Wrong Kaneohe marine identified as dead - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Wrong Kaneohe marine identified as dead

Mark A. Juarez Mark A. Juarez

By Duane Shimogawa bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It's a tragic day for Hawaii's military community. On Monday night, they are mourning the loss of two Kaneohe-based Marines.

Both men were killed in action in Afghanistan. Lance Corporal Mark Juarez was a 23-year-old from San Antonio, Texas.

Lance Corporal Jacob Meinert of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin was just 20-years-old. The pentagon initially misidentified corporal Juarez.

And the wrong family was notified that their loved one had been lost. They're very thankful it was all a big mix-up.

The mistake was all based on one letter and a wrong hometown.

Lance Corporal Mark A. Juarez is a Kaneohe Marine who just returned from Afghanistan. A few days ago, he started getting confused calls from his family.

The Department of Defense had sent them a letter saying he had been killed in action, but it was a mix up. Another Kaneohe-based Marine with the exact same name, but a different middle initial had lost his life.

Juarez's family knew he returned safely because he just visited Bakersfield before returning to Hawaii.

But it still caused a major headache.

"One of my aunt's called me at first and then from that point, five minutes later, 10 people called me to see if I was okay or alive or something," Lance Corporal Juarez said.

The DoD says there was a clerical error in the initial press release. However, the correct family has been notified by Marine Corps officials.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger even issued a statement of condolences for the wrong man's family.

Powered by Frankly