Private funeral planned for Nevada Marine
April 16, 2003
RENO — The widow of a northern Nevada Marine killed in Iraq said a private funeral for her husband probably will be held this weekend.
Tina Cline learned Friday that 21-year-old Lance Cpl. Donald J. Cline Jr. was killed March 23 during an ambush near the southern Iraq town of Nasiriyah. He had previously been classified as missing.
His remains were expected to be shipped home this week.
“It’s looking like Wednesday that John’s remains will be here,” Mrs. Cline told the Reno Gazette-Journal. “Six or seven Marines will be there, and I’ll be there.”
She said she’s overwhelmed by the outpouring of prayers, letters of condolences and donations being sent to her and her two young sons.
“It has just been unbelievable how many people have been nice to me and giving me hugs, money, handmade quilts,” she told KTVN-TV.
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She has opened an account at Sierra Schools Credit Union for donations to her sons, Dakota, 2, and Dillon, 7 months.
But she also said it is difficult accepting money.
“You work for what you need,” she said. “And that is just what John and I have done. You earn it. So I ask what can I do for you.”
Cline was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade based at Camp Lejeune, N.C. His remains, along with those of perhaps three other Marines, were flown to Dover, Del., where tests were performed to confirm their identities.
Officials said it’s believed the Marines were headed toward the site where the 507th Maintenance Company convoy was ambushed in the attack in which Pfc. Jessica Lynch was wounded and taken captive and to which five of the soldiers released on Sunday were attached.
Cline is the second Nevadan killed in Iraq. The first was Marine 1st Lt. Fred Pokorney, a 1989 Tonopah High School graduate, who was killed in action March 23, the same day as Cline.
Pokorney was buried Monday at Arlington National Cemetery.
John and Tina Cline met while attending Reed High School in Sparks and married at the American Legion Hall in Sun Valley on Oct. 21, 2000 — the day after he graduated from Marine boot camp.
The family had been living together at Camp Lejeune, N.C., until Cline got his orders to ship out just after Christmas. Mrs. Cline and the boys have been living with her mother in Sun Valley just north of Reno.