Local News

Lejeune Marine's widow shocked by death

Posted February 22, 2010 7:30 a.m. EST

— The widow of a Camp Lejeune-based Marine says that she is still trying believe the news of his death Thursday in Afghanistan.

The military has announced the deaths of 13 service members since a massive NATO offensive against the Taliban began Feb. 13 in the southern province of Helmand. At least seven of the military personnel killed were part of Camp Lejeune's II Marine Expeditionary Force.

Sgt. Jeremy R. McQueary, 27, of Columbus, Indiana, was among those killed. He left behind his wife, Rae McQueary, and their 5-month-old son, Hadley.

"It's still kind of hard to believe that it's him. I have not seen a body," Rae McQueary told WRTV, a CBS News affiliate in Columbus, Indiana. "In my heart, I just want to believe that it's not real."

WRTV reports that Jeremy McQueary was last home for Hadley's birth.

Rae McQueary had gotten a tattoo of the number "18" to surprise her husband at his scheduled homecoming in two months. It stands for the day of the month they got married.

Now it also stands for the day he died: Feb. 18, 2010.

The military has named the other Lejeune Marines killed Feb. 13-18: Cpl. Jacob H. Turbett, 21, of Canton, Mich.; Pfc. Jason H. Estopinal, 21, of Dallas, Ga.; Pfc. Eric Currier, 21, of New Hampshire; Lance Cpl. Larry Johnson, 19,  of Pennsylvania; Pfc. Kyle Coutu, 20, of Rhode Island; and Lance Cpl. Kielin T. Dunn, 19, of Virginia.

As well, Lance Cpl. Noah M. Pier, 25, a Charlotte native assigned to a Hawaii-based Marine unit, died Thursday.