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Slain British marine leaves friends $163,000 to party in Vegas

August 31, 2011 |  8:56 am

British Royal Marine David Hart. A British marine killed in Afghanistan left an unusual bequest in his will: money for his friends to go to Las Vegas for a party.

David Hart, 23, of York was killed last year in the Sangin district of Helmand province while on a foot patrol.

He was part of the 40 Commando Royal Marines unit, assigned to fight beside U.S. Marines from Camp Pendleton to oust Taliban fighters from their longtime stronghold.

Like many soldiers assigned to a war zone, Hart had taken out a life insurance policy.

After his death, his family found Hart had designated 50,000 British pounds for a charity that helps wounded service personnel -- and 100,000 pounds (about $163,000) for his military and civilian buddies and their girlfriends to go to Las Vegas.

Last month, 32 of them flew to the gambling capital.

"Out of 10, I would give the holiday 11," Hart's best friend, Andy Hare, told the Daily Mail. "It was incredible from start to finish. Some of the lads who hadn't been to Vegas before couldn't believe what it was like."

The group wasted no time having fun, in accordance with Hart's wish.

"We arrived in Vegas early evening and we hit the casino straightaway," Hare told the newspaper. "I know David would have loved it because he loved his holidays away with the boys."


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-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: British Royal Marine David Hart. Credit: British Ministry of Defence