August 7, 2004
Marine gunnery sergeant
Shawn Lane's father-in-law wanted
in the man his daughter chose to marry: a doting husband and attentive
father, a good Marine and a drinking buddy.
Lane was all of those, and David
have been happier when Lane married his daughter, Jennifer, in 1998.
Lane was responsible, compassionate and fun.
"He had all the characteristics
you could ever want," Ropp said.
Gunnery Sgt. Shawn Lane was
killed July 28 in a
mortar attack on his unit in Iraq. He was a radio chief assigned to
Headquarters Battalion, 1st Marine Division from Camp Pendleton.
Although the family is reeling
from the loss, Lane's spirit will live on in the couple's 4-year-old
son, Johnathan, Ropp said.
"He's the spitting image of his
dad," Ropp said. "He's just full of life, full of energy."
The father and son were like "two
peas in a pod," Jennifer Lane said.
Shawn Lane, 33, was born in
Corning, N.Y. As a
kid, he liked to wear his father's Air Force hat. When he was 8 years
old, he announced that he would join the Air Force.
When he started looking into
of the military in high school, the Marines returned his calls first,
and he enlisted. After graduating in 1989 from Corning's East High
School, where he played baseball and football, he went right to work.
"He wanted to make a career of
it, which he did," said his father, John Lane.
At a recent ceremony honoring
Lane at Camp
Pendleton, his fellow Marines were so choked up they could barely
present their eulogies, John Lane said.
Shawn Lane used his humor as a
way to lighten the mood in the most serious of assignments.
"He was really quirky and kept
everyone in stitches," Jennifer Lane said.
Lane served in the Persian Gulf
War in 1991.
After that, he was stationed in Okinawa, Japan, for two years before
being assigned to Marine security guard duty in Hong Kong, where he
guarded the U.S. Consulate. He met Jennifer in Hong Kong, where she was
living with her parents for a year.
Next, he was assigned to Bogota,
Colombia, where he guarded the American Embassy.
He and Jennifer didn't see much
of each other
during that time; she moved to Beijing after the year in Hong Kong. But
when he was stationed at Camp Pendleton in 1996, the couple
reconnected. Two years later, they married.
Jennifer said she can't believe
the kiss they shared as he left for his second tour of duty in Iraq was
"It seems like he's still there,"
she said, "like he's still coming home."
– Kristen Green