Jeremy Kane

Lance Corporal, United States Marine Corps


Entered the Service from: New Jersey
Died: January 23, 2010
Buried at: 
Awards: Purple Heart

LANCE CORPORAL JEREMY KANE, of Cherry Hill NJ, was killed in a homicide bomb attack in Afghanistan on January 23, 2010. 

Newark Star Ledger - January 24, 2010

U.S. Marine from Cherry Hill is killed in Afghanistan

CHERRY HILL -- When Lance Cpl. Jeremy Kane got word last year that his Marine reserve unit was being called to serve in Afghanistan, his family said he was conflicted.

The Cherry Hill resident had a lot of reasons to want to stay home. In addition to being on the verge of finishing his degree at Rutgers University, Kane had recently lost his father to cancer. As the oldest son in the family, he wanted to be home to support his mother and brothers as they grieved.

But in the end, Kane went to Afghanistan with his unit proudly.

"He felt terrible that it would cause further stress and strain on the family. But this was his commitment and he had to stick to it," said Melinda Kane, his mother. "He felt that every American had the duty to give back to his country."

Kane, 22, died Saturday when a suicide bomber attacked members of the Marines’ 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan, his family said this evening.

The young Marine, who worked as a scout, was on patrol with his unit. Several other Marines were also injured by the bomber, his family was told.

Kane is at least the 15th service member with ties to New Jersey to die in Afghanistan since the war began in 2001. Nearly 100 others have died in Iraq since 2003.

Kane was majoring in criminal justice and political science at Rutgers-Camden. He was a 2006 graduate of Cherry Hill High School-East.

His family said he was deeply affected by the 9/11 terrorist attacks and joined the Marine reserves on Sept. 11, 2006, shortly after enrolling at Towson University in Maryland. Kane eventually transferred to Rutgers-Camden, where he could live at home in Cherry Hill and be closer to his family.

He left for Afghanistan in October, his family said. It was his first deployment.

Bryan Adams, an Army veteran and fellow Rutgers student, informed friends and classmates of Kane’s death via Facebook tonight. Adams, president of the campus’ Veterans for Education group,posted a photo on the social networking site of a smiling Kane at a fundraiser in the Rutgers-Camden student center, where he helped raise money for military and veterans’ scholarships.

"Jeremy was an outstanding role model and representative for military and veteran students at Rutgers-Camden," Adams wrote. "Jeremy had a great sense of humor, a vibrant personality and he truly cared about his fellow brothers and sisters in arms."

Kane was born on an Army base in Fort Polk in Louisiana, where his father was stationed at the time, his family said. Growing up, he was close to his father, who served as a physician with the military and was working as a pathologist at Cooper University Hospital in Camden before his death.

Like his father, Kane was dedicated to physical fitness, his family said. He fenced in high school, spent hours in the gym and would frequently load up a backpack with weight and go on long runs at night to build his endurance.

Friends said Kane was a serious student and dedicated to Julia Smoot, his girlfriend of more than a year and a half. While he was a student, he worked part-time as a security guard at the Tweeter Center, the concert venue on the Camden waterfront.

In his free time, he played airsoft, a combat game similar to paintball. Tonight, New Jersey's airsoft community was also sharing memories of Kane in online forums as word spread of his death.

Kane’s own Facebook page featured a photo of a globe with a "Jeremy" sticker on Afghanistan.

Below it, Kane wrote he had no internet access in Afghanistan, but his brother would forward him any messages friends left through his Facebook site.

Melinda Kane, his mother, said despite his father's death and the seriousness of his mission in Afghanistan, Kane was relentlessly positive about his future.

"He always had a smile on his face and a goofy grin," his mother said. "He was just a happy, happy kid."

Camden Courier-Post - July 14, 2010

CRUZ, Giovani, Age 22, of Camden, was born on April 15, 1988. Giovani also known as Gio was a member of the United States Marine Corps. He is survived by his mother Isabel Febres and his father Herminio Febres, brothers Herminio Febres Jr., Christopher Cruz and his sister Tiffany Febres, his finace' Jackie Mass and a host of aunts, uncles and cousins. The viewing and services will be held Thursday, July 15th at May Funeral Home 4522 Westfield Ave., Penn-sauken from 5-10pm. Interment Friday 11:30am at Brig. General William C Doyle Veterans Cemetery. Ministry of comfort entrusted to MAY FUNERAL HOMES, Camden, Pennsauken, Vineland and Willingboro. Expressions of sympathy may be sent through mayfuneral homes.com..

Camden Courier-Post - July 16, 2010

Tears fall for Marine in Camden

Jackie Mass was supposed to join family and friends at a bridal shower this weekend, celebrating her planned marriage next month to a young Marine from Camden.

Instead, the 19-year-old and other loved ones gathered at a funeral home Thursday to say goodbye to her fiance, Lance Cpl. Giovani "Gio" Cruz, who drowned while swimming at a U.S. Navy base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on July 4.

"He was my everything," said Mass, who wore Cruz's dog tags and ring on a necklace. "We talked about a lot of future plans."

Indeed, family members said Cruz, 22, had overcome obstacles to reach many goals. He had graduated from Camden County Vo-Tech High School in 2007, started his military career in 2009, and navigated a path away from Camden's dangerous streets.

"He inspired us a lot," said Christopher Cruz, the Marine's 20-year-old brother. "He chose this course because he wanted to make us all proud."

"He was always about (accomplishing) something," said Debra Russ of West Deptford, the mother of Cruz's fiancee. "He wanted to make a better life for Jackie. He told her, "Babe, I want to be out of the streets of Camden.' "

More than 150 mourners, many in colorful T-shirts adorned with Cruz's photo and inspirational messages, attended the services at May Funeral Home. Cruz lay in his dress uniform in a half-open steel-grey casket flanked by floral displays and, for part of the service, a Marine Corps honor guard.

The event combined tears and laughter, sermons and a slideshow, memories and exhortations.

"I want everybody to know that living here in Camden, we can make it happen," said Cruz's aunt, Alisia Reyes, a city native who moved her family to Orlando. "He did what he had to do to get out."

City Council President Frank Moran said Cruz was representative of many young people in Camden.

"Our kids in this city have dreams and aspirations," he said. "Although he had a short life, he loved what he was doing."

Cruz is to be buried today at Brig. Gen. William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Arneytown. He was one of three Marines who drowned while swimming off a recrational beach at the base in Guantanamo Bay. The Navy has offered few details, but family members say the men were caught in an undertow.

Cruz began a three-month assignment at Guantanamo Bay in May. His unit, based in Norfolk, Va., was assigned to guard the boundary between Cuba and the U.S. base, which holds a detention facility for terror suspects.

Cruz was expected to return in August, when he was to marry Mass, a Franklinville resident. "She has her wedding dress and everything," Debra Mass noted of her daughter.

Kasinera Russ, 22, a family friend from Camden, focused on Cruz's accomplishments and not his loss. She noted the Marine's journey had taken him from an impoverished area in East Camden to a Caribbean island that some would consider a vacation spot -- and that Cruz surely expected more good things would come.

"It must have felt like paradise," she said.