By TV Hagenah
TUCUMCARI — A United States Marine with direct ties to Quay County died in Iraq recently, making him one of the first military personnel with such ties to the county to die in “Operation Iraqi Freedom.”
Staff Sgt. Marvin Best, 33, grandson of Mary E. Daniels of Logan, and the son of Charlotte Best, formerly of Tucumcari, was assigned to the Second Battalion, Seventh Marine Unit, said Capt. Brian Lewis of the Yakima, Wash., Marine Division.
According to family members living in Logan, Best died as a result of an enemy land mine set up as a booby trap against U.S. Troops in the area.
“He was killed in action,” said Best’s Uncle Donald Daniels, also of Logan.
Mary Daniels said she hadn’t seen Best for a few years, but has fond memories of the times she did spend with him.
“He was always a great kid. He was fun. He’s been a great serviceman. He gave his life for us,” she said.
She said her grandson enjoyed jogging.
Best was a resident of Prosser, Wash., a community of less than 10,000 residents.
His mother Charlotte (Daniels) Best was born, raised and educated through high school in Tucumcari before moving to Washington state. Best joined the Marine Corps in 1989 and most recently reenlisted for three years to serve with the Second Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Second Marine Division in Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Best had been assigned to Al Anbar province, which covers a large section of western Iraq including such locations as Ramadi, Qaim and Fallujah, all areas known to be centers of enemy activity.
According to the U.S. Department of Defense, Best is one of more than 830 U.S. service members to die since the beginning of military operations in Iraq last year.
In addition to his grandmother and his Uncle Donald Best, he had another uncle and aunt living in Logan.
Best was deployed to Iraq on Feb. 12 from a base in Twentynine Palms, Calif. He was scheduled to return to the United States in September.