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IN MEMORIAM

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LCpl. Jeremy Burris
(reprinted from SouthEastTexasLive.com, October 10, 2007)

Blast kills Marine from Liberty

The 10th area soldier to die in Iraq was described as man of great faith who always “lived what he talked.”

U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jeremy W. Burris, 22, of Liberty was killed in Iraq Monday, according to a Department of Defense news release.

Burris was driving a patrol vehicle, accompanied by two other Marines, when they hit an explosive device hidden in the road.

Burris was not injured as seriously in the initial blast, and he helped get the wounded Marines out of the damaged vehicle.

Burris returned to the disabled vehicle to retrieve some equipment and detonated a second hidden explosive, killing him instantly, according to his father, Brent Burris.

The incident occurred near the city of Al Qaim in the Al Anbar province of Iraq, near the Syrian border.

Brent Burris said the military has not told him when the body will return to Southeast Texas, and no funeral arrangements have been made.

His son was fulfilling a longtime desire to be a Marine, Brent Burris said.

Jeremy Burris – the oldest of seven children, four brothers and two sisters – had lived in Liberty since the age of 12.

He proclaimed on his MySpace page: “Born and raised in Texas and proud of it.”

Burris attended Cornerstone Church, a non-denominational church in Liberty.

Cornerstone Church pastor Mike Glazener said Burris was a leader who influenced others.

“He was a precious young man who touched many lives,” the pastor said.

Jeremy Burris enjoyed playing guitar and singing, he said on his MySpace page.

He led the praise and worship sessions for the youth group at Cornerstone Church, and was one of the guitar players during the main services, Glazener said.

Burris was homeschooled in Liberty. When he finished school, he went to Tacoma, Wash., to participate in a Christian discipleship program called “The Core.”

He stayed in Washington state for almost two years before enlisting in the Marine Corps about 1½ years ago.

Burris’ MySpace page blog has a Sept. 7 entry titled “The Desert.”

In it, he writes about remaining strong in his faith in an environment not necessarily conducive to Christian morals – a U.S. Marine Corps unit in a war zone.

“When you’re surrounded by aggressive, outgoing people it’s hard to be bold, but I’ve never been ashamed of my faith,” he stated in the blog.

“I don’t go around preaching, but my faith comes out in the way I act and talk every day and everyone knows where I stand. In fact, my nickname around here is ‘Jesus.’ I’m kinda proud of that!”