Patrick Xavier Jr
Pembroke Pines, Florida
May 18, 2010
Killed while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
|From The Palm Beach Post palmbeachpost.com 05/29/10:
Marine laid to rest at South Florida VA National Cemetery after dying in combat in Afghanistan
8:06 p.m. Saturday, May 29, 2010
With bagpipes and tears and a formal motorcade, family and friends today gathered at the South Florida VA National Cemetery west of Lantana to bid a final farewell to Lance Cpl. Patrick Xavier Jr., a 24-year-old Marine from Broward County killed earlier this month in battle in Afghanistan.
Xavier became the first soldier killed in combat to be buried at the new facility, now the finally resting place for more than 6,000 military veterans.
"I implore you to keep your heads up and walk tall," Jarrett Elder of Fred Hunter's Funeral Home in Hollywood told Xavier's family during the ceremony as relatives wiped away tears. He recalled Xavier as a brave soldier who "lived, fought, walked and served."
Today's afternoon ceremony attracted scores of attendees, many of them military veterans who did not know Xavier but came to show their solidarity with the family.
Mike McClarnon, an Army veteran and retired U.S. Border Patrol official from Loxahatchee, came at the request of the family to play "Amazing Grace" on his bagpipes, a service he has offered at a handful of local military funerals in recent years.
"It was an honor to do it," he said. "I was doing my duty."
Veterans have been buried at the South Florida VA National Cemetery, located on State Road 7 south of Lantana Road, since April 2007, but Xavier is the first solider buried who was killed on active duty, said Mishelle Kochel, the cemetery's director.
The timing of the event on Memorial Day weekend was incidental, she said, and based on the timing of Xavier's death and the delivery of his body to his parents in Fort Lauderdale.
Born in Queens, N.Y. to Haitian immigrants, Xavier graduated from Miramar High School in 2003 and joined the Marines to "make a difference," his father, Patrick Xavier-Kemp, told The Miami Herald earlier this month.
He went to Afghanistan in January as a member of the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, 11 Marine Expeditionary Force.
Pierre Barolette, a cousin who traveled from Connecticut to attend the funeral, recalled Xavier's sacrifice and called the day's event a "beautiful ceremony."
Marine laid to rest at South Florida VA National Cemetery after dying in combat in Afghanistan photo
United States Marine Corp honor guard members fold a flag which had covered the casket of Lance Corporal Patrick Xavier, 24, of Pembroke Pines, who died May 18 in Afghanistan.
The Miami Herald contributed to this story.
|From The Sun Sentinel sun-sentinel.com 12/18/14:
Commissioners to rename 172nd Avenue in honor of fallen Marine from Pembroke Pines
By Brian Ballou
Patrick Xavier grew up on SW 16th Street and dreamed of eventually working for the Central
Intelligence Agency . To get there, he joined the Marines and in 2010, with less than a y ear in the
Corps, he was fighting in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.
On the morning of May 16, he called his mother to tell her he was likely heading into a fierce battle. She
told him she loved him and then she headed for work. At 5 p.m., she was summoned home; a Marine was
at her front door and needed to talk with her directly .
Xavier, 24, never made it back to SW 16th Street, a small private road that borders Lido Lake.
"I knew when I saw that Marine what had happened. I knew that my son was dead,'' said Elisabeth
In 201 1 , Barolette wrote a letter to the City Commission, asking if it could recognize her son by renaming
SW 16th Street "Patrick Xavier Jr. Street."
There was some discussion but not much happened until Barolette, who works at Memorial Hospital West,
ran into Commissioner Iris Siple last y ear at the hospital. Siple had visited her in the day s after her son's
death and the two talked about the street renaming.
On Wednesday , during a regular commission meeting, the issue was on the agenda, brought forth by Siple.
"It would be an honor,"Barolette told commissioners in a brief speech.
But as she sat down, Commissioner Angelo Castillo brought up an alternate plan: How about renaming the
busier, and much more visible, 17 2nd Avenue in Xavier's honor? The fallen Marine's home sits near the
corner of 17 2nd Ave and Pembroke Road.
Castillo, who also attended Xavier's wake and placed a Pembroke Pines city pin on his uniform, thought
the visibility would bring more awareness to the local man who gave his life for country .
"The thought is that all of Pembroke Pines can see it,"he said.
Instead of voting late Wednesday to rename SW 16th Street, the commission decided to focus on
renaming 17 2nd Avenue. Just as 160th Avenue has over time become known as Dykes Road and Palm
Avenue is interchangeble with 100th Ave., commissioners hope soon that 17 2nd Avenue will be better
known as 'Xavier Avenue.
While smaller city street are renamed from time to time, doing so for a major roadway is rare and involves
more paperwork and discussions at the county level.
"Whatever time is required we will end up with a lasting memorial that most everyone in the city , not to
mention visitors, will see,"Castillo said.
Copyright © 2015, Sun Sentinel
|From The Miami Herald
Lance Cpl. Patrick Xavier Jr
Lance Cpl. Patrick Xavier Jr., 24, of Pembroke Pines, Fla., died May 18 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Lance Cpl. Patrick Xavier Jr. spoke to his mother Tuesday morning before leaving for the day's military assignment, something he often did while serving in Afghanistan. ``He wanted to talk to his family before'' he went, his father, Patrick Xavier-Kemp, said Friday. Hours later, the 24-year-old Marine was killed in a firefight in the Helmand province in southwest Afghanistan, his father said. His body was flown back to Fort Lauderdale on Friday. In his last posting to his MySpace page, Xavier wrote Jan. 4: ``I'm going to Afghanistan in four days. I'm nervous and excited at the same time, but I'm very confident that I'll be back.'' ``He went out there to do what he wanted to do, defending this country,'' his father said. ``Even though I feel the loss, I'm proud of how he conducted himself.'' The young man had ``a child's smile, a smile that you can read his heart through,'' his father said. ``He was a true person, honest, very dedicated.'' An avid reader, he devoured books on psychology and philosophy -- trying to gain a better understanding of the world. A few weeks ago, his father sent him a package with two books: The Art of War and A Soldier's Story. He was a private person, with many of his close friends also in the military, his father said. He also loved playing basketball with his younger brothers, Didi, 22, and Chad, 18. He had a dream of going to medical school. A son of Haitian immigrants, Xavier was born in Queens, N.Y. m
His father and mother moved to South Florida more than a decade ago. He graduated from Miramar High School in 2003 and tried a couple of jobs, looking to find his way. His drive to ``make a difference'' led him to the Marines, his father said. He advanced to the rank of lance corporal, his father said. He was based out of Camp Lejeune, N.C., assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, according to the Department of Defense. Said his father: ``He knew the consequences. He knew what he was dealing with, and he chose to go anyway.'' Xavier told his father he saw fellow Marines around him getting hurt, but he continued to work hard training Afghan soldiers. ``He had no fear. He was a fierce fighter, a warrior at heart,'' his father said. ``I'm very proud he gave for the country he loved.''
|Marine possessed ‘a child’s smile’
The Associated Press
Patrick Xavier loved to read books about psychology and philosophy as he tried to gain a better perspective on the world around him.
The most recent additions to his library in Afghanistan? Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” and Gen. Omar Bradley’s memoir, “A Soldier’s Story.” His father, Patrick Xavier-Kemp, had sent the book to him a few weeks before he died.
The Marine was a private person, but he enjoyed playing basketball with his 18- and 22-year-old brothers. He also hoped to go to medical school one day.
But Xavier, 24, of Pembroke Pines, Fla., was killed in a firefight May 18 in Helmand province, Afghanistan, his family said.
Xavier was born to Haitian immigrants in Queens, N.Y., and moved with his family to Florida more than a decade ago, his father said. He graduated from Miramar High School in 2003 and worked a couple of different jobs before joining the Marines. He was assigned to Camp Lejeune, N.C.
His father said he called home to talk to his mother just hours before he was killed.
Xavier had “a child’s smile, a smile that you can read his heart through,” his father said. “He was a true person, honest, very dedicated.”
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