U.S. Marine Corps Corporal Eric Lueken, 23, Dubois, Indiana.
Glenn Jake and Melinda Lueken learned Saturday, April 22, 2006 that their son, Cpl. Eric Lueken, had been killed that day during combat.
The Department of Defense said Lueken died in combat operations in Iraq's Anbar province. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force based at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.
The field radio operator was mortally wounded by an improvised device while in a convoy, said 2nd Lt. Binford Strickland of the Marine Corps base at Kaneohe Bay.
Lueken, a 2001 graduate of Northeast Dubois High School, joined the Marine Corps in October 2003, his family said. He served in Afghanistan from November 2004 to June 2005 and left March 11 for seven months in Iraq, his parents said.
After his time in Afghanistan, Lueken told his mother he was not taking life for granted anymore, she told The Herald of Jasper.
Pictures show the Marine with Afghan children, and Jake said his son hated to see the way they were forced to live.
Before he left for Iraq, Lueken told his brother, Brent, and Jake that he was ready.
"He took it serious," Jake said. "He knew the risks."
Lueken had planned to marry his girlfriend, Ericka Merkel, when he came back from Iraq, his parents said.