Marine Lance Cpl. Shane Clanin Swanberg, 24, was in Iraq fewer than 10 days and had not yet gone on his first mission. He died when mortar...

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Marine Lance Cpl. Shane Clanin Swanberg, 24, was in Iraq fewer than 10 days and had not yet gone on his first mission.


He died when mortar and rocket fire hit his base about 7 a.m. Thursday at Ramadi.


His parents talked about their son yesterday in an appearance at the Northshore Baptist Church in Bothell, where the family are members.


“He was anxious to get to Ramadi. He told me, ‘Mom, I want to get over to help my buddies,’ ” said his mother, Linda Swanberg, in a statement read on her behalf by a member of the Redmond Fire Department, where she has worked for 16 years.


On the day before he died, her son sent an e-mail.


“I will start my first mission tomorrow,” he wrote. “Mom, I love you very much.”


His father, Brian Swanberg, said few details of the attack that led to his son’s death were available. Lance Cpl. Swanberg was a TOW missile and Humvee operator who also manned the M-60 machine gun mounted atop a Humvee.


“They were on base in a green zone,” said his father. “Incoming rocket fire hit the base.”


Lance Cpl. Swanberg was the only casualty in the attack, said his father.


Lance Cpl. Swanberg grew up in the Finn Hill and Juanita areas of Kirkland and graduated from Juanita High School in 2000. He joined the Marine Corps in 2002 and served the first three years of his enlistment at Twentynine Palms, Calif. He expected to return from Iraq after a seven-month tour of duty, said his father.


He’d last been home in August, said his mother. “The time he was here in August was just a wonderful, fun-filled time,” she said.


He wanted to go to college and go into real estate, and was always reading real-estate books, added his father.


“It’s surreal,” said his father, a retired Renton police officer. “You honestly expect it won’t happen to you. … There’s no describing the depth of emptiness and loss.”


The Swanbergs have two other children, Travis, an Army sergeant who has not been assigned to Iraq; and Nicole, 18, a recent Juanita High School graduate.


Service arrangements have not been made yet.


Peyton Whitely: 206-464-2259 or pwhitely@seattletimes.com