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US Marine dies in foreign country

Flowers on a casket. (Unsplash)
January 04, 2024

A United States Marine’s parents are claiming that their son died recently in the Republic of Congo while serving on duty as a security guard at the U.S. embassy in Brazzaville.

Kimberly Dural told Stars and Stripes that her 20-year-old son from Lafayette, Louisiana, Marine Lance Cpl. Nicholas Dural, died on Dec. 19 during his assignment to the U.S. embassy in the capital of the Republic of Congo. Nicholas Dural had reportedly been assigned to the U.S. embassy in Brazzaville since April.

The Marine security guard’s mother told Stars and Stripes that she could not share any details regarding the cause of Nicholas Dural’s death since the incident is currently under investigation.

According to Marine Corps Times, a spokesperson for the State Department confirmed the death of a United States service member in the Republic of Congo; however, the spokesperson did not provide additional details regarding the situation.

Stars and Stripes reported that Nicholas Dural was one of the three Marines who received the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal last April after they intervened in a fight at a Chick-fil-A location in North Stafford, Virginia.

According to Stars and Stripes, witnesses of the event claimed that one male teenager was assaulted by two other male teenagers during an argument that quickly escalated into a fight. One of the teenagers eventually pulled out a knife during the fight; however, the three Marines were able to intervene and break up the fight, with one of the Marines breaking the teenager’s knife in half.

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According to Kimberly Dural, Nicholas Dural was the Marine who broke the knife during the Chick-fil-A fight. Stars and Stripes reported that at the time of the incident, the three Marines were Marine Security Guard School students at Quantico, Virginia, in preparation for security service at U.S. embassies.

Kimberly Dural said being a Marine was “just something he always wanted to do” since he was a child.

“Nick was very mature for his age,” Kimberly Dural told Stars and Stripes. “He was a natural leader. That’s the thing. No matter where he was, whatever he did, he always rose up to be a leader.”

According to Kimberly Dural, her son enjoyed serving the United States while stationed in the Republic of Congo and even helped organize the embassy’s Marine Corps birthday ball this past November.

Kimberly Dural claimed that the family has been notified that Nicholas Dural’s body will be transported on Jan. 10 to New Orleans. Memorial services for the Marine security guard will take place in Lafayette on Jan. 13, with Nicholas Dural receiving full military honors.

“It’s really hard to even comprehend what life is going to be like after this,” Kimberly Dural said. “What I can say is he did a lot in his 20 years.”