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Thank you to a fallen hero

July 14, 2009
Pine Island Eagle


MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE N.C. (July 9, 2009) Sergeant Michael C. Roy, 25, of North Fort Myers, Florida, died July 8, 2009 while conducting combat operations in Nimroz province, Afghanistan, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He was assigned to 3d Marine Special Operations Battalion, Marine Special Operations Advisor Group, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Roy joined the Marine Corps on Sept. 25, 2001 and was trained as a rifleman. He was promoted to Sergeant on Oct. 10, 2005, joining MARSOC on March 15, 2008. His decorations include a Navy Achievement Medal, a Combat Action Ribbon, a Navy Unit Commendation, three Navy Meritorious Unit Commendations, two Good Conduct Medals, the National Defense Service Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, a Humanitarian Service Medal, four Sea Service Deployment Ribbons, and a NATO Medal-ISAF Afghanistan.

A military press release announcing a death in combat is a stark missive.

Name. Rank. Age. Hometown. Where. The few standard words on how - in combat, from small arms fire, in a rocket attack, or the much-too prevalent "of wounds suffered from an improvised explosive device."

Between the sparse, few sentences, though, there also can be found a glimpse of a life that is more than a statistic, more than a casualty of war.

The statement released for Sgt. Michael C. Roy, who died in Afghanistan Wednesday, gives us that small look.

With nearly eight years in, 25-year-old Sgt. Roy joined the Marines young - real young. His decorations and his rise through the ranks tell us he served his country competently and well. His joining the Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command last year tells us he had no fear - or that fear didn't matter.

To become a MARSOC member, Sgt. Roy had to undertake and complete special forces training designed to "enable him to function in remote, ambiguous and complex environments with limited support," according to the special unit's Web site, which also outlines core duties that may be assigned. Those duties include training and assistance to foreign governments, security force assistance, special reconnaissance, counterterrorism and direct action, which the Corps defines as "short-duration strikes and other small-scale offensive actions taken to seize, destroy, capture, recover or inflict damage in denied areas."

Sgt. Roy died in Nimroz province in southwestern Afghanistan. Nimroz is an area of intense unrest where, in April, suicide bombers tried to kill an Afghan minister and killed three others instead.

Fighting has been heavy there since last year and, according the news reports, the Marines have been in it helmet high.

Sgt. Roy's career may have been cut short but the announcement of his death tells us that career had merit and moments of valor.

We thank Sgt. Roy for his service and his sacrifice. Our condolences to his family on their loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with both.

- Breeze Newspapers editorial



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