Marine from Paulding County Killed in Action in Afghanistan

12:17 AM, Feb 17, 2010   |    comments
Marine PFC Jason Estopinal, 21, of Dallas, Ga., was killed in action in Afghanistan, Monday, Feb. 15, 2010
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DALLAS, Ga. -- Marine PFC Jason Estopinal, 21, of Dallas, Georgia, was killed in action Monday while serving in Afghanistan.

PFC Estopinal was on patrol and died when an IED detonated.

He was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom combat operations in Helmand province.  He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

"He was doing what he wanted to do," said PFC Estopinal's father, Jason Estopinal, from the family's home near Dallas Tuesday.

Relatives and friends visited the family -- Jason, Clare and their younger son, Parker -- throughout the day and into the night.

An American flag flew above the front steps.

In the living room, the family displayed photos of PFC Estopinal, along with a scrapbook of his service in the Marines.

He graduated from East Paulding High School in 2007, then went to work for the Cobb County Parks and Recreation Department.  But, his father said, he talked often about a career in the Marines -- to serve his country and to further his education.

He enlisted in January, 2009, and was sent to Afghanistan in October, a month after his 21st birthday.

"He was one of the most honest people I ever knew," said his father, "almost to a fault.  I was very proud of him.  Still am.... Everybody was always proud of him.  He was a good kid.  He was a great man."

The Estopinals expect to receive their son home, at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, this weekend.

Funeral plans were not yet complete Tuesday night.




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