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Marine killed in skydiving accident was decorated combat veteran

February 28, 2013 | 12:26 pm

The Marine killed during a parachute training accident in Perris was a highly decorated combat veteran from Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. Marine Corps announced Thursday.

Sgt. Caleb Medley, 26, of La Junta, Colo., died this week when he plummeted to the ground in Perris in southern Riverside County. Medley was an assistant radio operator with the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division.

He had received two combat Action Ribbons for having been under fire and returned fire.

The Riverside County coroner's office had said previously that he was from Burlington, Colo.

Medley crash-landed in the 2000 block of Goetz Road on Tuesday afternoon, the Riverside County Fire Department said. The skydiver was among a group of Marines who were conducting training, according to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.

He sustained traumatic injuries, according to the coroner’s office. Sgt. Lisa McConnell said Tuesday that the Marines from Camp Pendleton were at the popular skydiving spot for a military training exercise.

The incident was reported about 3 p.m. as a "skydiver down," the department said in a statement.

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-- Tony Perry in San Diego

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