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Marine from Easton killed in Iraq

Second from Vt. dies in explosion

EASTON -- A Marine from Massachusetts was killed in combat in Iraq, military officials said yesterday.

Sergeant William J. Callahan, 28, of South Easton, died Friday in Anbar Province. He was assigned to the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, Eighth Engineer Support Battalion, Second Marine Logistics Group, II Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Callahan joined the Marine Corps in 2002 and he was assigned to the company in 2005 after being trained in explosives disposal, said Second Lieutenant Richard Ulsh, public information officer for the Second Marine Logistics Group at Camp Lejeune.

Callahan had previously served in Iraq, Ulsh said.

He had received the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Ulsh said.

Neither his family nor local officials could be reached last night for comment.

He was the second Marine with New England ties whose death in Iraq was reported yesterday.

A Marine corporal who grew up in Vermont was killed in combat Thursday in Anbar Province when an improvised explosive device struck his amphibious vehicle, the Defense Department said.

Corporal Christopher Degiovine, 25, was with the Second Assault Amphibian Battalion, Second Marine Division. He had been in Iraq for only two weeks.

A graduate of Essex High School, he majored in criminal justice at Champlain College, where he graduated in 2005.

He aspired to a career in law enforcement and did bicycle patrols for the Essex Police Department for two summers while in college, according to police Lieutenant Ken Beaulieu.

He most recently lived in Lone Tree, Colo.

His father, Ray Degiovine, said his son, who was married less than two years, had a great sense of humor and was an avid golfer.

"He's going to be tremendously missed by all of us," his father said.

"Polite, well-educated, patriotic, full of life -- he was a wonderful young man," said Dave Johnson, 61, who lives next door to the Marine's father and watched the young man grow up.

Johnson, who had dinner with Degiovine and his father three weeks ago before his deployment to Iraq, said Degiovine was thrilled to be serving his country.

"He was excited to be in the Marines," said Johnson.