Kip Anders Poremba – Lance Corporal, United States Marine Corps

October 20, 1969-Mar 16, 1991.

Kip Anders Poremba was buried March 28, 1991, at Arlington National Cemetery in a grave (Section 1, Grave 440-1) that had been reserved for his father, retired United States Navy Lieutenant Commander Stanley Poremba.

His father wore a dark suit and tie and held his wife's hand as 6 white-gloved Marines placed his son's casket at gravesite in one of oldest sections of cemetery. It was not supposed to happen this way, friends said. Was supposed to return home to trade computer games with Marine Corps Captain Ken Seward, and tune his shiny blue electric guitar for his first jam session with old friends from West Springfield High School.

But Poremba was killed March 16, long after the formal end of hostilities in the Gulf War, while delivering supplies to combat units in Northern Saudi Arabia. He was a passenger in a Humvee, the modern version of a Jeep, when it was struck by the driver of hit-and-run vehicle.

Marine Corps officials said yesterday that they are still investigating accident.

About 250 friends and relatives gathered at St. Bernadette's Church in Springfield Wednesday evening to honor him. His sister, Cheri, said she talked to her brother several times after he arrived in Saudi Arabia. Some of the calls were frightening because Iraq was still launching Scud missiles at Saudi Arabia. But
then President Bush ordered a halt to hostile action. Stanley and Susan Poremba, who had worried for months about their son, began planning a beach trip with Kip. But a knock on their door at 9:15 pm on St. Patrick's Day ended any hopes of Kip's safe return. Two Marines were there to tell Stanley Poremba that his son had died in an accident, a casualty of a war that had “ended” more than 2 weeks earlier.

“I am the resurrection and the life. Father, bring us home.”

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