LCPL Richard “Rich” D. Warner, 22, was Killed in Action on December 13th, 2004 while conducting combat operations in Babil Province, Iraq. Rich was a 2001 graduate of Kettle Moraine High School and a November 2001 graduate of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot. He joined the Marine Corps Reserves and was assigned to 1st Platoon, Fox Company, 24th Marine Regiment out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Rich was placed on active duty in May, and arrived in Iraq in late September 2004.
Rich excelled in everything he did. His interests ran from comic books to piano. He loved to draw and design. He loved sports and was a natural athlete. He enjoyed soccer in pre-school through grade school, downhill, jet and water skiing, boating, swimming, Tae-Kwon-Do, snowmobiling, and wrestling in high school. Cars were an absolute passion for Rich; his first car was his mom’s Omni that he literally drove into the ground, actually a farmer’s field. He was seen in either his white Celica or purple Mustang during his high school years; then came the Camry and Honda S2000. When not involved in sports, cars, or exercise, Rich was wrapped up in Marine duties, working at Wilde Honda or getting together with his great group of friends to play poker and, of course, enjoy a few Crown and Cokes.
As much as he liked to portray a tough outer shell, he had the biggest heart of gold and would do anything for anybody. His phone calls or letters from Iraq would always mention how wonderful the children of Iraq are and that maybe we should include them in all diplomatic relations.
In fulfilling Rich’s wishes, his mother Mary, her husband Pat, sister Kim, her husband Mike, and their daughters Lillie, Nora, and Piper have pledged to continue to share mutual support with fellow Marines and their families. Strengthened by pride in their Fallen Hero, Rich’s family has found a number of ways to continue Rich’s legacy, by giving back to others. With the memorials they received in his honor, they've funded scholarships through the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation which benefit family members of Marines killed or injured in action. They have also funded scholarships for students at Kettle Moraine High School and St. Paul's Catholic School. And most recent, they have become ardent supporters of Fisher House, an organization which offers housing, food, and financial assistance for travel, for families of Veterans getting health care at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
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