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Respect, tears at memorial for 17 Marines killed in Afghanistan

MemorialThey were young -- all in their 20s -- but different from many in their generation.

"These men were throwbacks to a time when selfless service, love of one's country and team over self meant something," Lt. Col. Thomas Savage, the battalion commander, said Friday at a memorial service at Camp Pendleton for 17 Marines killed in Afghanistan.

All were from the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment.

INTERACTIVE: California's War Dead database

Capt. Michael Donaldson, a company commander, said the pain of their loss is mixed with the gratitude  that comes from knowing that many of them died while trying to protect fellow Marines from the dangers of a Taliban stronghold called Sangin.

"Nothing will ever make that pain go away," Donaldson said. "[But] many of us are standing in formation because of the heroic action of these men."

Along with the 17 Marines killed during the deployment, 191 were wounded, some of whom attended the memorial service.

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--Tony Perry at Camp Pendleton

Photo: Lance Cpl. Cody Elliott, 21, of Pismo Beach, who lost his left leg during a deployment to Afghanistan, comforts a fellow Marine at Friday's memorial service. Credit: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

 
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