Based: Twentynine Palms, Calif.
1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force
Supporting: Operation Iraqi Freedom
Died: April 24, 2006
Qaim (near Syrian border), Iraq
High School: Grace M. Davis High (Modesto)
Burial: Lakewood Memorial Park, Hughson, Calif.
Simons had just taken off his armor and Kevlar gloves. Then came the attack.
A rocket-propelled grenade hit his compound. Simons' wounds were severe and he bled to death April 24 before reaching a medical facility, Widick said.
The Department of Defense issued a news release two days later stating that Simons was killed "while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Al Anbar province."
A dark-haired man with thick eyebrows, Simons was "a dichotomy," said his sister Rachel. He combined a nonconformist, artistic sensibility with a love for military life, she said.
He was the youngest of four children born to an electrical engineer and a homemaker in what was, when he was a child, still a farming community. The family still lives in the same house where Simons was born.
"When he was growing up, he was very shy, very quiet, very artistic," his cousin said…
He had been cautious in talking about his service in Iraq, though he told his family that he disagreed with some of the decisions he saw being made there. But he was deeply committed to the Marines, and to Iraqis, Widick said. He had recently adopted an Iraqi family with an ill daughter, giving them support and helping them get medical aid, his cousin said.
Simons "wanted to do the best job he could," Widick said. "He thought it was already too late. We were already in Iraq, and we needed to do our best."
In addition to his sister Rachel, Simons is survived by his parents, John and Charlotte Simons; a brother, Michael; and another sister, Michelle, all of Modesto.
Read the entire LA Times article about Marine Lance Corporal Aaron William Simons here.
Find more at Fallen Heroes
and in Lance Corporal Simons' Guest Book.