CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq -- A memorial service was held for a member of I Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group here Monday.
Cpl. Salem Bachar, an intelligence analyst and Arabic interpreter, died April 12 as a result of enemy action while operating in Al Anbar Province.
Bachar, who was born in Chula Vista, Calif., on June 24, 1985, joined the Marine Corps Oct. 14, 2003. He served as an intelligence analyst and Arabic translator during his second deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. During his first deployment, in August 2004, he was assigned to Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, based out of Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Approximately 200 Marines, sailors and soldiers attended the memorial service at Camp Fallujah’s Chapel of Hope. Before the service, many lined up to hand-write messages to Bachar.
“Cpl. Bachar, you always had a smile and a joke even at the worst of times,” one message read. “It was an honor to know you and I cherish the time we had.”
The messages, along with photos displayed during the memorial, will be sent to Bachar’s family in Fontana, Calif.
Bachar’s death was especially hard and unexpected for the Marines and sailors who worked closely with him.
“He chose to make a difference with his life, first by becoming a Marine, second by putting himself in danger, and finally by becoming a memory to those that knew him,” said Cpl. Adam G. Wanjon, a friend of Bachar and fellow intelligence analyst. “I willingly carry the memory of him in my heart until the day we meet again.”
Col. Peter H. Devlin, assistant chief of staff for Bachar’s battalion, never expected to lose one of his intelligence Marines.
“Today is very difficult for me,” said Devlin. “He was an absolute pleasure to work with, and it was an honor to get to know him and to serve with him.”
Bachar is survived by his wife, Kristine, his parents, Fouad and Martha, and two sisters.