Salem Marine dies in IRAQ blast


May 4th, 2006 - Salem ' A Marine was killed this week when a Humvee he was riding in hit a land mine in Iraq, family members said yesterday.


(03.05.2006)

Lance Cpl. Robert Moscillo, 21, was the only Marine to die in the incident, according to his relatives. They said Moscillo died early Monday - Tuesday in Baghdad time - south of Fallujah, where he was stationed.

Family members said yesterday the 2003 Salem High School graduate belonged to the wrestling team in high school and enjoyed staying as active as possible.

"He was a wild kid who liked to have fun. He has a lot of friends," his sister, 23-year-old Sandra Moscillo, said. "He was just loved by everyone. I don't think he had an enemy."

Family members found out about the death Tuesday evening, they said, when Marines came to Moscillo's North Policy Street home.

"We don't really have all the details," said his father, Frank Moscillo, who lives in Beverly, Mass.

His mother, Donna Moscillo, lives in Salem. She was in California yesterday to attend the funeral of her stepfather, Bill Smith, and is planning to return home as soon as possible, relatives said.

Funeral arrangements were still being made yesterday. Moscillo's family doesn't expect the Marine's body to return to New Hampshire for as long as five days.

Moscillo joined the Marines last year, entering boot camp Feb. 14, according to his aunt, Lori Jeffrey of Salem. He was deployed to Iraq on Feb. 25.

Sandra Moscillo said her brother had an interest in making a career out of the military.

However, she said, he wished he could be closer to home, and wrote in his last letter to his family that he couldn't wait to return in about six months.
Robert Moscillo may4 317px (COURTESY PHOTO)

Yesterday his sister recalled how much he liked G.I. Joe action figures as a child; he even dressed up like one for Halloween.

"I just think it was something foreshadowing of what he was going to do," Sandra Moscillo said.

He leaves behind five siblings who range in age from 11 to 23. His brother David, 20, is training to become a Marine. Another brother, 17-year-old Joseph, is a senior at Salem High.

Lori Jeffrey said Moscillo chose to train at California's Camp Pendleton north of San Diego so he could be close to his grandmother, 70-year-old Doris Dawson-Smith. During his training, she said, he would take his grandmother to church on Sundays.

Joline Jeffrey, one of Moscillo's cousins, said she thought of the Marine as more like a brother because they spent so much time together growing up. She said that she's proud that her cousin chose to serve his country and stood up for what he believed in.

"He followed his dreams," Joline Jeffrey, 17, said. "He went out there and did what needed to be done."

He was last home in December. Lori Jeffrey said he didn't seem nervous about being deployed.

Sandra Moscillo said he tried to make the most of his time at home.

"He was definitely dedicated to seeing as many people as possible, especially when he came home right before he went to Iraq," she said.

Moscillo grew up in Lawrence, Mass., moving to Salem when he was in the sixth grade.

Salem Superintendent of Schools Michael Delahanty was Moscillo's principal when he attended Woodbury Middle School and Salem High School.

"I think he was a terrific young man, and it's so unfair that he's not with us anymore," he said.

He said it's too early to say how the school will memorialize the Marine. Counselors were on hand at the high school yesterday.





Von: 04.05.06 http://www.unionleader.com By MIKE KALIL Union Leader Correspondent

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