Three U.S. service members from the Washington region died in Iraq's volatile Anbar province this week, according to Defense Department statements and a news report today.
Marine Cpl. Jennifer M. Parcell, 20, of Bel Air, Md., died yesterday while supporting combat operations in Anbar, an insurgent stronghold in western Iraq, a statement from the department said. Parcell was part of a unit based in Okinawa, Japan.
On Tuesday, Marine Sgt. Joshua J. Frazier, 24, of Spotsylvania, died while conducting combat operations in Anbar, the department said. Frazier was assigned to a unit based in Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Meanwhile, a 21-year-old Navy paramedic from the Eastern Shore was one of seven people killed when a Marine helicopter crashed in Anbar yesterday, the Associated Press reported this afternoon.
Manuel Ruiz, who lived in Federalsburg, was two weeks into his second tour in Iraq, his mother, Lisa Ruiz, told the wire service. "I just spoke with him last week," she said. "He was saying how much he loved his job, what he was doing."
The crash came as U.S. and Iraqi forces began implementing their long-awaited security plan. Last month, President Bush announced plans to send 21,500 additional troops to Baghdad and Anbar province.
Separately, the U.S. military announced today that four Marines died of combat-related wounds yesterday in Anbar. The military statement did not identify the Marines, pending notification of next of kin.
More than 3,100 U.S. service members have died in Iraq since the U.S.-led war began in March 2003.