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Nick Shepherd

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Marines from across the country gathering to remember comrade

April 1st, 2014 10:53 pm by Nick Shepherd

Marines from across the country gathering to remember  comrade

John Conkin, left,, and Michael Speer in Iraq in 2003. Spper was killed in 2004. Contributed photo.

Ten years ago, one man paid the ultimate price for his country. Now, his fellow Marines want to celebrate the person he was and make sure he is never forgotten.

Sgt. Michael Speer, Fox Company 2nd Battalion 2nd Marine Regiment, lost his life fighting outside of Fallujah, Iraq, on April 9, 2004. He was liked and admired by his fellow Marines.

"He was a pretty awesome guy," said Aaron Magnuson, his roommate and friend. "The other Marines looked up to him. They called him poppa. When he got hit, it was pretty devastating to a lot of people."

Magnuson, Speer and another Marine named John Conkin were all roommates. Conkin was from Kingsport and he used to take the other two back to his hometown. It was in Kingsport that Speer would meet his wife and marry her in August 2003.

Eight months later, he was gone.

For an expanded version of this article, please see Wednesday's print edition or our expanded electronic edition.

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