A Marine veteran who once penned a book about his experiences as an Irishman in the U.S. Marine Corps was killed in Ukraine.

Graham Dale, 45, was killed Dec. 9 while fending off an attack by Russian troops on a Ukrainian position, his commander, Ryan O’Leary, told Task & Purpose.

Ireland’s department of foreign affairs was aware of Dale’s case and “providing consular assistance” but declined to comment further, a spokesperson told Marine Corps Times on Wednesday.

Dale served in the Marine Corps from January 2002 to January 2008 and left as a corporal, according to information provided by Corps spokeswoman Yvonne Carlock. A mortarman, he earned the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal M Device and National Defense Service Medal.

In his 2009 book “The Green Marine: An Irishman’s War in Iraq,” written with Neil Fetherstonhaugh, Dale recounted living in the United States when the 9/11 attacks occurred and signing up for the Marines that very afternoon.

“I am not an American, but I couldn’t remain impartial and say that this horrific act against my adopted home had nothing to do with me,” Dale wrote, according to a piece Fetherstonhaugh published Thursday in The Sunday World.

“I lived in America, my friends were American and I was pretty sure my kids would be too. I may not have been a citizen, but I was an immigrant, like all the other immigrants who helped build the country I now called home.”

In May 2022, Dale told the Texas NBC affiliate KXAN he quit his job in Texas soon after the war in Ukraine began and initially wanted to go to Poland to assist Ukrainian refugees. But then he felt himself pulled toward the war zone.

“To me, this is an attack on all of Europe, and I felt compelled with my current skillset and so forth that I could help in any way that I could,” Dale told KXAN.

Writing in The Sunday World, Fetherstonhaugh described Dale as the embodiment of the word “hero” but “no macho Rambo man.”

“While he did look the part of a US Marine with the tightly cut ‘Jarhead’ and stocky build, he was a deeply thoughtful young man who considered all his actions very carefully,” Fetherstonhaugh wrote.

Dale is at least the eighth U.S. Marine veteran to have been killed in the war in Ukraine.

Other Marine veterans known to have died in the war are Joel David Beal, killed in October; Lance Lawrence, killed in July; Ian Frank Tortorici, 32, killed in June; Cooper “Harris” Andrews, 26, killed in April; Pete Reed, 33, killed in February; and Grady Kurpasi, 50, and Willy Joseph Cancel, 22, each killed in April 2022.

Irene Loewenson is a staff reporter for Marine Corps Times. She joined Military Times as an editorial fellow in August 2022. She is a graduate of Williams College, where she was the editor-in-chief of the student newspaper.

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