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First Name: Donald

Last Name: Cline

Birthplace: Sierra Madre, CA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Marines (present)

Middle Name: John

Date of Birth: 01 November 1981

Date of Death: 23 March 2003

Rank: Lance Corporal

Years Served:
Donald John Cline, Jr.

•  Iraq War (Operation Iraqi Freedom) (2003 - 2011)


Donald John Cline, Jr.
Lance Corporal, U. S. Marine Corps
Operation Iraqi Freedom

Donald John Cline, Jr. was born on 1 November 1981 in Sierra Madre, CA.

John was a big basketball fan and loved to play the game despite his short stature. He enlisted in the Marines in 2000 with his parents' permission because he was only 17. He graduated from high school and went to boot camp, finishing on 20 October 2000.

He and his wife Tina were married the next day. Tina said that he was undersized and had big ears. To a drill instructor, that is like saying 'sic 'em' to a bulldog. But he was determined to be a good Marine, and there was no quit in him. Donald had talked about becoming a police officer and living in Reno when he left the military.

Military Service

Marine Lance Cpl. Cline was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, Camp Lejeune, NC, and was serving in Iraq.

On 23 March 2003, a request went out for volunteers to help with the wounded of a mortar company that was pinned down under fire. Cline was one of the first to volunteer to help his brother Marines. He went across a bridge, which is now known as 'Ambush Alley' and helped rescue all of them. At 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighing 135 pounds, Cline was carrying men twice his size. Once he had rescued everyone and they were in a truck on the way back, he was hit with a rocket-propelled grenade and killed. First he was listed as missing for nearly three weeks, and then confirmed dead. He died during a brutal battle outside An Nasiriyah.

Death and Funeral

Lance Corporal Donald John Cline, Jr. was killed in action on 23 March 2003. At his funeral, Tina Cline needed to see her husband one last time before they sealed the casket. "I needed this closure," the widow said, so his casket was opened. There lay Marine Lance Cpl. Donald J. Cline Jr. with the Purple Heart medal pinned on his dress blues. He was cremated; the disposition of his ashes is unknown.

The last contact from John came when a small package, postmarked 14 March 2003, arrived from Kuwait. In it was a small toy truck carved out of wood for his son.


Honoree ID: 2119   Created by: MHOH




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