- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 23, 2003

They were from every corner of the United States, these young men, and from every corner of the United States they are being mourned.
A helicopter pilot who dreamed of flying the president on Marine One, a dean's list student whose family joked that he was so wedded to the Marines and his surfboard that he didn't have time to find a wife, a father of two young children, a man whose great escape was fishing with his 10-year-old son.
They perished on the battlefield in the service of their country, fighters, who might have remained anonymous but for their deaths in the desert dust. They are among the first casualties of war.
In the tiny town of St. Anne, Ill., it seemed that all 1,300 residents flocked to a memorial Mass on Friday for Capt. Ryan Beaupre, remembered for his unruly red hair and easy smile, and for the generous way he surrendered his turn on the phone lines in Kuwait to others who had wives and children.
They needed the contact more, he reasoned, so he wrote home instead. That's the way the 30-year-old Capt. Beaupre was eulogized: the kind of guy who always did the right thing in the nicest possible way.
Maj. Jay Thomas Aubin of Waterville, Maine, Cpl. Brian Matthew Kennedy of Houston, Staff Sgt. Kendall Damon Waters-Bey of Baltimore. They died with Capt. Beaupre and eight British Marines as their CH-46E Sea Knight helicopter crashed, apparently an accident.
Their deaths were followed, hours later, by the news that two more Marines, members of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, had been lost in ground combat. They were 2nd Lt. Therrel S. Childers of Mississippi and Lance Cpl. Jose Gutierrez of Los Angeles.
Also yesterday, the U.S. military announced that Lt. Thomas Mullen Adams, 27, of La Mesa, Calif., was killed in a collision of two British helicopters over international waters.
In Maine, Nancy Chamberlain felt a sense of foreboding Thursday night watching television reports that a chopper had gone down. She thought of her 36-year-old son, Jay, who fell in love with flying as a small boy, who joined the Marines and went to college to become a pilot.
Capt. Aubin was bursting with pride when told he was in line to fly the presidential helicopter when he returned to his Yuma, Ariz., base.
Watching the relentless TV images, Mrs. Chamberlain said, "We just knew." She received the official word Friday morning when Marines showed up at her door.
"He gave his life in an effort to contribute to the freedom of the Iraqi people," Mark Kennedy of Houston wrote in a statement about his 25-year-old son, Brian. "We are so very proud of him and his service to his country."
But sitting at home, staring at a photograph of his son, reminiscing about Brian's love of football and lacrosse, patriotism and pride seems overwhelmed by a father's pain.
"We just miss him terribly already," the father said. "He was a wonderful man."
In Baltimore, another father, Michael Waters-Bey, mourned another son, smiling through tears at how much Kendall Waters-Bey, 29, loved barbecued ribs and fishing with his 10-year-old son, Kenneth.
"I'm feeling sad now because my father is gone and I won't see him again," the fifth-grader said.

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