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Yorba Linda Marine killed in Afghanistan

June 24, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A 22-year-old U.S. Marine from Yorba Linda has died in combat in Afghanistan. He is the third serviceman from Yorba Linda to die in action in the past three months. The family of Corporal Claudio Patino is remembering him as a hero.Claudio Patino was a decorated Marine. His family says ever since he was young boy he has wanted to serve his country. This week he lost his life fulfilling that dream.

The family of Claudio Patino mourns the loss of their treasured Marine.

"He always said that his country is worth more than his life," said Patino's brother, Marlon Chinchilla.

"He wanted to go there and serve our country and -- he's always going to be our hero," said another brother, Alexander Chinchilla.

Patino was killed in combat in Afghanistan on Tuesday. He was serving his third deployment after doing previous tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Patino had recently re-enlisted, volunteering for a second tour of duty in Afghanistan. He left March 31 after just four months at home.

"I asked him, 'Why are you going back so soon?'" said neighbor Tom Woods. "And he says, 'My friends are over there,' and he says, 'If I don't go back and do this, who is going to?'"

Patino's family says all he ever wanted was to be a Marine. They say they take comfort in knowing he died serving the country he loved.

"He was a great Marine. He was a great son for us," said Claudio Patino III, Claudio's father. "We're going to miss him a lot. We are so proud of him."

A celebration of Patino's life is planned for Monday night at his alma mater, El Dorado High School.


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