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My name is Michael Kilpela and this is my son Andrew. Andy joined the Marines in November 2002. He had always talked about being a Marine since High School. Andy was very proud to wear the uniform of the United States Marines. Andy graduated from Parris Island, SC on February 14, 2003 and did his MCT and MOS at Camp LeJeune, NC. He spent a year in Okinawa with the 2nd Combat Engineering Battalion at Camp Hanson, Okinawa. In June 2004 he was reassigned to the 2nd CEB 2nd MAR DIV Camp LeJeune, NC. It was with the 2nd CEB attached to the 1/6 that Andy deployed to Iraq in March 2005. We received word on June 10, 2005 that Andy had been hit by an IED in Saqlawiyah, Iraq in the Al Anbar Province. This was the Friday before his sister’s wedding on June 18. Andy’s departure left a big hole in our hearts and our lives were forever changed. We are so proud of Andrew and so proud that he served his country well.