In November 2004 FNC's Greg Palkot followed the U.S. Marine's India Company during a week of intense urban combat in Fallujah, Iraq. You can see the pivotal battle through their eyes in FNC's two-hour special "Company of Heroes," Sunday, March 19 at 10 p.m. ET.
The following are profiles of the three heroes of India Company killed during Palkot's time with them:
Lieutenant J.P. Blecksmith
• He was a 2nd lieutenant in the Marine Corps and a platoon commander, and was apparently in an area of Fallujah to clear out pockets of insurgents when he was shot from behind.
• Assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California.
• Graduated from Flintridge Preparatory School in La Cañada Flintridge, California, where he was a standout quarterback on the football team and also ran on the track team.
• The school is planning to establish a memorial scholarship in his name.
• He attended the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, graduated in 2003, and soon after became a Marine.
• He is survived by his parents, Pam and Edward Blecksmith, as well as a brother, Alex, 25 and a sister, Christina, 27.
• He had been in Iraq for two months and with the Marines for more than a year.
Scholarships & Foundations:
J.P. Blecksmith Leadership Foundation: http://www.jpblecksmith.org was established to honor J.P. Blecksmith’s life. J.P. Blecksmith Memorial Scholarship Fund at Flintridge Preparatory School http://www.flintridgeprep.org/home/default.aspx is the sole beneficiary of the JP Leadership Foundation. Info on Blecksmith can be accessed through www.jpblecksmith.org
Lance Corporal Shane Kielion
• Assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California.
• Graduated from Omaha South High School in Omaha Nebraska in 1999, where he was a starting quarterback on the football team in 1997 and 1998.
• He briefly attended Peru State College on a football scholarship.
• Kielion was the first Omahan to die in combat in Iraq.
• He married his high school sweetheart, April, in 2003. April gave birth to their first child, Shane Kielion, Jr. hours before he was killed in Iraq.
• He is also survived by his parents, Patricia and Roger Kielion.
Shane Kielion Trust Fund at Wells Fargo http://www.wellsfargo.com/. It is a Trust Fund for the child, Shane Kielion Jr.. Anyone can place a deposit with any Wells Fargo branch in the country. A contact name at Wells Fargo Bank is Angie Kelso 402-536-2221.
South High School, Omaha, NE: http://www.ops.org/south/
Lance Corporal Antoine D. Smith
• He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California.
• Smith grew up as an only child in a west Orlando, Florida neighborhood and attended Dr. Phillips High School, which he graduated from in 2001.
• He began playing the viola in middle school and won the orchestra award for most improved senior musician his last year in high school.
• Smith joined the Marine Corps on May 29, 2001. His awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon and National Defense Service Medal.
• He is survived by his mother Deborah Smith.
Lance Corporal Antoine Smith Memorial Achievement Award:
To contribute, contact:
Dr. Phillips High School: http://www.dphs.ocps.net/
Contact information: 407-355-3200
Contact information: 407-355-3245: Ms. Searcy, guidance
Scholarship is managed by Jennifer Erickson.
Other Ways to Give:
Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation information can be found at: http://www.marine-scholars.org/ And for a list of fundraising efforts, go to http://www.americasupportsyou.mil/AmericaSupportsYou.mil is an official U.S. Department of Defense website.
Own "Company of Heroes" on DVD — Don't miss your chance to own this incredible piece of history. To purchase this exclusive look at the battle for Fallujah call 1-888-672-1411 or visit www.foxnewsshop.com.