Body Of 20-Year-Old Marine From Tunnel Hill Killed In Iraq Arrives

Soddy-Daisy Marine Wounded In Same Incident

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A 20-year-old Marine from Tunnel Hill, Ga., was killed in Iraq on Saturday, the Department of Defense announced. The body arrived in Chattanooga today and was escorted to Love Funeral Home in Dalton.

Services for Lance Corporal James M. Gluff will be Monday at 12:30 p.m. in the chapel of Love Funeral Home. Burial with full military honors will be Monday at 2:30 p.m. at the National Cemetery in Chattanooga.

The family will receive friends at the Love Funeral Home Sunday after 2 p.m.

Lance Corporal Gluff was involved in combat operations in Al Anbar Province.

He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C. He had been promoted to lance corporal in 2006.

The graduate of Northwest Whitfield High School left a wife and young son.

He is survived by his wife, Hope Gluff, 20, and his son, Michael Wayne, 14 months.

Also, another Marine from Soddy-Daisy who is in the same unit, was wounded in the same incident.

Corporal Daniel O'Keefe, who was recently married, suffered facial wounds from shrapnel.

He was flown to a hospital in Germany.

His parents are Tom and Angie O'Keefe.

Tom O'Keefe said Thursday morning that the family was at home last Saturday around 8:30 p.m. when they received a call saying their son had been injured in combat. The O'Keefes have two older sons.

Mr. O'Keefe said his son has undergone one surgery on his face and is up and around. He said he has visited two other Marines, who are in intensive care at the same hospital in Germany. They were injured in the same incident.

He said physicians have delayed a second surgery on his son's face for fear that nerves could be damaged. He said doctors are hoping the injuries will heal on their own. He said his son has trouble opening and closing his left eye.

Corporal O'Keefe, who is 21, is married to Tera Warren, who is also from Soddy-Daisy. She is flying to Germany today to be with her husband.

O'Keefe said he has spoken with his son several times at the hospital in Germany, and his son's wife has been able to talk to him every day.

He said his son told him, "Dad, I want to be go back (to Iraq) and finish what I went over there to do."

However, his son said he believes the two other critically injured soldiers will be coming home rather than returning to Iraq.

Mr. O'Keefe said his son told him that the unit had completed its daily patrol and was back in barracks when they were called out again after being alerted by Iraqi police of sniper attacks. He said the Marines are on 12-hour shifts seven days a week, and have only one day off a month.

He said his son stated that two trucks went out toward where the sniper attack was reported. Corporal O'Keefe was in the first truck along with Lance Corporal Gluff and the others who were injured.

Mr. O'Keefe said his son told him that they spotted a sniper by a well house. The sniper was shot, but not taken out, he said.

He said his son approached the well house and, as he went in, the sniper detonated an explosive device on his body. He said his son immediately hit the floor of the well house.

Mr. O'Keefe said his son stated that Lance Corporal Gluff and other Marines were on foot on the other side of the well house when a second suicide bomber set off an explosion that took the life of Lance Corporal Gluff and critically injured the other two.

Mr. O'Keefe said he and his wife plan to attend the Gluff funeral. He said his son would sometimes ride with Lance Corporal Gluff between Chattanooga and Camp LeJeune.

Corporal O'Keefe was home schooled, his father said, and he joined the Marines in January 2005.



Sign Up To Get The Latest News, Opinions From Chattanoogan.com In Real Time; Win Set Of Chattanooga Photo Books

Sign up for our Facebook and Twitter feeds and you will get the  local news in "real time." You will also be entered for a chance to win the complete set of the Chattanooga Photo Books published by Chattanoogan.com. We will give away three sets of The Remarkable Stokes Collection, Railroads In and Around Chattanooga and Paul Hiener's Historic Chattanooga to our new Facebook ... (click for more)

Alexander, Markey Introduce Bipartisan Legislation To Ban Cellphone Calls On Airplanes

Senators Lamar Alexander and Ed Markey (D-Ma.) Wednesday introduced bipartisan legislation directing the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to issue regulations to prohibit the use of cell phones for voice calls on airplanes. "Stop and think about what we hear now in airport lobbies from those who wander around shouting personal details into their phones: babbling about next ... (click for more)

CPS Should Have A Manned 24/7 Presence In Every County

This week something became abundantly clear to me. The Department of Child Protective Services in the state of Tennessee, or at least in Hamilton County, are asleep at the wheel.   Early yesterday afternoon local news stations broke the news: "Animals Removed from Soddy Daisy Home."  What the news station either didn't know, or didn't report, was that the children of ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Schizophrenia Calls Again

On Tuesday morning of this week a six-foot-tall, 6,000-pound monument of the “Ten Commandments” was installed on the Capitol Grounds in Little Rock, Ark. It was privately financed and quite beautiful. Less than 24 hours later, a vehicle crashed into the monument, knocking it off its base (plinth) in the early-morning darkness yesterday. The Arkansas Capitol Police arrested a ... (click for more)

Rodriquez Homers Twice As Lookouts Trip M-Braves Wednesday, 5-1

PEARL, Miss.  -- Jonathan Rodriguez hit two home runs as the Chattanooga Lookouts defeated the Mississippi Braves 5-1 on Wednesday. After already winning the first-half of the Southern League North Division, the Lookouts have opened the second-half in first place at 5-1. The Lookouts put together a strong, complete game with good pitching and some timely hitting.  ... (click for more)

Dixie Youth Baseball: Day 2 District 6 Tourney

A big comeback win by Lookout Mountain and a shutout victory by Signal Mountain American highlighted Day 2 of the Dixie Youth Baseball District 6 tourney at Lookout Mountain's Nick F. Senter Field Game 1: Lookout Mtn 18, Signal Mountain National 17 A Davis Garrett game-winning RBI single capped a wild comeback win by the hosts in an elimination game. Signal Mtn jumped out ... (click for more)