LCpl. Roger D. Castleberry Jr.
26, of Austin, Texas; assigned to 4th Reconnaissance Battalion, 4th Marine Division, Marine Forces Reserve, San Antonio; attached to Regimental Combat Team 2, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward); killed Aug. 1 by enemy small-arms fire while conducting dismounted operations outside Haditha, Iraq. Also killed were Marine Cpl. Jeffrey A. Boskovitch, Marine Sgt. David J. Coullard, Marine Lance Cpl. Daniel N. Deyarmin Jr., Marine Lance Cpl. Brian P. Montgomery and Marine Sgt. Nathaniel S. Rock.
Marine with Oklahoma ties killed in Iraq
OKLAHOMA CITY - A Marine reservist with Oklahoma ties was among six enlisted men killed Monday in a firefight with insurgents west of Baghdad, the Defense Department has confirmed.
Lance Cpl. Roger Dale Castleberry Jr., 26, of Cedar Park, Texas, was assigned to the Marine Corps Reserve’s 4th Reconnaissance Battalion, based in San Antonio. However, he was attached to a reserve unit from Ohio when he was killed.
Several of Castleberry’s relatives, including his stepmother and father, Deborah and Roger Dale Castleberry Sr., live in Durant. Castleberry also left behind his wife, who lives in Cedar Park.
His mother, Gaye Castleberry, died when Dale was 20.
He loved and missed his mom very much, said his aunt, Laura Fieldhouse.
"The world has lost a really wonderful young man," said Deborah Castleberry. "We want people to never forget his sacrifice."
His family got two e-mails from him Monday, the first one requesting everyone to stop sending food because he would not be able to eat it all before he returned in October, she said.
"He only had a couple of months left. He was so excited about coming home, but he was very happy about doing his job there," Deborah Castleberry said.
The second e-mail urged his family not to worry about him because none of the sniper units in his battalion had ever suffered a casualty.
Later that day, Castleberry’s unit was ambushed and overpowered by a large number of insurgents who killed all six members of his team, military officials told the family.
"If I know [Dale], his last minutes were spent trying to help and save his fellow Marines," she said. "He would have wanted it that way."
Dale Castleberry joined the Marines one year after he graduated from Round Rock, Texas, High School, which he attended for its ROTC program.
"The most important thing I’d want people to know about Dale was that he had a tremendous amount of integrity," she said. "He never smoked, he never drank and he never cussed. He loved people and children. He was looking forward to being a father someday."
The Castleberrys planned to throw a welcome back party when he returned.
"We will never get to have that coming home party for him, but we are going to honor him in his death," Deborah Castleberry said. "He put his life on the line for all of us and we need to honor our military everyday."