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2010 Deployment to Afghanistan
1st Battalion 2d Marine Regiment
Camp Lejeune, N.C.
KIA: May 6 2010 in Helman province, Afghanistan
LCpl Richard Rees Penny 21, of Fayetteville, Arkansas was killed in action on May 6, 2010, in Afghanistan. He was born August 6, 1988 in Fayetteville, Arkansas, the son of Merv and Sharon Easterly Messender. LCpl Penny’s personal decorations include: The Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Bronze Star device, Combat Action Ribbon and Posthumously awarded the Purple Heart Medal
Richard Penny’s family says he’s a hero who fell in the line of duty..but he’s also someone who you could always count on. Jon McCard spent most of his childhood with his kid brother tagging along. “He was always looking for adventure. He’d follow me around. We’d do everything together,” McCard said.
McCard watched as Richard Penny grew up into the man who was a school football star and thrived under the stress of danger. “He was always pushing himself to the limits. He had a motorcycle, and he wrecked that. He would off road bike, and wrecked that. Had a four-wheeler and wrecked that. Anything that was dangerous and fun at the same time,” he said. It was Richard’s all-American quality and the threat of danger that drove McCard’s kid brother to the desert. It was a place he’d have to go solo. “He really did love his country. More than most people I think. That was a big thing to him. He wanted to serve and keep the bad out of here and keep them over there,” McCard said. And when the call came to let McCard know his brother died after being hit by improvised explosive device, it was a blow to know so much had been lost. “He was my brother. He was my best friend. He was an uncle. And we’ll miss him,” McCard said.
But he doesn’t see Richard’s death as the end. “I’ll see him again,” he said. “He’s probably up there fishing with my grandpa or something.” It’s just another adventure his younger brother will have to take alone, at least until McCard can catch up. ~ Fallen Heroes