A Marine from Camp Lejeune was killed this week in fighting in southern Iraq, the Pentagon announced Thursday.
1st Lt. Matthew R. Vandegrift, 28 of Littleton, Colo., died Monday from wounds he suffered during combat operations in the port city of Basrah. Basrah has been the scene of some of the most intense fighting anywhere in Iraq recently as Iraqi forces clashed with militia fighters loyal to Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.
Vandegrift’s family couldn’t be reached Thursday.
He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force. and was currently assigned to the 1st Iraqi Army Division, Military Transition Team, I Marine Expeditionary Force.
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Such transition teams help train the Iraqi military.
Vandegrift joined the Marine Corps on March 23, 2005 and was trained as an artillery officer, joining 2nd Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment on September 14, 2006. His decorations include the Iraqi Campaign Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.