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Obituaries | MILITARY DEATHS

Marine Lance Cpl. Marcus Glimpse, 22, Huntington Beach; Killed in Checkpoint Bombing

April 30, 2006|William Lobdell | Times Staff Writer

There may not have been a more unlikely Marine than Marcus Glimpse. As a teenager, he dropped out of high school, painted his fingernails black and sported a fuchsia-colored Mohawk. Glimpse couldn't hold a job, even at Blockbuster, where he was fired for being perpetually late -- at a store 500 yards from his home.

But when his twin brother, Michael, became an Army paratrooper, Marcus wanted to do his brother one better by joining the Marine Corps, said his father, Guy.

Glimpse, a 22-year-old Huntington Beach resident, entered boot camp at Camp Pendleton as a 5-foot-9, 129-pound computer nerd who liked to sleep during the day and play video games at night. By the time he graduated, his father said, he was "160 pounds of just pure muscle" and had turned into a quiet leader.

"We were so proud of him," his father said. "Being a Marine proved to him that he was more than just this geek kid sitting behind the computer screen. He really could do more than he ever envisioned."

On April 12, the lance corporal was killed by a remotecontrolled homemade bomb at a roadside security checkpoint in Iraq's Al Anbar province, west of Baghdad. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Pendleton.

On his second tour of duty, Glimpse had been in Iraq since January.

In a letter written just two hours after Glimpse's death, Cpl. Stephen Disharoon detailed for Glimpse's parents why their son was so respected by his fellow Marines. "Glimpse was an excellent Marine, one I had complete confidence in and would trust with my life," he wrote. "I never once heard him complain about anything because it was too hard or too difficult to do.... It was a privilege and an honor to have your son be a part of us.... We will remember him forever, a Marine everyone, including myself, should strive to be."

Glimpse was born at Ft. Sill, Okla., and lived in Plano, Texas, before moving with his family to Southern California, where he attended high school.

Though a natural athlete, he didn't enjoy team sports and spent much of his time watching "The Sopranos" and playing video games with three close friends.

Glimpse's favorite holiday was the Fourth of July. As the sun set, he would lead a group of neighborhood children across the Santa Ana River from Huntington Beach to Costa Mesa, where fireworks were legal, and put on a pyrotechnic show.

His father, who described him as "my best friend," said Marcus "lost his way a bit" when his twin brother enlisted in the Army after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

"His absence left a void in Marc," Guy Glimpse said of Michael, noting that the twins had never lived apart.

When Marcus decided to join the Marines in 2002, he needed to go back to high school to get in. Six months later, he earned his diploma and joined the Marine Corps, scoring near the top of each intelligence test, his father said.

Guy Glimpse said his son wanted to go into military intelligence but was assigned to be part of a mortar team. Later, he became a machine gunner.

Michael Glimpse spoke of his brother's character. "The most admirable thing about him was his loyalty to his family and friends," he said. "Being a Marine helped show [his good qualities] a lot more. It helped chisel away the rough edges."

With his enlistment up in 2007, Marcus was deciding whether to reenlist or go to college with the goal of becoming an attorney. "I've always known how talented Marc was," his father said. "Finally he did too."

In addition to his father and brother, Glimpse is survived by his mother, Maryan; and two sisters, Mandy and Megan.

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