Monday, February 14, 2011

Michael S. Probst, Marines, Lance Corporal -- Rest In Peace

Michael S. Probst, 26

Marines, Lance Corporal
Based: Twentynine Palms, Calif.
1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force
Supporting: Operation Iraqi Freedom
Died: February 14, 2006
Baghdad (Abu Ghraib), Iraq
Gender: Male
Hometown: Irvine
High School: Irvine High (Irvine)
Burial: Riverside National Cemetery, Riverside
Born and reared in Irvine, the 26-year-old Marine Corps lance corporal was killed Feb. 14 by a roadside bomb near Abu Ghraib, Iraq, west of Baghdad.

Probst was a lead driver in a platoon that was responsible for spotting and clearing improvised explosives along Iraq's busiest highways. His roommate and Humvee crew member, Lance Cpl. Jay Thurin, was injured in the blast and is recovering from shrapnel wounds.

"He was an awesome Marine, a great friend," Thurin said. "He's going to be missed greatly."

The second of two sons, Probst was strong and trim with a square jaw and eyes of gray -- "the color of a storm," as his mother described them.

"He was so spirited," his mother said. "He had such a zest for life."

In Iraq, Probst had the same assignment as his father in Vietnam: to make roads safe for advancing troops and supplies. He carried out more than 100 combat missions covering more than 15,000 miles, surviving roadside bombs on several occasions, said his platoon commander, 1st Lt. Benjamin S. Adams.

In dispatches home, Probst told his parents and brother, Matt, how much he loved them, and gushed about the batches of homemade cookies sent from Wisconsin by his grandmother Bernetta Probst. "Good stuff hahaha," he wrote.

In January, Probst and Thurin were injured by a roadside bomb. Probst, who suffered a concussion, called his parents to say he was OK. His mother told him to keep his head down and "eat your peas," invoking the title of a popular children's book, like she had done since he was a child.

Probst asked for a cross to slip on his dog tags. His mother found one made of silver, sealing it with a kiss so it "would land on his heart and he would know we loved him more than anything."

The cross arrived three days before he died.

Probst also is survived by his grandmother Ruth Stanchi of Florida, and several aunts, uncles and cousins.

His parents ask that donations be sent to the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, 825 College Blvd, Suite 102, PMB 609, Oceanside, CA 92057.
Read the entire LA Times article about Marine Lance Corporal Michael S. Probst here, find more at the Iraq Page, on Legacy and visit Corporal Probst's Guest Book.
A Marine reaches out as if to touch his fallen comrade one more time. Marines from TOW Platoon, Headquarters and Service Company, 1st Tank Battalion, assigned to Regimental Combat Team 8, gathered at the Camp Fallujah chapel to honor Lance Cpl. Michael S. Probst, who was killed in action Feb. 14. Photo Taken by Gunnery Sgt. Mark Oliva.

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