For the members of the Green family of Maryland, it was about serving the public. The father protected the people of Baltimore as a police detective. The son helped safeguard the nation as a Marine. The daughter joined the Army.
On Sunday, Spec. Toccara R. Green, 23, whose family lives in Rosedale, northeast of Baltimore, was in Al Asad, Iraq, serving with a transportation company and on a mission to replenish the fuel on which the Army runs. She is believed to be the first woman from Maryland killed in combat in Iraq.
She was killed, the Pentagon announced yesterday, in the detonation of "improvised explosive devices," the term often used for roadside bombs. Rocket-propelled grenades also might have been fired, said her brother, Marine Staff Sgt. Garry M. Green Jr.
Toccara Green was in the 10th Mountain Division, based at Fort Drum, N.Y., and was on her second tour in Iraq. She had told her brother that "it was rough over there."
But, Garry Green said, Toccara had been in the ROTC at Forest Park High School in northwest Baltimore and had long wanted to serve in the Army. She "loved to get out there and help people," he said.
Toccara Green was first sent to Iraq in 2003. When she was redeployed several months ago, her brother said, "she looked forward to going over again."
She was one, he said, who took "a negative and made it a positive." Her company commander told him that she was an unofficial morale officer for her unit.
After high school, she attended Norfolk State College for a time, then worked for a medical insurance firm in Howard County, her brother said. She liked to roller skate, hang out with friends and spend time with her dad.
But the Army was what she wanted. Her father, Garry M. Green Sr., a longtime police detective, "had always tried to instill in us to do good for other people," his son said.
Although the father had reservations about his daughter signing up, he finally came around, his son said, and when she joined, their father "was proud."