Madison: The Madison Marines are trying to raise money to honor the four Marines who died in Iraq.
The sight of a helmet placed on a gun, stuck into sandbags, with boots and the American flag is significant to a Marine. It's called the Fallen Warrior.
"This is the monument they use in the field in Iraq. This monument represents a fallen Marine," explains Gun. Sgt. Mike Reiland.
The Marine Corps League is raising money to build one of these memorials in honor of the Madison Marines.
"This is going to be representing the four Marines we lost from Golf Company in our deployment to Iraq," says Reiland.
Three of those Marines were killed last November while on patrol south of Baghdad. Lance Corporal Scott Kruchten was in the passenger seat of the humvee. "An explosion destroyed the truck put two of us in the hospital and took the lives of 3 Marines."
One of those killed was Deforest native Lance Corporal Shane O' Donnell.
Kruchten doesn't remember the bombing or the aftermath, but he was told he was thrown 50 feet and landed hard. Docotrs didn't know if he would survive his injuries. "(I had a) broken leg, two broken ribs, broken shoulder and a head injury."
The head injury forced the doctors to cut open his skull to relieve a blood clot. The scar on his head is a reminder of the bombing, and of the Marines who didn't survive it.
Kruchten's new mission is to build this memorial in time for Golf Company's return this spring. "The idea that this will be built before the Marines come home is a personal goal of mine."
The memorial will be nearly 6 feet tall and cast in bronze.
The final cost will be more than $20,000.
If you'd like to make a contribution you can send a check to
Marine Corps League
P.O. Box 7111
Madison, WI 53707