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

Jeffrey R Standfest

St Clair, Michigan

June 16, 2010

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
23 Marine Cpl

3rd Combat Engineer Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, IIIMarine Expeditionary Force, based at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center

Twentynine Palms, California

 Killed while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

From The Macomb Daily macombdaily.com 06/18/10

Fallen Marine to be awarded Purple Heart
Published: Friday, June 18, 2010
By Mitch Hotts, Macomb Daily Staff Writer
U.S. Marine Cpl. Jeffrey Standfest, who was killed earlier this week while serving in Afghanistan, will be awarded the Purple Heart posthumously, military officials said Thursday.

The body of the highly decorated 23-year-old Marine from China Township in St. Clair County was due to arrive at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware at 2 a.m. today, according to Clinton Township police officials. His father, Timothy, is a detective with the police department.

“The family is doing their best, but with each passing moment the tragedy of the loss of their son and brother further sinks in deeper,” said police spokesman Capt. Richard Maierle.

Standfest died early Wednesday while supporting combat operations in Helmand province of Afghanistan, according to the U.S. Department of Defense. He was killed by an improvised explosive device while on a patrol pursuing enemy forces, military officials said.

Jennie Haskamp, a public affairs officer for the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, Calif., where Standfest was based, said the fallen serviceman will be awarded the Purple Heart.

The Purple Heart is a U.S. military decoration awarded to those who have been wounded or killed while serving.

Standfest previously was awarded the Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the NATO Medal.

Standfest, who was single, enlisted in the Marine Corps on Oct. 27, 2008. He was assigned to the 3rd Combat Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force at the Combat Center. This was his first deployment.

Clinton Township police officers who knew him described him as an energetic, respectful young man.

“We commemorate his heroic life in the service of his country and in him making the ultimate sacrifice in upholding and defending our nation and freedom,” Detective Lt. Marc Rybinski said in a statement.

Standfest, who formerly resided with his parents and sister in Sterling Heights, graduated in 2005 from St. Clair High School where he was on the track team. He was one of the Blue Water Area’s most dominant cross country runners, winning 12 of his 14 races as a senior and was named the Times Herald newspaper’s Runner of the Year.

Funeral arrangements have not been announced. Clinton Township police said the Standfest family is asking for privacy as they deal with the loss of their son and brother.

From The Macomb Daily macombdaily.com 06/17/10

Local family grieves for fallen Marine

Thursday, June 17, 2010

By Mitch Hotts, Macomb Daily Staff Writer

Son of Clinton Township detective killed while serving in Afghanistan

The son of a Clinton Township police detective was killed earlier this week while defending his country as a proud member of the U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, according to police and family friends.

Jeff Standfest, 23, of China Township in St. Clair County, died early Wednesday when he apparently stepped on an improvised explosive device, a friend of the family said.

He is the son of Detective Timothy Standfest, a 25-year law enforcement veteran who specializes in fraud investigations, said police spokesman Detective Capt. Richard Maierle.

“I knew Jeff and he was an outstanding high school athlete and a respectful person who loved his family and loved being in the Marine Corps,” Maierle said. “He was just an overall great kid. I can’t say enough about him.”

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Defense could not confirm the casualty. She said department policy calls for the government to issue a public statement 72 hours after the family of a fallen soldier is notified of the death.

An Associated Press report said two U.S. service members were killed Wednesday in a roadside bombing while riding in a vehicle in northern Afghanistan. It was not known whether that was the event in which Standfest was involved.

Jeff Standfest was a canine handler and a combat engineer whose dog was killed recently by a roadside bomb. Standfest, who suffered a concussion in that incident, recently returned to his duties with a new dog, Maierle said.

Doug Mills, a retired Clinton Township detective and friend of the Standfest family, described the fallen service man as an “all American kid” who joined the military because his grandfather served in the Marines in World War II.

“I watched Jeff grow up into a man and into a Marine hero,” Mills said. “This sounds corny, but I thank God there are people like him in the Marines and Army. What would we in this country do without people like him?”

Jeff Standfest, whose mother Karen is vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital in Clinton Township, graduated in 2005 from St. Clair High School where he excelled on the track and field team. He loved to fish and hunt rabbits. He has a sister who attends Central Michigan University.

The family formerly resided in Sterling Heights.

Police officials said the parents obviously are devastated by their son’s death. They are scheduled to fly to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to receive the body.

“The entire police department is saddened by this,” Maierle said. “We will do whatever we can to support the family. I’m sure our honor guard will be part of the funeral services.”

June is shaping up to be one of the deadliest months for U.S. troops in the nearly 9-year-old Afghan war, as insurgents have stepped up attacks in response to a NATO push into Taliban strongholds, according to an AP report. The death toll among American troops this month is now at 30.

Mills said while he grieves for the loss of Jeff Standfest, he also is tremendously proud of how the young man lived his life and served his country.

“I hope the American public doesn’t give up on our troops,” Mills said. “The alternative is for us to give up on terrorism and I don’t think that is the answer. What Jeff Standfest did for us is what America is all about.”

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