It’s taken the Marines ten months to release information on the death of a young U.S. Marine who was killed in a training exercise last spring in California.
Pfc. Casey Holmes was just 20, when he died in a “skirmish hole”, in his sleeping bag, at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms in the Mojave Desert. The horror of the incident was that he was run over by a fellow Marine also conducting a training exercise.
The Marines steadfastly reported that Holmes was killed in a traffic accident, until the heavily censored N.C.I.S. report was made public.
The basics of the report, released just last week, indicate that Holmes was instructed by his platoon leader to dig a “fighting hole” (six inches deep) in a remote part of the base where fellow Marines were also conducting training in amphibious assault vehicles and MCT’s or "medium crawler tractors". The platoon leader's name was not part of the released information.
Just minutes before the exercise was due to conclude, a Marine driving a large piece of equipment came to a stop directly on top on Pfc. Holmes. The driver of the rig was also not identified.
Pfc. Holmes was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, at the time of his death.
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