Illinois Marine dies in combat in Afghanistan -

Illinois Marine dies in combat in Afghanistan

BYRON, Ill. (AP) -- A Marine from northern Illinois has been killed in combat in Afghanistan.

The Department of Defense says 19-year-old Lance Cpl. Alec E. Catherwood of Byron died Thursday.

The department says Catherwood was conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan, when he died.

He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

The Rockford Register Star reports that Catherwood was engaged to be married in July.

His fiancee's mother, Christine Patrick, tells the newspaper that Catherwood had wanted to be a Marine since he was 3 years old.

He graduated from Byron High School in 2009 and enlisted in the Marine Corps last June.

She says this was his first deployment.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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