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Old 04-01-2007, 01:12 PM
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LCpl Alan Dinh Lam, 19, Snow Camp, NC (Iraq)

Arlington National Cemetery

Alan Dinh Lam
Lance Corporal, United States Marine Corps

29 April 2003:
Body of Lejeune Marine returns to home in North Carolina

The body of Camp Lejeune Marine Lance Corporal Alan D. Lam of Snow Camp was returned to Alamance County on Monday night.

Lam, 19, was killed in an accident in Iraq on April 22.

A memorial service will be held for him this evening at McClure Funeral Home in Graham during the second of two visitation periods.

The serviceman’s body, which will be on view during the visitation periods, was transferred Monday by plane to Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro from Dover, Delaware.

A group of eight Marines in dress blue uniforms saluted Lam’s flag-draped coffin as it was lowered from the underside of a U.S. Airways jet Monday night.

His body was taken to McClure Funeral Home from the airport.

Lam, a 2001 graduate of Southern Alamance High School, was the son of Adam and Brenda Lam of 8139 Bird Dog Drive, Snow Camp, and was the only boy among five children.

Marine officials reported last week that Lam and two other Marines were killed when a rocket-propelled grenade launcher malfunctioned and an explosion occurred during a training session. Seven Marines were injured.

The first visitation period will be from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. and the second will be from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. The minister will be a Marine chaplain from Camp Lejeune.

Lam, who graduated from basic training at the Marine Corps center at Parris Island, S.C., in early 2002, was based at Camp Lejeune before being transferred for duty in Iraq.

The memorial service in Graham will be followed Thursday by a “rights and honors” service for Lam at Arlington National Military Cemetery near Washington at 3 p.m.
The body of a Camp Lejeune Marine killed when an enemy grenade launcher misfired in Iraq has been brought home and will have a service at Arlington National Cemetery.
The remains of Lance Corporal Alan D. Lam, 19, of Snow Camp arrived Monday night at Piedmont Triad International Airport. His family planned a visitation Tuesday at a Graham funeral home and a service Thursday morning at Arlington.

Two other Marines were killed when the accident occurred last week near the southern Iraqi city of Kut, officials said.

The Marines were firing the rocket propelled grenade - one of the more common weapons used by paramilitary, Fedayeen and other groups that have threatened U.S. and British forces - to familiarize themselves with it.

The launcher malfunctioned, Central Command said. The accident is under investigation.

Lam was a member of the 8th Communications unit based at Camp Lejeune, said Capt. George Palima from the Greensboro-based Marine Corps Reserve unit.

Lam graduated from Southern Alamance High School in 2001, and graduated from basic training at Parris Island, S.C., in early 2002.

Southern Alamance Principal Kent Byrd remembered Lam as a talented artist who worked on the school newspaper staff.
There's a gray two-door Honda CRX sitting in Lance Corporal Alan D. Lam's driveway, something his dad bought from a neighbor. It was a surprise awaiting Lam's return from Iraq.
On Wednesday, the sporty coupe was joined by a half-dozen other cars -- visitors paying respects to Lam's family. The 19-year-old Marine was killed Tuesday in Iraq, when a rocket-propelled grenade malfunctioned during training.

He's the Triad's first fatality and one of 131 Americans killed in the war. Lam is one of 25 coalition soldiers killed in land accidents.

Lam was based at Camp Lejeune and was a member of the 8th Com communications unit, said Capt. George Palaima from the Greensboro-based Marine Corp Reserve unit.

Two other Marines were killed and seven more were wounded during the accident, which happened on a training range near the southern Iraqi city of Kut. The unit with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force was using rocket-propelled grenades -- Palaima described them as rockets on sticks -- when the launcher malfunctioned.

The Marines are investigating the accident.

Palaima notified Lam's parents, Adam and Brenda Lam, at 10 p.m. Tuesday. Alan Lam was one of five children, the youngest and the couple's only son. Family and friends gathered Wednesday afternoon at the Lams' home just outside of Snow Camp.

The Lams declined to be interviewed. Neighbors, however, spoke of their unwavering support for Alan Lam and his military service. When he shipped out, the Lams placed yellow and red-white-and-blue ribbons on mailboxes along Bird Dog Lane.

Teachers and students at Southern Alamance High School were stunned and saddened by news of his death. Principal Kent Byrd remembered him as a talented artist who worked on the school newspaper staff.

"We are just so deeply saddened at the loss and just grieve for the family," Byrd said. "If you wanted to choose the kind of kid you'd like to have on your high school campus, Alan would be an example of that."

Since graduating in 2001 and joining the Marines, Lam had returned to the school to visit one of his favorite teachers, Geraldine Fox, who he took college preparatory English from his senior year.

"He was in his uniform, just grinning from ear to ear," she said.

Lam loved Shakespeare's "Macbeth," Fox said. He also loved the Marines, even before he enlisted. For a senior research paper and presentation on potential careers, Lam explored the military. He and other students did their presentation outside, demonstrating push-ups and other calisthenics.

"He liked physical activity," Fox said. "I think he was also very proud of his country. He was very proud to be part of the military."

Neighbors remember Lam as a rarity -- a cheerful, helpful teenager. Darlene Rios, a neighbor, said he often volunteered to cut her grass with his riding lawn mower or help her plant flowers.

He didn't forget about her during his time in Iraq, either. Lam called home frequently, and always sent greetings to her through his folks.

"You don't see that in young kids," Rios said. "It was like he was raised with a lot of respect."

It was Rios who sold her Honda coupe to Lam's father. The teenager always fancied her car, eyeing it as he helped her do yard work.

On Wednesday, Rios learned about Lam's death from a television news crew. She reminisced with reporters about her teenage friend, then summoned her strength to visit the family.

"Find out if there's anything I can do, Darlene," neighbor Selma Keyes told her.

"Selma, there's nothing we can do," Rios said. "We can't bring Alan back."
DATE OF BIRTH: 11/16/1983
DATE OF DEATH: 04/22/2003
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