Lance Cpl. Gregory E. MacDonald, a 1995 graduate of Belmont University, was killed in Iraq. The Lowell Sun newspaper in Lowell, Mass., has complete – and moving – coverage.
MacDonald earned a degree in philosophy and social policy in 1995 from Belmont and a graduate degree from American University in Washington, D.C., in 2001.
From the Lowell Sun:
BURLINGTON – “That I have died means that I have failed to achieve the one thing in life I truly longed to give the world, PEACE,” reads the last statement of Lance Cpl. Gregory E. MacDonald.
More than 200 friends and family mourned MacDonald at a military burial yesterday in Pine Haven Cemetery in Burlington, after services at St. Margaret’s Church.
A 21-gun salute was fired in honor of the U.S. Marine whose life’s work was to help achieve peace in the Middle East. MacDonald died June 25 in Hilla, Iraq, when his light armored vehicle turned over on his way to rescue ambushed American soldiers. He was 29.
The Washington Post reports MacDonald, who lived in the Washington D.C. area, joined the Marines after earning his master’s degree at American University because he saw military service as a way to gain credibility and experience in his intended career in Middle Eastern affairs:
“He wanted to do foreign policy work,” [friend Jeni] Spevak said, “and he wanted to do it for the Middle East, and he wanted to create peace in the Middle East.”
The Post says MacDonald was “a cerebral man with red hair and blue eyes who loved books and classical guitar and studied philosophy as an undergraduate (and) did not fit the classic profile of an enlisted Marine.”