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Marcus Slavenas: A Lost Vet Finds the Church View Comments
By Dan Petrella

ON SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2003, Marcus Slavenas got the phone call that changed everything. He had just finished work and saw that he had a voice mail from his dad: “Please call me back, Marcus.”

From the sound of his father’s voice, he knew someone in the family was dead.

When Marcus called back, his dad gave him the bad news: His younger brother, Brian, had been piloting a CH-47 Chinook helicopter that was shot down near Fallujah, Iraq. Brian was dead, along with 15 others.

Marcus went home and threw a fit, throwing chairs, making so much noise that his downstairs neighbors called the landlord.


Dan Petrella is a freelance journalist from Champaign, Illinois, who writes and fact-checks for various publications, including Chicago, Illinois Alumni and The News Gazette of Champaign. He reports for of Urbana on social and economic issues and is a research consultant on a business book for Third Angle, Inc., of Wilmette, Illinois. During the 2009-2010 school year he was a teaching assistant for the Department of Journalism at the University of Illinois.

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