Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Cpl. David R. Hall killed in Afghanistan

LORAIN — Lance Cpl. David R. Hall, a Southview High School graduate and former Ohio Assembly Plant worker, died Tuesday while serving as a Marine in Afghanistan.

Hall, 31, died of injuries sustained during a blast from an improvised explosive device while in Helmand province, in the southern part of the country, said his father, Delmar Hall. He was the eighth Lorain County man to die while serving overseas since 2004 and the first to be killed in Afghanistan.

He joined the Marines in 2006 after spending the previous six years at the Ford plant in Avon. He spent about seven months training military police officers in Iraq before being deployed again to Afghanistan in June. He was due back home Dec. 17.

“He told my wife, ‘You better have Christmas dinner for me,’ ” Delmar Hall said Tuesday at his home in Lorain before heading off to the airport with his wife and two of his three daughters. The family was heading to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to be there when David Hall’s body returned home.

“One of the things he said before he left (for Afghanistan) was he hoped he made it back alive,” said sister, Lora Hall, 36. His other sisters are teachers in the Lorain school district. Terasa Holmes, 38, teaches math at Southview and Wendy Dull, 34 teaches drama at Whittier Middle.

He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force in Camp Lejeune, N.C.

His father said he joined the Marines because he felt it would give him purpose. It was a decision he never regretted.

“He left a good-paying job at Ford, but he loved the Marines,” Delmar Hall said. “He wanted something to be proud of. He used to get picked on in high school because he was 6-foot-3 and 135 pounds. In two to three years in the Marines he was 228 pounds.”

When his military career was over, his son thought of going to school to become a nurse. Although he wasn’t seeing anyone serious, he wanted to settle down and start a family, said Delmar Hall said.

“He was a good kid,” he said.

After an autopsy is performed on his son, Delmar Hall said David Hall’s body will come back to Northeast Ohio and the family hopes to have a celebration for him after the funeral.

Hall’s death was the first for the U.S. in September and comes after the deadliest month of the eight-year Afghan war for American troops. At least 49 U.S. troops died in Afghanistan in August, according to a count by The Associated Press based on official announcements.

Taliban attacks spiked this summer and there is now a record level of American forces in the country — more than 62,000.

President Barack Obama committed 21,000 new American forces to Afghanistan this year, bringing the total U.S. commitment to 68,000 by the end of the year.

A record 100,000 U.S. and NATO troops are stationed in Afghanistan.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


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