WASHINGTON – Marine Cpl. Kirk J. Bosselmann of Dickerson was killed this weekend in Iraq, becoming the fifth Maryland soldier to die in combat last month and bringing the state’s casualty total in the war to 19.
The 21-year-old Poolesville High School graduate died Saturday “as a result of enemy action” in the Al Anbar province, according to the Defense Department, which did not release other details on his death.
Bosselmann was serving with the 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force when he was killed in Al Anbar, where the embattled Iraqi city of Fallujah is located. He was based out of Camp Lejeune, N.C.
“Everybody’s upset,” said Mike White, deputy chief of the Upper Montgomery County Volunteer Fire Department in Beallsville, where Bosselmann served as a volunteer in late 2000 and 2001 before joining the Marines.
“He seemed like a good kid,” said White. “He looked like he would do well.”
White said Bosselmann would “pop in” from time to time after joining the service in order to check in on friends still at the department in the tight-knit community just north of Poolesville.
The Bosselmann family could not be reached Tuesday. Bosselmann’s father, Rainer, declined comment, calling the death a private matter, according to a report by the Associated Press.
Poolesville High School administrators who knew Bosselmann could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Bosselmann’s death brings to five the total number of Maryland soldiers killed in November.
Four other soldiers were killed over a four-day span, beginning with Army Spc. Thomas K. Doerflinger, 20, on Nov. 11 in Mosul. The Silver Spring resident served with the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division.
On Nov. 12, Marine Lance Cpl. David M. Branning, 21, of Cockeysville was killed in Fallujah while serving with the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force.
Two days later, Marine Cpl. Nicholas L. Ziolkowski, 22, of Towson and Army Cpl. Dale A. Burger Jr., 21, of Port Deposit were also killed in Fallujah.
Burger was with the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force. Ziolkowski, like Bosselmann, was with the 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force based at Camp Lejeune.
The Defense Department lists Bosselmann as hailing from Napa, Calif., but that is due to a technicality, according to a spokesman.
“He enlisted in Napa and that’s why he’s listed as being from there,” said Maj. Nat Fahy. “But the family wanted everyone to know he was from Maryland.”
— CNS reporter Chris Kotterman contributed to this story.
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