Cpl. Michael Ledsome
(reprinted from, November 26, 2006)

Cpl. Michael C. Ledsome joined the U.S. Marines a couple of years ago with his younger brother, Brad, and knew his job in Iraq was important, his stepfather Kevin Eoff said Monday.

Ledsome, 24, of Austin, died Saturday in combat in the Anbar province of Iraq, according to the Department of Defense. He was stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C., and assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force.

“He was very much a hero,” his mother, Tammy Eoff, said from Early, near Brownwood. “Everybody he met, they all love him so much.”

He was one of two Marines who died that day in the province, a hotbed of the country’s Sunni Arab insurgency, according to the Defense Department. The other was Lance Cpl. Jeromy D. West, 20, of Aguanga, Calif.

Ledsome grew up in Brownwood, about 100 miles northwest of Austin, where he was an athletic teenager who loved to golf, Kevin Eoff said.

Ledsome graduated from Brownwood High School in 2000 and later moved to Austin, where he ran a pro shop at a golf course and lived with his wife, Megan, and their 2-year-old son, Caleub.
Eoff said Ledsome was a great father who always wanted to be near his son, even though he spent much of his time away in the military.

About two years ago, Ledsome came home for Christmas and told his family that he was joining the military, Eoff said. He said his younger stepson had already told them he’d enlisted.

The brothers went to boot camp and graduated together, Eoff said. Brad Ledsome, 21, is a corporal stationed in Okinawa, Japan, his stepfather said.

Eoff said Michael Ledsome had never mentioned that he was thinking of joining the military, so it was a bit of surprise when he told them of his decision.

Once Ledsome was in Iraq, Eoff said, it was clear he believed in what he was doing.