- The Washington Times - Monday, September 27, 2004

Alexander Wetherbee, 27, Marine lieutenant

Alexander E. Wetherbee, a first lieutenant in the Marines, was killed in action Sept. 12 while serving in Iraq. He was 27.

Lt. Wetherbee was a platoon commander leading a unit from the 3rd Amphibious Assault Battalion, 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, near Fallujah.

Lt. Wetherbee was born in Fairfax into a Foreign Service family and lived abroad in Ethiopia, India, Norway and Pakistan. He graduated from McLean High School in 1995, where he was captain of the lacrosse team his senior year.

In 2001, he received a degree in forest resources from the University of Idaho, where he was active in the outdoor and forest-fire control programs.

During college, he attended Marine Corps recruit training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, where he was platoon honorman and was promoted meritoriously to lance corporal. Upon graduation, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Program — Marine Option.

Assigned to the 3rd Amphibious Assault Battalion at Camp Pendleton, Calif., Lt. Wetherbee served in combat during the drive from Kuwait to Baghdad from March through April last year. He was with his unit on a second deployment in Iraq when he was killed. His awards include the Combat Action Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon and the National Defense Service Medal.

Lt. Wetherbee was an avid outdoorsman, enjoying rock and ice climbing, kayaking, backpacking and other backwoods activities. When not on military training during summers at college, he worked as an instructor for Outward Bound.

He is survived by his wife, Heather Shade of Twentynine Palms, Calif.; his parents, Doris and Harry Wetherbee of McLean; a brother, Navy Lt. Donald G. Wetherbee of Virginia Beach; and grandparents, Donald and Virginia Wetherbee of McLean.

Memorial contributions may be sent to Outward Bound West, Attn: Nigel Gregory, 910 Jackson St., Golden, CO 80401.

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