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Marine killed in Iraq buried at Arlington National Cemetery

1st Lt. Pokorney's widow touches his casket while daughter Taylor holds a folded American flag.
1st Lt. Pokorney's widow touches his casket while daughter Taylor holds a folded American flag.

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ARLINGTON, Virginia (CNN) -- U.S. Marine 1st Lt. Frederick E. Pokorney Jr. was buried in a military ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery Monday after being killed in action March 23 near Nasiriya, Iraq.

Pokorney, 31, of Nye, Nevada, was the first Marine killed in the Iraq war to be buried at the cemetery. He was laid to rest next to the grave of another U.S. serviceman killed in the war -- Army Capt. Russell Rippetoe -- who was buried Friday.

Pokorney was an artillery officer with the 1st Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment, based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. He was eulogized as a good Marine, a gifted athlete, a good husband and good father to his 2-year-old daughter Taylor. He was an Oakland Raiders football fan who enjoyed scuba diving, cars and bicycling.

Wade Lieseke, who adopted Pokorney when he was 16, expressed bitterness over his son's death in a CNN report last month. ''I'm not convinced Fred had to die in this war,'' he said.

Pokorney's widow, Chelle, offered hope for Iraqis last week saying, "I hope they can hopefully have a democracy or whatever they're reaching for ... freedom from turmoil and the pain and suffering they've been going through."

As the family sobbed, Brig. Gen. Maston Robeson presented a folded American flag to Pokorney's widow, who handed it to her daughter. Taylor clutched the flag as she accompanied her mother to the casket. As they turned around, the girl asked her mother, "Where's Daddy?"


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