Marines near Iraqi-Syrian border mourn loss of three of their own
AL BU HARDAN, Iraq – Marines and sailors gathered at a small headquarters outpost near the Euphrates River to pay respects to three fallen brothers.
Two Marines and one sailor lost their lives while conducting security operations in a village near the Iraqi-Syrian border. Their vehicle struck a mine on one of the region’s dangerous roadways June 9, 2006.
The three U.S. servicemen from Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, were memorialized at the outpost, which Marines call ‘battle positions,’ where they worked alongside Iraqi Army soldiers.
Lance Cpl. Brent B. Zoucha, 19, a mortarman from Clarks, Neb., Lance Cpl. Salvador Guerrero, 21, a mortarman from Whittier, Calif., and Navy Hospitalman Zachary M. Alday, 22, a corpsman from Donaldsville, Ga., traveled in the same humvee together on numerous missions, weeding out insurgents in Iraq’s western Al Anbar Province.
The three men ate, lived and worked together on a daily basis.
“I didn’t know them as well as you did but I know their sacrifices were not in vain,” said Lt. Col. Nicholas F. Marano, the battalion’s commander.