Created: 11/15/2004 12:05:16 AM
Updated: 11/16/2004 4:15:49 PM
Mt. Pleasant - The father of a Marine who died in fighting in Iraq says his son was proud he had been assigned to reconnaissance duty during the U-S assault on Fallujah.
Twenty-year-old Lance Corporal Justin Ellsworth of Mount Pleasant died Saturday from enemy action in Al Anbar Province.
Ellsworth's father is Police Sergeant John Ellsworth in Wolverine Lake, which is in Oakland County near Wixom.
He says his son was a graduate of Mount Pleasant High School.
The younger Ellsworth played hockey and enjoyed riding horses and bulls and skiing in the Rocky Mountains.
Ellsworth was assigned to a combat service support battalion within the First Marine Expeditionary Force, based at Camp Pendleton, California.
As he flipped through a family photo album, Mark Dible of Plainfield Township paused. "This is one of my favorites, here" he said. The photo, taken up north about 15 years, shows a smiling young boy sitting in Dible's lap, up in a tree. That boy was Justin Ellsworth, Dible's nephew.
Saturday, Ellsworth was killed in Iraq; part of the marine force fighting to liberate Fallujah.
Ellsworth, 20, was a 2003 graduate of Mt. Pleasant High School.
He grew up there, but also spent time living with his parents in Colorado, and in Wixom, Michigan.
Much of his life, he grew up with step-parents in Mt. Pleasant.
In Wixom Monday, father John Ellsworth told reporters: "In my many conversations with him in the last few weeks he would tell me of all the good they were doing and get mad at what was being reported to the public. Justin would say 'Dad, we are making a difference to these people.'"
Dible said Ellsworth joined the marines straight out of high school. "He was over there cause he believed in the war."
The city of Fallujah where Ellsworth died is in Al-Anbar Province.
US troops captured Fallujah from Sunni insurgents in 6 days of fighting that ended early Monday.
The military says 38 U-S troops have been killed and 275 wounded in the operation to gain control of Fallujah.
Ellsworth is the 35th member of the military with known Michigan ties to die in Iraq
Last modified date and time: 01/17/2005 8:46