By Mark Boshnack
---- — Marine Cpl. Alex Domion of Richfield Springs, 21, died Oct. 31 as the result of a non-combat-related incident in Afghanistan’s Helmand province, according to a Department of Defense announcement. He was assigned to the 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune, N.C.
The Pentagon said Domion’s death is still under investigation. No other details have been released.
He enlisted in the Marines in 2009.
“We’re shocked and saddened” Richfield Springs Central School Superintendent Robert Barraco said about the news. As a school, “our sympathy goes out to the family.” Barraco said he is receptive to helping them “any way we can,” to deal with their loss.
Domion’s grandmother Rose Shipman of Richfield Springs, said he left for his second deployment to Afghanistan about two weeks ago. He turned 21 in September. He received three Purple Hearts for his service.
“He was always a good kid,” who liked to hunt, fish and ride snowmobiles, she said.
He married Amber Grant about two years ago. They met as students at Richfield Springs High School where he was year ahead of her. She graduated in 2010.
After they got married they bought a house near Camp Lejeune, Shipman said. “She is a sweetheart,” who, like the rest of the family, is going through a difficult time.
“It was something he always wanted to do,” is what Richfield Springs Central School Principal TheriJo Climenhaga said about Domion joining the Marines. He was a non-traditional student at the school about four years ago, when she was an assistant principal. He ended up getting a GED and attending Herkimer County Community College to get the credits he needed to join the Marines. “He found his niche,” she said. “He was a nice kid with a good sense of humor.”
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo directed that flags on state government buildings be flown at half-staff on Tuesday in honor of Domion.
“I join with all fellow New Yorkers in mourning the loss of Cpl. Domion. New York sends its deepest sympathies to his family, friends and fellow Marines,” Cuomo said. “As we honor his service and sacrifice, we are grateful for his dedication to our nation.”