|From The Express News mysanantonio.com
New Braunfels Marine is killed
2009 Canyon High graduate dies in Afghanistan violence.
By Scott Huddleston
Updated 11:17 p.m., Wednesday, June 29, 2011
John Felix Farias used to spend Independence Day at work as a lifeguard on the Comal River, protecting tubers who soaked in the sun on America's most patriotic holiday.
Tuesday, during combat operations in Afghanistan, all of his dreams of July Fourth barbecues and of someday marrying and raising a family came to an end. Farias, 20, a Marine Corps lance corporal, was killed in the turbulent Helmand province on his first combat tour. He would have turned 21 on July 16.
Like many young Marines, Farias had a rock-solid background as an all-American boy, countered by a rugged edge as a young man headed to war for the first time.
“I like to party and have a wild and crazy time ... It's not a marathon, it's a sprint ... BANG!” Farias of New Braunfels wrote on his Facebook page.
The 2009 Canyon High School graduate was a devout Christian and an Eagle Scout, said his father, Felix Farias. He was into power lifting, and started at defensive end in football for the Canyon Cougars, in a red and white No. 33 jersey. He was a happy, warm-hearted boy who, as a summer job, worked for the city of New Braunfels as a lifeguard on the river.
“He loved it. He said there were a lot of girls,” his father said.
But his dad was one of seven brothers in the family who served in the military, and John Farias ultimately chose to carry on the Farias tradition.
He joined the Marines three months after graduating from Canyon, even though his oldest uncle, Lino Farias, had been killed in the Korean War in 1951, at age 19.
“I think it was in his blood” to serve, Felix Farias said of his son.
Farias, an infantryman, specialized in weaponry, particularly machine guns. He deployed in March, and was due to come home in October.
When he called home between missions, he typically would mention the 115-degree heat in southern Afghanistan, and ask about his friends. But he wouldn't discuss the conflict, or how hard it was, his father said.
About three weeks before he died, he sent home a moving video from Afghanistan, with soulful narration by a young man who had matured and come to grips with the responsibilities of adult leadership.
“There wasn't a dry eye in the room when we watched that video,” his father said. “He was a super boy.”
Farias also is survived by his mother, Penny Farias, and a sister, along with numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and other relatives.
Plans for his funeral, under arrangements pending with Zoeller Funeral Home, include a service at Tree of Life Church in New Braunfels and a burial in Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery.
|From The Union Tribune San Diego utsandiego.com
Camp Pendleton Marine killed in Afghanistan: Lance Cpl. John F. Farias
Infantryman with 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment one of two SoCal Marines felled recently
Written by Gretel C. Kovach 1:39 p.m., June 29, 2011 Updated 5:41 p.m.
Two southern California Marines were killed in action in Afghanistan, the Pentagon announced today.
Lance Cpl. John F. Farias, 20, of New Braunfels, Texas, died Tuesday in combat in Helmand Province. The infantryman was assigned to Camp Pendleton's 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, which took command in April of the violent Sangin district coveted by opium traders and Taliban fighters.
Two weeks before he died, Farias sent a video to his parents saying "I'm kind of forced to grow up here," KENS5 of San Antonio reported. Farias and his fellow Marines were involved in fire fights for four to six hours a day, Penny Farias told the TV station.
Farias was the fifth Marine from the battalion killed this month, as the post-poppy harvest fighting season in southwestern Afghanistan heated up. A sixth, Lance Cpl. Joe M. Jackson, died April 24th.
Farias was serving his first combat deployment since he enlisted in the Corps Aug. 17, 2009, the 1st Marine Division said. His personal service awards include the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and Afghanistan Campaign Medal.
Also killed Tuesday in Helmand was a Twentynine Palms Marine, Lance Cpl. Mark R. Goyet, 22, of Sinton, Texas. The mortarman served with the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment based at the Marine Corps Ground Combat Training Center.
Goyet was on his second combat deployment since he enlisted on Feb. 25, 2008, according to the 1st Marine Division based at Camp Pendleton.
His personal service awards include the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, and Afghanistan Campaign Medal.