A Marine from Hillsdale County serving his second tour of duty in Iraq was killed yesterday near the city of Fallujah, local officials said.
Sgt. Michael P. Hodshire, 25, of North Adams was the victim, according to the Hillsdale County Sheriff's Office and a family spokesman.
The U.S. Department of Defense has yet to announce Sergeant Hodshire's death.
Family friend Ken Kurtz, of Hillsdale, Mich., said Sergeant Hodshire's relatives - including both parents, a brother, three sisters, and two children - were unable to comment so soon after the tragedy. "They're a tight-knit family, a large family; it's always been that way," Mr. Kurtz said.
He said the family believes Sergeant Hodshire was very supportive of the war in Iraq.
When leaving last July for his second tour there, Sergeant Hodshire told them, "We are there for all the right reasons," Mr. Kurtz said.
During that tour he served as 2nd Squad leader for 3rd Platoon, Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, of the 2nd Marine Regiment.
Sergeant Hodshire graduated from North Adams-Jerome High School in 1999, and immediately went into the Marine Corps, training in San Diego.
He left for Iraq on his first tour of duty in October, 2003, serving for nine months as 3rd Platoon leader of Easy Company.
Mr. Kurtz remembers Sergeant Hodshire as having an outgoing personality and being very involved in school sports - particularly football. He was also an avid hunter and fisherman.
Sergeant Hodshire served on the Marine Corps' silent drill team and as a color guard in Washington.
Arrangements are pending at the Kurtz Funeral Home in Hillsdale. A memorial fund is being established for Sergeant Hodshire's children.
Sergeant Hodshire is among at least 17 servicemen with ties to northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan who have died in Iraq.
Last week the number of dead in the war exceeded 2,000, according to a count by the Associated Press.