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  Home > Communities > Hanover

10/3/06 - Posted from the Daily Record newsroom
Marine Lance Cpl. Christopher Benedict Cosgrove III, of Cedar Knolls, was team-oriented and played football at Whippany Park High School, said Principal John Manning.


Hanover Marine killed in Iraq

23-year-old remembered as hard worker, team player

1 Comment
HANOVER -- Marine Lance Cpl. Christopher Benedict Cosgrove III of Cedar Knolls, a 2001 graduate of Whippany Park High School, was killed in action in Iraq on Sunday.

Details of how and where in the country Cosgrove died were unclear Monday night.

The Department of Defense issues press releases listing military casualties on its Web site 24 hours after the last official next of kin of the deceased soldier has been notified, according to Lt. Commander Joe Carpenter, a department spokesman.

However, on Monday word quickly spread throughout Hanover and to Cosgrove's former high school through people close to family members and the local Marine office at Picatinny Arsenal in Rockaway Township.

Reached at home Monday afternoon, Cosgrove's mother, Charlene Bowie, referred all phone calls to 1st Sgt. William Meisinger at the Picatinny Arsenal office.

Art Bowie, Charlene's husband, declined to comment when reached by phone at his business in Livingston.

Meisinger did not return phone calls and several messages left for him throughout the day.

The Marine, 23, was a beloved alumnus, according to his high school Principal John Manning.

The inscription beneath Cosgrove's 2001 senior yearbook photo reads, "Pride and Commitment: Whippany Park High School Football," Manning said, "and his pride in the football team was important to him."

In addition to football, where he wore No. 68, he also was a member of the school's track and lacrosse teams.

"Chris was one of the hardest workers and, typical of his Marine Corps attitude, he always placed the team above everything else," Manning said. "He was a very team-oriented young man and very fond of Whippany Park High School. He visited us often."

The last time Cosgrove visited his former teachers at the high school was last spring, just before he shipped out for Iraq.

Assistant Wildcats football coach Brent Kaiser chatted with Cosgrove for 20 minutes in a lobby at the high school that spring before the marine was sent to Iraq.

"He was good to have around," Kaiser said. "He would do anything for the team."

Kaiser, a 13-year-veteran football coach, said Cosgrove was "overly proud" about joining the Marines.

Cosgrove enlisted in the Corps just after leaving Monmouth University in 2005.

Determined to serve

"He could've very easily found a job over here and settled down," Kaiser said. "He had this excitement for what he was doing in that last conversation we had, it stood out, just how really strong-willed he was. He knew what he wanted to do. Not too many people would just get up and do what he did, to go fight for your country. It was a big decision. I have a lot of respect for him for that. "

Cosgrove intelligently discussed the consequences of what he was setting out to do and said that joining the military would be beneficial for him later, Kaiser said.

Whippany Park High School plans to observe a moment of silence this morning in Cosgrove's memory, according to Manning. Formal funeral arrangements were not complete on Monday.

Several cars were parked outside Cosgrove's home in the Trail Woods development in Hanover on Monday. Two flags -- the U.S. flag and a red Marine flag -- hung low from poles. Several other homes in Trail Woods had smaller American flags at their curbs.

Cosgrove's grandfather from his mother's side, Charles Angelo Turrisi Sr., of Roxbury, who died in 2004, served as a pilot during World War II. His plane was shot down over Yugoslavia and he was held prisoner until the war ended, according to Turrisi's obituary.

A tragic first

Cosgrove is believed to be the first serviceman from Hanover to have died in Iraq. Five other servicemen from Morris County have been killed in Iraq since the start of the war.

Lance Cpl. Robert J. Slattery was the only other Marine from Hanover who was killed in action, in Vietnam, since that war, according to Pete Gallo, commandant of the Whippany-based Lance Corporal Robert J. Slattery Detachment of the U.S. Marine Corps League, where Cosgrove was scheduled to become the junior vice-commandant on Wednesday.

The military reported three Marines died in the al Anbar Province in Iraq on Sunday, but did not release names, pending family notification. Carpenter on Monday said it would be speculation to connect that incident to Cosgrove.

Navid Iqbal can be reached at (973) 428-6627 or Wire services contributed to this report.

Friends and Family Tue Oct 03, 2006 10:19 am
In Memory of Christopher Cosgrove.

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