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Marine's death hits Sonora family


and The Associated Press

News of the casualties of war with Iraq hit home last night for members of a Sonora family.

Marcy Giles learned that her son, 2nd Lt. Frederick E. Pokorney Jr., 31, was one of at least nine Camp Lejeune Marines killed Sunday in fighting near An Nasiriyah, Iraq.

"It was the ultimate sacrifice," she said this morning. Giles, 50, further said that, while she had not seen the eldest of her three children in years, she always kept track of him and loved him deeply.

"I was talking to a recruiting officer the other day. I told him I was proud of him and that my son was a Marine and, knowing him, he was probably over there right now."

After Giles and Pokorney's father divorced and her eldest son remained with his father, she said, she lost contact with him. With help from her father, Sonora private investigator Al Costa, she later learned that her son lived briefly in Oregon and then moved to Tonopah, Nev. She wrote to him there.

A star athlete — he was 6 feet, 7 inches tall — Pokorney graduated from Tonopah High School and was a well-known and liked member of the community, she said.

A memorial service is planned for 8 a.m. tomorrow at Tonopah High School. Many in the town of 3,600 residents are expected to attend. Pokorney is to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va.

The Nevada state Assembly and Senate on Tuesday marked news of the first Nevada service member known to have been killed in the war in Iraq with brief memorials at the close of their daily business.

Former Nye County Sheriff Wade Lieseke, with whom Pokorney lived during part of his two years as a teenager in Tonopah, called Pokorney's death ‘‘really a waste of a good life.''

Pokorney leaves behind his wife, Chelle, and their 2 1/2-year-old daughter, Taylor, who live outside Camp Lejeune, N.C.

After learning of her husband's death, Chelle Pokorney said that, as she watched her husband board a troop bus with his Marine battalion, she felt in her heart that she had seen him for the last time.

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