Fallen Soldier: James P. Blecksmith

James P. Blecksmith
Dates: Died November 11, 2004
Hometown: San Marino, CA
Branch of Service: Marine Corps
Rank: 2nd Lieutenant
Player: Chip Deegan

USMC 2nd Lieutenant James P. Blecksmith, 24, of San Marino, CA was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif. He was killed November 11, 2004, from small arms fire while leading a house-to-house search operation for insurgents in the Jolan District.

2nd Lt. Blecksmith attended high school at Flintridge Preparatory School where he graduated in 1999. He lettered four years in track, two years in soccer and three years in football. As a senior, he was named the Prep League Most Valuable Athlete.

Although heavily recruited by Pac-10 schools as a football quarterback, his heart was set on going to the Naval Academy and becoming a Marine, like his father. "We have a long line of Marines in our family, and it embodied what he believed," his sister said. Upon graduation in May 2003, Blecksmith was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps.

“He had a code of ethics and morals with a presence about him… He was the old breed.” Said Capt. Sven Jensen. “Men respected him a lot, he was a great leader,”