The fathers of two Marines slain Wednesday night in San Salvador said that their sons had requested assignment at the American Embassy there after receiving high grades at Quantico's Marine Security Guard School.
The two Marines were among four killed at an outdoor cafe. All were security guards at the embassy, although they were dressed in civilian clothes at the time of the shooting.
John Weber, father of Cpl. Gregory Weber, 22, of Cincinnati, said he had occasionally expressed concern for his son's safety but was told by Gregory, "They trained me well."
The older Weber, a computer programmer, said he had "been asked a hundred times" yesterday why his son wanted to go to El Salvador.
"I've given an answer which sounds cliched and corny," he said. "I asked him why he wanted to go down there and he said, 'Dad, they need some good men down there.' "
John Weber said his son was "an achiever" and had graduated first in his class at the Marine Security Guard School.
Weber's high school math teacher, Ed Menkhaus, said Weber had been a member of the National Honor Society.
J.R. Handwork, the father of Thomas Handwork, 24, of Beavercreek, Ohio, said his son had served in the Marines in Europe and Asia for more than five years and often told him not to fear his assignments.
"He realized there were some dangers, but he didn't want to worry us," Handwork said.
A supervisor at General Motors Corp., Handwork said that when he arrived home from work early yesterday morning, his wife told him that she had heard news accounts of Marines killed in El Salvador.
"At about 3:30 a.m. I called the embassy to see if he was all right," he said. "They told me he was one of the men killed."
Handwork said his son "trained from the days he could first walk and talk to be in the Marines; he always dreamt and thought about the Marines."
He said the family last saw Thomas in March and had been looking forward to speaking to him by telephone Sunday.
Five of the 13 killed, including the two U.S. civilians, Robert Alvidrez, 47, and George Viney, 48, were employes of Wang Laboratories, a computer manufacturer. Alvidrez, of Wang's Lowell, Mass., office, and Viney, from the Coral Gables, Fla., office, were in El Salvador on a marketing trip to hold seminars on new products, according to John C. Kelly, a deputy director of the Agency for International Development here.
"Alvidrez was supposed to go back to Lowell yesterday Wednesday but missed his flight and stayed over," Kelly said.
Erica Alvidrez, 20, said the family had urged her father not to go to El Salvador, "but he told us not to worry."
The bodies of Alvidrez and Viney were flown to Miami last night. Alvidrez's body was to be shipped later to Lexington.
The other dead Marines were identified by the Pentagon yesterday as Sgt. Bobby J. Dickson, 27, of Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Cpl. Patrick R. Kwiatkowski, of Wausau, Wis., who would have been 21 today.