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Fallen Marines from Utah to be memorialized
Funeral services for Lance Cpl. Michael J. Allred, a Utah Marine killed in Iraq, will be held Monday in his hometown of Hyde Park. Allred, 22, and Lance Cpl. Quinn A. Keith, 21, of Blanding, were killed last Monday when a suicide bomber crashed into their convoy near the Iraqi city of Fallujah. Five other Marines in their company also were killed.
Allred's family retrieved his casket Saturday at Salt Lake City International Airport. Keith's is expected to arrive in Utah on Tuesday and private funeral services are scheduled for Wednesday in Blanding.
"It was heart-wrenching to bring him home this way, but it's comforting to put him to rest with honors," said Allred's father, Brett Allred. "Whenever we want to pay our respects, he'll be close by."
Allred's funeral is scheduled for Monday at 11 a.m. at the Hyde Park LDS Stake Center, 535 E. 200 South. Burial will be at the Hyde Park City Cemetery, 400 E. Center St.
Blackhawk helicopters from the Utah National Guard will fly over as a tribute to the fallen Marine after graveside services. Brett Allred said his son had wanted a ride in one of the choppers and a friend arranged the flights.
Keith's funeral is scheduled for Wednesday in Blanding, his boyhood home, where he also will be buried. A private memorial service is to be held later next week in Page, Ariz., where Keith and his three brothers lived with his uncle and aunt, Clyde and Shannon Keith, after their parents divorced.
Both Marines were decorated combat veterans, said a spokesman at Camp Pendleton, Calif., their home base.
Allred, a rifleman and squad leader, was awarded the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon and the National Defense Service Medal. He joined the Marine Corps in October 2003.
Keith, a member of the Navajo Nation who joined the Corps in September 2001, was a rifleman whose awards include a Combat Action Ribbon, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon and the National Defense Service Medal.
Unbeknownst to his family, Keith earned a Purple Heart for a wound received in combat several weeks ago. He had remained at his post in Iraq.
Four of the seven Marines who died in the bombing, including Allred and Keith, were serving their second deployment to Iraq. The company was scheduled to return to the United States next month, the spokesman said.