A devastating discovery unfolded on Sunday morning (23 July) when three young men were found deἀd inside a vehicle at a convenience store near Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The individuals were identified as Marine lance corporals, and their untimely demise has left their fellow service members and communities in mourning.
The Pender County Sheriff’s Office responded to a missing person report and stumbled upon the bodies around 9 a.m. in the store’s parking lot. While the causes of deἀth have not yet been disclosed, authorities have assured the public that there was no threat to the community.
The U.S. Marine Corps released the identities of the fallen Marines as Lance Corporals Tanner J. Kaltenberg, 19, hailing from Madison, Wisconsin; Merax C. Dockery, 23, from Pottawatomie, Oklahoma; and Ivan R. Garcia, 23, a native of Naples, Florida. All three men served as motor vehicle operators within the esteemed Combat Logistics Battalion 2, Combat Logistics Regiment 2, and 2nd Marine Logistics Group. It was revealed that the vehicle they were found in was privately owned.
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Brigadier General Michael McWilliams, commanding general of the 2nd Marine Logistics Group, expressed his deepest sympathy and condolences to the families, friends, and colleagues of the fallen Marines. He emphasized that their primary focus was to provide necessary resources and support to those impacted by this tragic loss during this incredibly difficult time.
Among the three, Garcia had been on active duty for the longest period, commencing his service in July 2019. Dockery entered active duty service in June 2020, while Kaltenberg joined in May 2021.
Each Marine had a unique journey of service, stationed at various military bases across the country. Garcia served in Parris Island, South Carolina; Camp Lejeune, North Carolina; and Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. His remarkable military awards include the National Defense Service Medal, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, and the Global War on Terror Service Medal.
Kaltenberg’s military service spanned across San Diego and Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. His commendable achievements included the National Defense Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Medal, Navy Arctic Service Ribbon, and the Global War on Terror Service Medal.
Dockery’s military assignments included time in San Diego, Camp Pendleton, California, and Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. His noteworthy military awards encompassed the National Defense Service Medal, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, and the Global War on Terror Service Medal.
As investigations into the tragic incident continue, the Marine Corps and the broader military community stand united in grief, cherishing the memory of these brave souls who served their country with honor and dedication.