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Old 11-26-2010, 08:13 PM
GyBill GyBill is offline
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1stLt William J. Donnelly IV USMC, 27, Picayune, MS (Afghanistan)

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

1st Lt. William J. Donnelly IV, 27, of Picayune, Miss., died Nov. 25 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

For additional background information on this Marine, news media representatives may contact the 1st Marine Division public affairs office at 760-725-8766.
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:54 AM
GyBill GyBill is offline
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PICAYUNE — On Tuesday, the father of First Lt. William J. Donnelly IV, speaking from his home in Pomfret, Md., said he knew his son would have “no regrets” even though the loss is extremely hard for the family to bear.

“Will was doing what he loved to do and what he always wanted to do. I am sure if we could talk to him right now, he would say he had ‘no regrets’,” said his father, William J. Donnelly III.

Donnelly said that the family lived in Picayune from 1997 through 2005, and that he and his family have “nothing but fond memories of Picayune.” He added, “Will loved Picayune.”

Donnelly worked for the Navy on contracts that were being performed at Avondale Shipyard. “But we bought a house in Picayune where we wanted to live,” he said.

He said that he home-schooled his children. Lt. Donnelly had two sisters, Melissa and Rebecca. Lt. Donnelly’s mother is Vicki.

“The Navy moved me up here after our tour at Picayune, and we hated to leave. We loved it there,” said Mr. Donnelly.

Lt. Donnelly was killed on Thanksgiving Day while his unit — 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division — was conducting dismounted combat operations in Helmand Province, Sanguin District, Afghanistan.

Lt. Donnelly’s unit has sustained more than 12 killed by roadside bombs and in heavy fighting with Taliban units since its deployment there in early October from the unit’s base camp, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

Donnelly said his son had always wanted to join the Marines, and after graduating from the Merchant Marine Academy, went on active duty. He had been a member of the Marine Corps Reserves while attending school.

The family on Saturday in ceremonies at Dover Air Force Base in Maryland spent time with their son as his body was returned to the U.S. Soldiers killed in combat operations overseas are processed into the U.S. at Dover.

Donnelly said that his son will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery and that the Marine Corps was in the process of preparing the arrangements for the funeral. There will be an announcement shortly, he said.

“We thank everyone in Picayune for their prayers and support,” said Donnelly. “Picayune was so much a part of our lives, a big part, and we have nothing but fond memories of Picayune. Will, loved it.”
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