Friends, family recall slain Marine’s dedication

Published 2:21 pm Wednesday, November 21, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS — Marine Lance Cpl. Dale Means wasn’t afraid of going to Afghanistan and saw it as an opportunity to honor his country, a family member said, reflecting on the death of the 23-year-old soldier from Minnesota.

Means was killed Sunday while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, the U.S. Department of Defense said Tuesday.

Means’ sister, JoLyn Means, said the family was told her brother was killed by an improvised explosive device in the southern part of the province. Means was part of a 15-vehicle convoy when his truck hit a roadside bomb. He was riding as a gunner and was the only Marine killed, his sister said.

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Brian Tupy was one of two best men at Means’ wedding in October 2011. Tupy said Means was a big influence on his life and made him want to be a better person. So Tupy followed in Means’ footsteps and joined the Marines nearly a year ago. Means had enlisted in early 2011.

“He was in boot camp when he told me that being a Marine is such a great feeling,” Tupy said. “To call ourselves a United States Marine, well, it’s something almost unexplainable.”