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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Funeral honors young Idaho Marine killed in Iraq

Associated Press

ST. ANTHONY, Idaho – Some people waved flags while others stood silently as the funeral procession for Lance Cpl. Dustin Birch rolled through the quiet streets of St. Anthony.

Family, friends and fellow members of his Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints buried the 22-year-old Marine Friday at Wilford Cemetery.

Birch died June 9 along with four other Marines in an explosion in Haqlaniyah, a volatile Sunni Arab stronghold located in the Al Anbar province. He is the 14th soldier from Idaho to die in Iraq since the March 2003 invasion.

Birch joined the Marines as a reservist in 2001. He served in a tank battalion with the 4th Marine Division in Boise. In Iraq, he served with the 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force.

Family remembered Birch as a soccer player, a Boy Scout and an active member of the school newspaper at South Fremont High School.

“All of us who know and love Dustin knew of his wonderful wit,” said his aunt, Paulette Kirkham.

A military honor guard from the 4th Marine Division fired a 21-gun salute at the graveside.

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