'04 grad dies after being injured in Iraq
Marine 2nd Lt. Almar LaRon Fitzgerald, 23, has died from injuries sustained in a roadside blast in Iraq.
VIEWING is from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday March 2, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, March 3, at The Harvest Church, 4865 Sunset Blvd. in Lexington.
WAKE service is from 6-8 p.m. Friday, March 3 at The Harvest Church.
FUNERAL services are at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 4 at Lexington Baptist Church, 308 E. Main St., Lexington. Burial is at Florence National Cemetary.
MEMORIALS may be made to the Almar Fitzgerald Scholarship, Lexington County School District 1 Educational Foundation, P.O. Box 1869, Lexington, SC 29071
Fitzgerald died Feb. 21 at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany, from wounds received Feb. 18 as a result of an improvised explosive device that detonated while he was conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Twentynine Palms, Calif. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, his unit was attached to the 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward).
A 2000 graduate of Lexington High School in Lexington, S.C., Fitzgerald entered The Citadel as a freshman in August 2000. He served on cadre and was a member of Mike Company. A criminal justice major, Fitzgerald received a commission in the U.S. Marine Corps upon his graduation from The Citadel.
While a cadet he worked as a supervisor for The Citadel Foundation's Calling Center, which uses cadets to help recruit donors to the college.
"Almar was one of our most memorable supervisors," said Rachel Meuser, assistant director of annual giving. "He always dropped by to see us whenever he was in Charleston and we had been in contact with him while he was deployed. Almar is a very proud Marine officer and a fine example of a Citadel graduate."
According to news reports, Fitzgerald was among a group of Marines based out of California who were injured in a roadside attack last week. At least one other Marine was killed.
Fitzgerald had been in Iraq for about six months before the attack. He was scheduled to return home in March. He was recently featured in a Marine Corps documentary "Class 186 The Making of a Marine Officer."Maj. Ken Boes, 4th Battalion tactical officer, said Fitzgerald was very popular in Mike Company. This year's juniors were knobs during Fitzgerald's senior year and bonded with him.
"The cadets in Mike are really upset about this," Boes said. "Almar was always smiling. He was just a very happy-go-lucky guy who was liked by a lot of people."
Mike Company cadets announced Wednesday that a bulk order for Killed in Action bracelets in Fitizgerald's memory will be placed Thursday, Feb. 23. Anyone wishing to participate in the order should contact Jeff Day at firstname.lastname@example.org or (843) 953-1657. The bracelets will be available by Corps Day March 17-19. A second bulk order will be placed on March 3 to accommodate late requests.