Friday, February 11, 2011

His Star Has Turned From Blue to Gold

HELMAND, AFGHANISTAN (WIVB) - US Marine Lance Cpl. Aaron M. Swanson, 21, of Lakewood, died Monday while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan in support of Operation: Enduring Freedom.

Lance Cpl. Swanson was a Marine Reservist and a rifleman who was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, Marine Forces Reserve, in Buffalo. Aaron was in the first vehicle in a four-vehicle convoy when his vehicle was struck by an IED. Lance Cpl. Swanson was rushed to Camp Dwyer, a combined support hospital, where he succumbed to his wounds.

Lance Cpl. Swanson's mother, Julie, said Aaron was always family oriented and fun-loving. She said he liked the camaraderie of the military and was devoted to serving his country and making his family proud. Lance Cpl. Swanson was the middle child in a family of five. He graduated from Southwestern High School and still has a younger brother attending there.

Lance Cpl. Swanson joined the Marine Corps on May 18, 2009, and was promoted to his current rank on Dec. 1, 2010. Lance Cpl. Swanson had been a boy scout right through high school. He joined the football team his senior year and was seen as a team player.

Jay Sirianni, Lance Cpl. Swanson's high school football coach said, "I think his goal as a football player was to make his teammates better. He came to practice and played hard to make other people better."

Volunteer coach Pat Johnson said, "He had the right attitude that even though he knew he wasn't going to start, he was going to come to practice every day and be a great teammate."

Lance Cpl. Swanson's father, Gene, owns Swanson's Keystone Garage. The Lakewood family has requested privacy. Lance Cpl. Swanson's mom says she is still "numb" after learning of her son's death on Monday.

Lance Cpl. Swanson’s personal awards and decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Medal and the NATO Medal – International Security Assistance Force Afghanistan.

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May Almighty God Bless this Brave Marine.
May Almighty God comfort his mom's aching heart.
May Almighty God protect each and every Airman, Soldier, Sailor and Marine.

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