shocking," he said.

Marcial is survived by his mother, Diana Cabrera, and his father, Miguel Marcial Jr., of Brooklyn.

Impreveduto said that he plans on contacting Secaucus Mayor Dennis Elwell to plan a memorial service for Marcial.

Congressman Albio Sires, D-West New York, who represents Secaucus, said in a statement: "Miguel Marcial was 19 years old, and his family will miss him forever; my thoughts and prayers are with them.

"This is the reason the members of Congress have been doing all we can to bring the soldiers back and are fighting to set a timeline that ends the war in Iraq."

From the Journal