Wednesday, 24 July 2024

Military offers brief details in Marine's death


CLEARLAKE – The Department of Defense and the US Marine Corps on Wednesday offered limited new details regarding the death of a local Marine killed Monday in southern Afghanistan.

Lance Corporal Ivan I. Wilson, 22, of Clearlake died while supporting combat operations in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province on Monday, the Department of Defense reported Wednesday afternoon in its formal identification statement.

First Lt. Curtis Williamson, spokesperson for the First Marine Division, said the incident that took Wilson's life occurred Monday.

Few other details about the circumstances surrounding Wilson's death were available due to security concerns, said Williamson.

That included Williamson not being able to confirm that Wilson was killed as the result of an improved explosive device, a piece of information communicated to his family by the Marine Corps on Monday, according to a previous statement by family friend Ginny Craven.

“It's tantamount to basically telling the insurgents, 'That method is effective and continue to use it,'” Williamson said.

Wilson received a posthumous promotion from private first class to lance corporal, Williamson said. Promotions after death aren't rare, but neither do they happen in every instance of a soldier killed in action, he added.

The first Marine from Lake County killed in the current Middle Eastern military conflict, Wilson also was the 560th US casualty in Afghanistan since coalition military operations began there in 2001, according to In all, 897 coalition soldiers have died and thousands of Afghans since 2001.

Violence has been escalating in Afghanistan in recent months, with casualties for US and coalition forces higher than those in Iraq during the same period, statistics show.

The violence and resulting deaths are blamed on an apparent strengthening in southern Afghanistan of a Taliban-led insurgency.

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said during a July 22 interview on PBS's “News Hour with Jim Lehrer” that coalition forces in Afghanistan are seeing “more sophisticated attacks more often by terrorists,” according to an article by the Armed Forces Press Service.

Mullen also is quoted in the article as saying the increase in attacks comes at a time when that country's police force and government are underdeveloped. Also lacking, he said, is border security along the Pakistani border, where terrorists appear to be staying.

A 2004 graduate of Clearlake Community School, Wilson enlisted in the Marines on Sept. 11, 2005.

The Department of Defense said Wilson was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, based in Twentynine Palms. He was serving in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.


Here at home, on Wednesday morning flags at the county courthouse were lowered to half-staff in Wilson's memory.

County Public Services Director Kim Clymire told Lake County News that the flags, lowered at the suggestion of Supervisor Rob Brown, will remain at half-staff until next Monday, July 28.

Jones and Lewis Funeral Home of Lower Lake confirmed Wednesday that they will be handling Wilson's services, but they had no information yet on when the services would take place.

Neither Williamson nor the Marine Corps Casualty Office said they could release information on when Wilson was to be brought home to his family.

Because Wilson was killed in action while on active duty, the Marines will be in charge of carrying out a funeral complete with military honors, said Rich Feiro, firing party commander for the United Veterans Council's Military Funeral Honors Team.

The team, which has provided funeral honors at hundreds of funerals for local veterans who have left active service, plans to attend the services and stand in formation to honor the young Marine, Feiro said.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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