Marine Lance Corporal Jermaine Coburn, 21, spent the last six months serving bravely in Fallujah as a Marine rifleman. A member of the 1st Battalion, Third Marines, Coburn saw his division lose 51 members in the past year that he has been away from home."He didn't want a party," said Angela Coburn, Jermaine's mother. "He felt like he did his job and that was it, but we wanted to celebrate a life, especially when they lost 51 and he could have been one."The Jamaican-born Coburn came to the United States in 1985 at the age of 2 with his family. According to Angela Coburn, her son, a 2001 graduate of Springfield Gardens High School and a member of the school's football team, always loved a challenge."He was the smallest one on the team, but he has always been a strong person," Angela Coburn said.Her son was assigned to do door-to-door checks in the insurgent-heavy city of Fallujah. "We were all concerned about him," said Clive Coburn, Jermaine's father, "but it's a war and somebody has to do it. That's why Jermaine went."Family friend Wayne Williams described Lance Corporal Coburn as a quiet, disciplined, easy-going young man."It's so good having him home safe," Williams said. "So many guys never had that chance but he believes in what he is doing."At the homecoming, Councilman Leroy Comrie (D- St. Albans) presented Coburn with a citation honoring his dedication and service to the United States."I'm proud of the young man," Comrie said. "He wants to simply serve his country." According to his father, the Marine will re-enlist when his three weeks of leave are up and might possibly make a career out of serving in the military. However, Coburn said he has not decided whether or not he will return to Iraq, since he also has the option of serving at a military base in Virginia."It just shows that we have a great country, and that even though he was born in another county, he still wanted to serve America and to defend and ensure that we have all that we do," Comrie said."He is a role model," his mother said. "He sets a good example for young men, shows them that there is another way."
©2005 Community News Group
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