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Col. Jessep: You want answers?
Kaffee: I think I'm entitled.
Col. Jessep: You want answers?
Kaffee: I want the truth.
Col. Jessep: You can't handle the truth.

That dialogue, from the 1992 movie "A Few Good Men," is playing in my head as I type this diary, the latest installment in a series that documents the death of soldiers, sailors, and Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I’m not military, and although I know someone who’s headed to Iraq, as well as one who’s been there, I can’t presume to have any insight on the truth of what happens in wartime.

But I can speak about another part of the truth, which is that every time a casualty assistance officer walks up to a front door, a family is changed. I wonder whether we could handle being in those shoes, compelled to open the door and hear some variation of these words: "The Commandant of the Marine Corps has entrusted me to express his deep regret..."

I thought of Col. Jessep, and his truth, and the town of Jessup, Pa., where the family of 20-year-old Lance Cpl. Dennis J. Veater just got the news. More details below.

I Got the News Today (3/11/2007 Edition). Yesterday, the Department of Defense announced the name of a Marine killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom. According to the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count the number of names released by the DoD is now 3,190 and there are no names of the deceased awaiting notification of the next of kin before being publicly released.

DoD News Release

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Lance Cpl. Dennis J. Veater, 20, of Jessup, Pa., died March 9 from wounds received while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq.  Veater was assigned to Marine Forces Reserve’s Marine Wing Support Squadron 472, Marine Wing Support Group 47, 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, Wyoming, Pa.

Jessup, Pa., says Wikipedia, "is a borough in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 4,718 at the 2000 census." The local newspaper, the Times-Tribune, remembered Veater:

"I said I’d never date someone from the military. I said I wouldn’t, and I ended up falling in love," Angalene Snipes said while cradling their son, Dominick, at her home at 1004 Spring St.

The couple met during their freshman year at Penn State Worthington Scranton in 2004. Their calculus tutoring sessions and English project meetings turned into five-hour conversations at Perkins, over coffee, turkey club sandwiches and bacon cheeseburgers, which they always shared.

The day before Lance Cpl. Veater left for boot camp, the couple found out Miss Snipes was pregnant with Dominick.

"Oh, he was estatic," Miss Snipes said of her fiance.

He proposed Christmas morning 2005, just days before Dominick’s birth on Jan. 2, 2006. He always told her, "Love is friendship on fire."

"His family was his life. We were his life," she said.

All of the U.S. fatalities can be seen here.  They all had loved ones, families and friends. The DoD news releases are here.

I Got the News Today is a diary series intended to honor, respect and remind. Click here for the previous diary in this series, and here to see the series.

This series is maintained by i dunno; Sandy on Signal, silvercedes, and I are helping out for a while. Please leave a comment below to honor Lance Cpl. Dennis J. Veater.

Originally posted to monkeybiz on Sun Mar 11, 2007 at 12:14 PM PDT.

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