- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Capt. Brian S. Letendre, a Marine, died May 3 while in Iraq conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province. He was 27.

Capt. Letendre was born May 13, 1978, in Stanford, Calif., but spent his childhood in Woodbridge, Va. He attended Rippon elementary and middle schools and graduated in 1996 from Potomac High School, where he was an excellent student and captain of the varsity soccer team.

Capt. Letendre continued to play soccer on scholarship at Milligan College in Tennessee, where he met his future wife, Autumn. The two were married in the spring of 2001.

During the summer of 1999, Capt. Letendre attended the Platoon Leader Course at Quantico Marine Corps Base. After graduating from Milligan in May 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Marines.

Capt. Letendre attended the Basic School and Infantry Officer Course at Quantico in 2001, and was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, which performed tours of duty in Okinawa, Japan, and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

In 2003, Capt. Letendre deployed to Iraq as an infantry platoon commander during Operation Iraqi Freedom. The day before he crossed into Iraq, Mrs. Letendre gave birth to the couple’s only child, Dillon.

After returning to the United States, Capt. Letendre joined the Marine Forces Reserve’s Inspector and Instructor Staff in Plainville, Conn., and was promoted to captain Jan. 1, 2005.

Capt. Letendre then volunteered to join a newly formed elite unit to advise and instruct an Iraqi battalion in combat operations. As the infantry tactics instructor, he trained with this team in the United States for four months before returning to Iraq in April 2005.

During his career, Capt. Letendre received many awards and citations including the Purple Heart, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with a Combat V, the Army Achievement Medal, two Combat Action Ribbons, the Presidential Unit Citation, the Iraqi Campaign Medal and three Sea Service Deployment ribbons.

Capt. Letendre’s survivors include his wife and son of Indianapolis; his parents, Milt and June Letendre of Woodbridge; two brothers, Justin and Nicholas Letendre, both from Woodbridge; his paternal grandfather, Milton Letendre of Spencer, Mass., and maternal grandmother, Nellie Ryan of Ocala, Fla.

Memorial donations can be made to the Dillon Letendre Trust Fund, c/o the Law Office of Michelle Jackson, 155 E. Market St., Suite 400, Indianapolis, IN 46204; or to the Brian S. Letendre Soccer Scholarship, Milligan College, P.O. Box 750, Milligan, TN 37682.

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