CPL Jeffrey D. Lawrence

Cpl Jeffrey D. Lawrence 1


Hometown / City: TUCSON, AZ PIMA
Date of Death: Tuesday, July 6, 2004
Conflict: Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq)
Branch: U.S. Marine Corps
Rank: Cpl.

Birth: May 5, 1982
Death: Jul. 6, 2004
Al Anbar, Iraq

Marine Cpl. Jeffrey Lawrence called his mother from Iraq Monday and asked her to send footballs and soccer balls, so he could pass them out to the Iraqi children. "He wanted to let them know that they were friendly," his cousin, Heather Kuntz of Tucson, Ariz., said Thursday in a phone interview. Lawrence was killed Tuesday fighting in Iraq's Anbar province. He was an infantryman assigned to 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune, said Sgt. Stephen D'Alessio, spokesman for 2nd Marine Division. He was one of four Lejeune Marines killed by anti-tank fire, according to the Associated Press. The 22-year-old Marine left behind his 22-year-old wife, Celeste, who is preparing to give birth any day to their first child. The couple planned to name their daughter Cadence Freedom. "She was due on the Fourth of July, so that's where the name came from," Kuntz said. Celeste Lawrence was notified of her husband's death on Tuesday afternoon, Kuntz said. "I think she is trying to stay calm for the baby," Kuntz said. Jeffrey Lawrence left for Iraq in March, and he wasn't expected home until September. Celeste knew she would give birth without her husband, but she didn't expect her child to grow up without a father, Kuntz said. "She didn't think she would be raising her alone," she said. "When Jeffrey left, he made sure he had the nursery all done." Jeffrey's mother, Deborah Lawrence, joined her daughter-in-law in Jacksonville late Wednesday. "She is trying to help Celeste through this and wants to see her grandchild born," Kuntz said. "I think she is trying to be strong for everybody." Kuntz said her cousin always wanted to be a Marine, and he enlisted after he graduated from Palo Verde High Magnet School in 2000. He played quarterback on the varsity team and acted in several school plays. He was a member of the ROTC. This was Jeffrey's second deployment to the Persian Gulf area. Kuntz said Jeffrey's time in Iraq was about more than just fighting in a war. "He was trying to make friends with the Iraqi children," she said. "He was trying to bond with the people." During his time in the Marine Corps, Jeffrey earned two good conduct medals, a Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary medal, two Sea Service Deployment ribbons, two Marine Corps Expeditionary medals, a National Defense Service medal, an Armed Forces Expeditionary medal, two Meritorious Unit commendations, a Navy Unit commendation and a Meritorious Mast, D'Alessio said. Donations can be made to Celeste Lawrence at P.O. Box 32880, Tucson, Ariz., 85751. Kuntz is establishing a fund. For more information contact her at Heather.Kuntz@lennar.com.

Holy Hope Cemetery & Mausoleum
Pima County
Arizona, USA

Cpl Jeffrey D. Lawrence 2