U.S. Marine Staff Sergeant Eric A. McIntosh, 29, a native of Indianapolis, Indiana
McIntosh was among three Marines killed in Anbar province Sunday, April 2, 2006. According to a Department of Defense news release, all three were assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force. They were conducting "combat operations,'' according to the military.
A former Roncalli High School student who found purpose and passion as a U.S. Marine, he was killed a month after beginning his second tour in the war. He had been in the Marines for 10 years and planned to continue his military career. He finished his first tour in Iraq in September and returned March 6, 2006, three days before his 29th birthday.
His commitment to the Marines grew after he became one, his mother, Betty McIntosh, recalled. After graduating from high school in Pennsylvania -- he had attended Roncalli in Indianapolis through his junior year -- McIntosh wasn't sure what to do in life, his mother said.
He called the Army, which his brother Richard McIntosh had joined; and he talked to Navy recruiters by phone, she recalled. Next, he called the Marines, and when he told them he didn't have a car to get down to the recruiting station, they told him they'd come to collect him.
"That's why the Marines got him -- because they came to get him,'' she said.
Richard McIntosh, who lives in Nashville, Tenn., and attended Lawrence North High School from 1981 to 1983 before graduating in Florida, said his younger brother had grown into a model Marine. "He loved the Marines. He loved his job,'' said Richard McIntosh, who served in the Gulf War from 1990 to 1991. "He was a way better soldier than I was.''
Eric McIntosh's wife, Cynthia, lives in North Carolina. The couple married on Sept. 10, 2001 -- the day before the terrorist attacks that ultimately led to U.S. troops being deployed to Afghanistan.
He will be buried Tuesday, April 11, 2006 in Arlington National Cemetery.