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Fate helps find relatives of 2 Marines who died in Beirut bombing

Jeff Hudson and wife Debra trace the name of a family member killed during the Marine barracks bombing in Beirut during the 30th Beirut Memorial observation ceremony in Jacksonville, N.C., Oct. 23, 2013. <br>Cesar N. Contreras/Courtesy of U.S. Marine Corps
Jeff Hudson and wife Debra trace the name of a family member killed during the Marine barracks bombing in Beirut during the 30th Beirut Memorial observation ceremony in Jacksonville, N.C., Oct. 23, 2013.
At the Landstuhl Army hospital, Cpl. Thurnell Shields' hands show the effects of the Beirut bombing. Shields, 21, of Wrens, Ga., suffered burns and lacerations.<br>Terry Baker/Stars and Stripes
Beirut bombing victims, left to right, Lance Cpls. Burham Matthews, Lovelle Moore and Mike J. Balcom talk to rteporters at the Landstuhl Army hospital.<br>Stephanie James / Stripes file photo
A Marine smiles in a hospital bed after receiving a Purple Heart from Gen. Paul X. Kelley. The medal recipient was injured in the Beirut barracks bombing on Oct. 23, 1983. <br>Courtesy of U.S. Marine Corps
A Marine wounded in the Beirut bombing displays some of the gifts brought in to the Landstuhl Army hospital by members of the German community.<br>Stars and Stripes
''Tragic Monument,'' by Major John T. Dyer, USMCR, Beirut, 1983. A depiction of the wreckage left after the 1983 bombing of the Marine Corps barracks in Beirut.<br>Courtesy of the National Museum of the Marine Corps

When last we left Patricia Boyd, she was desperately trying to find the relatives of two Minnesota Marines who had been killed in the 1983 bombing of a barracks in Beirut. With a deadline approaching, she wanted the relatives’ approval and some personal stories for a calendar she puts together that honors the state’s fallen military members.

Coon Rapids, Minn., Police Chief Brad Wise noticed a Twitter feed from a Minneapolis Star Tribune story about Boyd’s search. Wise went to school with one of the Marines, Lance Cpl. Thomas G. Lamb. He checked the department’s own files but came to a dead end.

Later that day, when a meeting ended early, he made a stop at In the Mood Hair Salon to see if he could get a quick haircut. Sitting in the chair, he casually mentioned the woman who was looking for information on the Coon Rapids Marine.

A woman sitting in the chair next to him was listening in. She knew Thomas Lamb’s father, she said. In fact, she had been engaged to him. In fact, she had his number at home. Wise called her later and got the number. Lamb’s father had been living with a daughter in Tennessee. Wise spoke with the daughter and later gave Boyd the number.

Who can say why Wise, who had to cancel his hair appointment the night before, came in to the shop when he did? Why was the former fiancée of the fallen Marine’s father in the chair next to him?

“There’s something that’s helping [Boyd] complete this assignment,” Wise said. “It warms my heart that I was able to be a small part of this.”

Meanwhile, a brother of the other Marine, Lance Cpl. John J. Tishmack of Minneapolis, read the story in the paper and contacted Boyd that day.

The 2015 edition of Minnesota’s Fallen Heroes Remembered Calendar will now feature personal stories of all five Minnesota Marines, each with their own month.

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