Marine Corps Emblem In Memoriam
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Pfc. Eric Barr, U.S.M.C (KIA)

(reprinted from the Pittsburg Tribune Review,  April 6, 2004)

Slain Hazelwood Marine latest to fall


The Hazelwood Marine who died in battle Sunday was a decorated rifleman who was deployed to a region of Iraq roiling with violence.

Lance Cpl. Aric J. Barr, 22, died from injuries he suffered while fighting in Al Anbar province, west of Baghdad, according to the Marines.

Barr was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, based at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, Calif. The group initially was deployed to Kuwait in mid-2002 during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The Marines would not specify where Barr's unit was in Al Anbar. The province includes the city of Fallujah, which Marines sealed off Monday after weeks of violence.

Fallujah has been one of the most turbulent places in Iraq; four U.S. civilian contractors were killed there and their bodies mutilated last week.

One of the civilians was Michael Teague, 38, a 1984 graduate of Punxsutawney Area High School, Jefferson County, who was living with his family in Clarksville, Tenn. Teague, who is survived by his wife and son, was a 12-year Army veteran who had served in Afghanistan, where he won the Bronze Star, as well as Panama and Grenada.

As of yesterday, at least 607 U.S. soldiers have died during the war in Iraq, according to the Defense Department.

Barr worked at the Giant Eagle supermarket in Greenfield before joining the Marines. A manager there said employees would not comment out of respect for the Barr family.

Barr's family declined to comment.

Barr graduated in 1999 from the South Vocational-Technical High School on Carson Street in the South Side, according to the Pittsburgh Public Schools. He was not married and did not have children, the Marines said.

Barr was awarded the Good Conduct Medal and the National Defense Service Medal. He was promoted to lance corporal in December 2001.

Authorities say the Fallujah uprising was instigated by radical Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. His followers rioted in Baghdad and four other cities during the weekend, killing at least 52 Iraqis, eight U.S. troops and a Salvadoran soldier.

Many of the U.S. troops were killed retaking police stations in Baghdad that were captured by the al-Sadr's militia, a military officer said.

An Iraqi judge has issued an arrest warrant for al-Sadr for the murder of another Shiite leader.