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Lawrence R. Philippon
Lance Corporal, United States Marine Corps
Connecticut State Flag
NEWS RELEASE from the United States Department of Defense
No. 449-05
IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 9, 2005
Media Contact: Marine Corps Public Affairs - (703) 614-4309 Public/Industry Contact: (703)428-0711

DoD Identifies Marine Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Lance Corporal Lawrence R. Philippon, 22, of Hartford, Connecticut, died May 8, 2005, from enemy small-arms fire while conducting combat operations in the vicinity of Al Qa'im, Iraq.  He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

Media with questions about this Marine can call the 2nd Marine Division Public Affairs Office at (910) 451-9033.


West Hartford, Connecticut: May 9, 2005

It was Mother's Day and their 24th wedding anniversary when Ray and Lisa Philippon learned that their son was killed in Iraq.

Details of Marine Lance Corporal Lawrence Philippon's death were not available today, but Lisa Philippon said she figured instantly that bad news was being delivered Sunday when officials approached her and her husband's house with the information.

   In addition to his parents, the 22-year-old Philippon leaves behind his fiancee, Olivia Lawrence.

   Philippon was a graduate of Conard High School where he played hockey. He is the 24th soldier from Connecticut who was killed in Iraq or Afghanistan since March 2002.

   His parents said they plan to bury Philippon in Arlington National Cemetery. A date for the funeral has not been set.


May 9, 2005:

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. -- It was Mother's Day and their 24th wedding anniversary when Ray and Lisa Philippon learned that their son was killed in Iraq. 

Details of Marine Lance Cpl. Lawrence Philippon's death were not available Monday, but Lisa Philippon said she figured instantly that bad news was being delivered Sunday when officials arrived at the family's West Hartford home.

LR Philippon Photo - 20 February 2006
Photo Courtesy of Ray and Leesa Philippon, March 2008

"I knew. I saw the silhouettes of their hats and they got out and they walked toward our house," she told WVIT-TV.

In addition to his parents, Philippon, 22, leaves behind his fiancee, Olivia Lawrence.

"I never thought in any dream that I would first of all be marrying someone in the military, let alone sending someone off to war that just didn't come back," she said.

Philippon, a former hockey player at Conard High School, is the 24th soldier from Connecticut who was killed in Iraq or Afghanistan since March 2002.

His father said that before they received the news, he and his wife were feeling sad for parents who lost loved ones in the war.

"All day long we were feeling guilty that our son was safe and we were feeling bad for all the other 1,600 moms that their kids were lost in Iraq and we didn't even know our son had joined that club."

His parents said they plan to bury Philippon in Arlington National Cemetery. A date for a funeral has not been set.


Wed May 11, 2005:

WEST HARTFORD, Connecticut - As a member of the Marine Corps Color Guard, Lance Cpl. Lawrence Philippon carried the flag at the funeral for President Reagan.

LR Philippon As Color Bearer For President Reagan's Funeral Services
Photo Courtesy of Ray and Leesa Philippon, March 2008

But his heart was in Iraq, where he was killed Sunday by small arms fire. His father said his son had asked to be assigned to the front lines.

"He'd been begging them for a while. Even though he enjoyed the color guard, he really wanted to be in Iraq. That is where it is all happening," Ray Philippon said.

Philippon and his wife, Leesa, learned Sunday that their son had been killed. It was Mother's Day and their 24th wedding anniversary.

The 22-year-old Marine was also engaged to be married in December to Olivia Lawrence.

"I never thought in any dream that I would first of all be marrying someone in the military, let alone sending someone off to war that just didn't come back," Lawrence said.

The Pentagon said early Tuesday that he was killed by small-arms fire Sunday during combat near Al Qa'im, Iraq. He was assigned to the Second Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

Governor M. Jodi Rell on Tuesday ordered state flags flown at half-staff until Philippon is buried.

"We are all indebted to him for his service, and reminded of the sacrifices made by a great many men and women serving in our armed forces," Rell said in a statement. "I know the people of Connecticut join with me in sending our sincerest condolences to his family."

Also Tuesday, the state House of Representatives held a moment of silence in his honor.

Philippon, a former hockey player at Conard High School, is the 25th military member or civilian from Connecticut who was killed in Iraq or Afghanistan since March 2002.

His parents said they plan to bury Philippon in Arlington National Cemetery. A date for a funeral has not been set.


In Hartford, Connecticut, his family mourned the death of 22-year-old Lance Corporal Lawrence R. Philippon.

LR Philippon PHOTO
Photo Courtesy of Ray and Leesa Philippon, March 2008

A rifleman with 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, he was killed by small arms fire on Sunday near Al Qa'im.

As a member of the Marine Corps Color Guard, Philippon carried the flag last summer during the funeral for former President Reagan.

His father said this week that his son had asked to be assigned to the front lines.

"He'd been begging them for a while. Even though he enjoyed the color guard, he really wanted to be in Iraq. That is where it is all happening," Ray Philippon said.

Philippon and his wife, Leesa, learned Sunday that their son had been killed. It was Mother's Day and their 24th wedding anniversary.

Lawrence Philippon was engaged to be married in December to Olivia Lawrence.

"I never thought in any dream that I would first of all be marrying someone in the military, let alone sending someone off to war that just didn't come back," Lawrence said.

Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell ordered state flags flown at half-staff until Philippon is buried.

"We are all indebted to him for his service, and reminded of the sacrifices made by a great many men and women serving in our armed forces," Rell said in a statement. "I know the people of Connecticut join with me in sending our sincerest condolences to his family."

On Tuesday, the state House of Representatives held a moment of silence in his honor.

Philippon, a former hockey player at Conard High School, is the 25th military member or civilian from Connecticut who was killed in Iraq or Afghanistan since March 2002.

His parents said they plan to bury Philippon in Arlington National Cemetery. A date for a funeral has not been set.

Philippon, whose unit was protecting the Iraq-Syrian border at the time of his death, had been awarded the Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terror Service Medal and National Defense Service Medal, Edwards said.


18 May 2005
Short life, big legacy
West Hartford Marine was committed to Iraq cause
PETER URBAN
Courtesy of the Connecticut Post

With more than 200 family, friends and fellow Marines in attendance, Lance Corporal Lawrence Philippon was buried Tuesday at Arlington National Cemetery. The West Hartford, Conn., native was remembered for his bravery fighting in Iraq.
"Words cannot express the depth of sorrow we feel," said Lieutenant Michael Foskett, who serves as U.S. naval chaplain for the 8th & I Marine Barracks in Washington, D.C. "His short life left quite a legacy."
 

LR Philpon Funeral PHOTO
   Fallen hero: U.S. Marine pallbearers on Tuesday raise the coffin of Lance Cpl. Lawrence Philippon of West Hartford at Arlington National Cemetery. Philippon was killed during combat in Iraq on May 8. 

Philippon, 22, was killed  May 8 by small-arms fire during combat near Al Qa'im, Iraq. He had been in Iraq since February, assigned to the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Before that, Philippon served with the 8th & I as a member of the Marine Corps Color Guard, and had the honor of carrying the flag at the state funeral of former President Reagan.

LR Philpon Funeral PHOTO
   Sergeant Barry L. Baker, left, a Marine who served with Lance Corporal Lawrence
Philippon, presents a flag to Lisa and Raymond Philippon, Lawrence Philippon's parents 
during the burial service

On Tuesday, five busloads of Marines from the 8th & I were at the cemetery to salute their "brother-in-arms." Dressed in formal blue-and-white  uniforms, Marines flanked the road leading to Section 60, where those killed in Iraq and Afghanistan are buried.

The Marines stood silently as 32 carloads of family and friends, many from Connecticut, drove up the road. Six Marine pallbearers silently carried Philippon's flag-draped casket up a small, grassy hill to his gravesite, where family and friends solemnly gathered.

His father, Raymond, mother, Lisa, and his fiance, Olivia Lawrence, sat on folding  chairs nearest the gravesite.

Foskett said Philippon was remembered by friends in the 8th & I as easygoing and devoted to his fiance. And while he performed his duties in the Color Guard to the fullest, Philippon had clearly wanted to join the fight in Iraq.

He was a brave Marine, who died protecting the nation from terrorism, Foskett said.

Foskett urged those gathered to live as Philippon had lived, building a legacy based on duty, family and God.

"A good name is better than fine perfume," he said, quoting from Ecclesiastes.

Following the eulogy, Philippon was honored by a 21-gun salute and a bugler played taps. The pallbearers folded the American flag that draped his casket and Gunnery Sergeant Barry L. Baker, Marine Barracks 8th & I, presented it to his mother and a second to his fiance.

Philippon was the 131st person killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Lance Corporal John T. Schmidt of Brookfield, Connecticut, who died last week after serving in Iraq, will be buried in Arlington next week. That ceremony is closed to the public.

LR Phillipon Gravesite PHOTO
 Photo Courtesy of Holly, August 2005
 

PHILIPPON, LAWRENCE ROBERT
LCPL   US MARINE CORPS
DATE OF BIRTH: 03/20/1983
DATE OF DEATH: 05/08/2005
BURIED AT: SECTION 60  SITE 8181
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY

Webmaster: Michael Robert Patterson


Posted: 9 May 2005  Updated: 10 May 2005  Updated: 11 May 2005 Updated: 12 May 2005  Updated: 18 May 2005 Updated: 21 August 2005 Updated: 17 October 2007
Updated: 8 March 2008
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LR Philppon Gravesite PHOTO October 2007
Photo By: M. R. Patterson, October 2007