SCHWEINFURT, Germany — A memorial ceremony was held Monday at the Ledward Barracks chapel for two infantrymen killed in combat in Iraq.

Spc. Chad E. Marsh, 20, of Wichita, Kan., was fatally wounded in a grenade attack Feb. 17 in Baghdad while on patrol as the gunner in a Humvee. Spc. Louis G. Kim, 19, of West Covina, Calif., was killed three days later when his unit came under small-arms fire during combat in Ramadi. Both men were assigned to the “Blue Spaders” of 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment.

A ceremony for Marsh was held Feb. 24 in Taji, Iraq. During Monday’s ceremony, the battalion’s rear detachment commander, Capt. Jacob E. White, read remarks given by the soldier’s commander, Capt. Michael Baka.

“I spoke to [Marsh’s mother, Janet] after Chad’s death, and she described Chad as a wonderful and loving person … that Chad had always wanted to be a soldier,” Baka said. “Most boys play ‘Army,’ but Chad outplayed most. Nearly every photo his mother sent to me displayed his love for soldiering.”

Marsh joined the Army at age 18, just weeks after graduating high school in June 2005. After his enlistment was finished, Marsh planned to become a police officer.

The youngest of four siblings, Marsh is survived by his mother; sisters Lori Claycamp and Renee Terrel; brother Gerald; and grandmother Ruth. He will be buried in Coldwater, Kan., near his father who died when he was 5, Wichita’s CBS affiliate KWCH reported.

Kim, who also desired a career in law enforcement after military service, is survived by his mother, Bridget Shin, and father, Hyongki Kim.

“The war in Iraq had already been going on for two years when they joined the Army,” said Lt. Col. Robert Whittle, commander of Schweinfurt’s Task Force Guardian, at the ceremony, adding that both Marsh and Kim knew there would be a good chance that they would deploy to a war zone, but they joined anyway.

In Iraq since August, the 1-26 is part of the 2nd “Dagger” Brigade, 1st Infantry Division. Marsh and Kim are the 13th and 14th deaths the battalion has suffered.

The brigade, which is in several locations throughout Iraq, is primarily stationed in and around Baghdad and Ramadi, two of the most violent areas in the country. Overall, the brigade has suffered 22 fatalities.

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