Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Louis F Cardin

Temecula, California

March 19, 2016

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
27 Marine SSG

2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Camp Lejeune

North Carolina

 Killed in northern Iraq, when the enemy attacked his unit with rocket fire.

From Marine Corps Times marinecorpstimes.com 03/22/16

Marines identify staff NCO killed in ISIS rocket attack in Iraq
Matthew L. Schehl, Marine Corps Times 2:17 p.m. EDT March 22, 2016

The Marine Corps has identified the North Carolina-based artilleryman killed in Saturday’s indirect fire attack in northern Iraq.

Staff Sgt. Louis F. Cardin, a 27-year-old field artilleryman with Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines, was killed at about 9 a.m. Saturday when Islamic State group militants launched a rocket attack on a coalition base in Makhmur. Eight other Marines were injured in the attack on the newly established base, which is roughly 60 miles outside of Mosul.

Cardin was deployed with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, which sent a detachment of Marines to Makhmur to guard the base. The Marines were supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, the U.S. military's campaign against ISIS.

Cardin, of Temecula, California, joined the Marine Corps in June 2006 and was based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. He deployed to Iraq once before and to Afghanistan three times.

The day after the attack, the joint task force overseeing the fight against ISIS announced it was dispatching additional Marines from the 26th MEU to Iraq to join the roughly 3,700 U.S. troops already deployed there to fight ISIS.

Marine officials said in a statement Sunday that the service's priority is to provide care to the families and loved ones of those affected by the attack.

"The loss of a service member greatly affects us all. This tragedy saddens II Marine Expeditionary Force and the 26th MEU."

Cardin's death is the second combat death since the start of Operation Inherent Resolve. Peter Cook, a Pentagon spokesman, said Saturday that "coalition teammates who will continue the fight against ISIL with resolve and determination,” using another acronym for the terror group.

In October, Army Master Sgt. Joshua Wheeler was killed during a Delta Force raid on an ISIS prison compound, making him the first American military casualty in Iraq since November 2011.

The Makhmur base is home to the Ninevah Operations Center and serves as a launch pad for the Iraqi army’s anticipated offensive to retake Mosul from ISIS. In February, Iraqi officials announced they would deploy approximately 4,500 soldiers with its 15th division for the upcoming operation.

Makhmur was the site of an ISIS mustard gas attack last August by ISIS which sickened dozens of Kurdish troops. The attack was confirmed by U.S. military officials after shards of spent mortar shells tested positive for mustard gas.
From The Press Enterprise pe.com 03/27/16

HEMET: Hundreds line streets to support fallen Marine Louis Cardin
Hundreds lined freeway overpasses and city streets as the casket for fallen Marine Staff Sgt. Louis F. Cardin touched down in Southern California and was transported to a Hemet funeral home.

By ALEX GROVES / STAFF WRITER
Published: March 26, 2016 Updated: March 27, 2016 1:25 p.m.

All along Highway 74 East, a sense of patriotism was in the air Saturday as hundreds of people proudly waved American and Marine flags -- and passing cars and trucks honked their horns in a show of approval – in support of fallen Staff Sgt. Louis F. Cardin, whose casket was brought from the Riverside area to Hemet.
Cardin, 27, was killed March 19 by rocket fire in an attack on a base in Makhmour, Iraq, a town southeast of Mosul. The rocket came from a group believed to be connected with the Islamic State.
Cardin grew up in the Anza and Aguanga areas, then moved to Temecula with his family and graduated from Chaparral High School. Much of his family now lives in the San Jacinto Valley.
Cardin has been remembered by friends and family members for his wit, as well his dedication to the Marines. President Barack Obama, Gov. Jerry Brown and State Sen. Jeff Stone, R-Temecula, have all paid tribute to him.
Cardin's body arrived at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Monday March, 21. He was then flown into March Air Reserve Base around 1 p.m. Saturday before being transported south on Interstate 215 and east on Highway 74.
Hundreds of people, many of whom didn't know Cardin personally, paid tribute to the man on freeway overpasses and on city streets.
One of those people was Casey Battey, of Menifee, who held an American flag and stood outside an AM-PM convenience store near Highway 74 and Menifee Road with his wife, Megan, and their two young daughters.
"It's always a shame to lose a hero for this country and a brother in arms," said Battey.
He said he has gone to many such events for fallen Marines, some of whom served with him during his four years in the Marine Corps.
One of the biggest groups of people who sought to honor Cardin was camped out in a grassy area outside the Wienerschnitzel at 3513 W. Florida Ave.
"My kids' dad was a Marine and we support all of the military functions we can, especially when there's a death," said Sue Reynolds-Lewallen, one of about 75 people sitting in the area. "It's sad and tragic that they die for us, fighting for our freedom."
Kristina Hammock, 38, of Temecula, organized the group near the Wienerschnitzel. She said she heard of Cardin's death on the news and felt it was necessary to pay homage to a hero from her town.
"I just though to myself, 'We have to do something. This is our Marine,'" she said. "We have to hold up our duty to them just as they have for us. So I just went on Temecula Talk (Facebook group) and organized this event."
Hammock said she was expecting a large turnout.
"We definitely expected this," she said. "The Temecula community in and of itself is a very large military community, not just the people who live there but also the business owners. It's all very supportive of the military and the families."

The procession arrived in Hemet about 2:15 p.m. A white vehicle, presumably carrying the body of Staff Sgt. Cardin, was followed by hundreds of motorcycles, cars and SUVs. Many of the larger vehicles were decorated with American flags. Motorcycles revved their engines as they went past and people in the grass waved their flags.
The procession made its way down Highway 74 before eventually ending at a Hemet funeral home.
Onlooker Christina Avila, of San Jacinto, said the show of patriotism and support had a big effect on her.
"It was beautiful," she said. "It just had me so emotional, him coming home like this. My thoughts and prayers are with the family."
From The Press Enterprise pe.com 04/02/16

TEMECULA: Final farewell to fallen Marine (UPDATE 3)
Hundreds of area residents paid their last respects to U.S. Marines Staff Sgt. Louis F. Cardin at a closed casket ceremony on the steps of Temecula's Civic Center Friday morning.

By AARON CLAVERIE / STAFF WRITER
Published: April 1, 2016 Updated: April 2, 2016 6:21 a.m.

Clutching a tissue soaked with tears, Mary Hargrove of Hemet viewed the casket of U.S. Marine Staff Sgt. Louis F. Cardin on the steps of the Temecula Civic Center on Friday.
She said she was there at the public service to offer the same support that she received when her son, Lance Cpl. Justin Swanson, of Anaheim, was killed in Afghanistan in 2009.
“He (Cardin) went to boot camp with my son,” she said, tears still welling in her eyes.
Hundreds of area residents joined Hargrove in paying their last respects to Cardin during a closed casket ceremony. A 2006 Chaparral High School graduate, Cardin died in Iraq last month from injuries suffered during an Islamic State missile attack on a military base.
The ceremony featured speeches from area dignitaries, including Temecula Mayor Mike Naggar, and Manny Toledo, a family representative.
The family is holding a private funeral for Cardin, who was known for his infectious wit and his commitment to the Corps, on Saturday at Riverside National Cemetery.
That made Friday’s event the only opportunity for many in the area to say goodbye to the Riverside native, who moved to Temecula in the mid-2000s with his large family to attend local schools.
Some of the people who attended the ceremony stopped by on their way to work. Others made special trips from neighboring cities. And there was a strong contingent of Cardin’s friends from his days at Camp Pendleton.
Gabriel Cardin, a younger brother who followed Louis at Chaparral, said the family appreciated the ceremony staged by the city, the first of its kind for a fallen member of the military.
“It helps with the grieving process,” he said.
At 10 a.m., Marines performed a crossed cannons ceremony, which involves pounding nails into the cover of the casket with heavy mallets. Many in the audience stood at attention during the somber moment.
Taps was played at noon to conclude the memorial.
Riverside County Supervisor Chuck Washington, who spoke during the opening portion of the ceremony, said he noted how personal the tragedy was for his family and the city.
Washington’s daughter and son-in-law both attended Chaparral and although they didn’t go to school at the same time as Cardin, the Cardin family was well known at the school.
In his role as a staff sergeant, Cardin was leading a group of Marines during a March 19 battle at an Iraqi base. Washington said that from what he’s heard, Cardin was making sure everyone was sheltered in a bunker as the bombs fell.

He said it reminded him of the Marines he served with as a member of the Navy.
“People fighting to the end to preserve life,” Washington said.
From The Stars and Stripes stripes.com 03/20/16

Marine killed in rocket attack identified; Detachment sent to Iraq

By Chris Church Stars and Stripes Published: March 20, 2016

MANAMA, Bahrain — The Marine killed in a rocket attack in Iraq Saturday was assigned to the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, which has deployed a detachment to Iraq, defense officials said Sunday.

Staff Sgt. Louis F. Cardin, of Temecula, Calif., was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 26th MEU out of Camp Lejeune, N.C., the Pentagon said in a statement.

The U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State announced Sunday that a detachment from the 26th MEU had been deployed to Iraq for "the support of Iraqi security force and coalition ground operations."

The 26th MEU is currently deployed with the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group in the 5th Fleet area of operations to maintain regional security, including missions in support of the coalition campaign against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.

Cardin was providing force protection fire support at a recently established coalition fire base near Makhmour, southeast of Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, when he was killed in a rocket attack, the Pentagon said. The incident is under investigation.

Makhmour, which is controlled by Kurdish forces, is near the frontline with the Islamic State group, which took control of Mosul in 2014. The Washington Post reported the attack was on a small U.S. base on the outskirts of the town within a Kurdish peshmerga facility which is next to an Iraqi army base.

CNN reported the base had only recently become operational and quoted a defense official as saying a "couple hundred" Marines were living in tents there. The official told CNN the Marines had begun moving into the area two weeks ago from the Kearsarge and their movements and firing of practice rounds may have been observed by Islamic State militants.

Iraqi forces have been building up in Makhmour, which is expected to be a staging area for an offensive to retake Mosul.

Several Marines were wounded in Saturday’s attack and being treated. CBS News, citing a military official, reported one of the wounded was in critical condition.

Cardin, 27, joined the Marines in June 2006 and was trained in field artillery, ABC affiliate WWAY in Wilmington, N.C., reported. His awards included the Presidential Unit Citation-Navy, three Afghanistan Campaign medals, an Iraq Campaign Medal and three Sea Service Deployment ribbons, WWAY reported.

Cardin was the second American killed in Iraq in the fight against the Islamic State. Army Master Sgt. Joshua L. Wheeler, a special operations soldier, was killed in a firefight in October during a raid on an Islamic State prison.

"This is the second combat death since the start of Operation Inherent Resolve, and it reminds us of the risks our men and women in uniform face everyday," Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said in a statement Saturday.

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