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A Saturday memorial service has been planned for a local marine who was killed in Afghanistan on Friday. U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Matthew Manoukian, 29, was a Los Altos Hills resident, the son of a Santa Clara County Superior Court judge and a graduate of St. Francis High School in Mountain View. He died around 2 a.m. local time in Afghanistan’s Helmand province, according to the U.S. Marine Corps Special Operations Command.
Manoukian’s memorial service is planned for Saturday, Aug. 18 at 3 p.m. in the St. Francis High School Gymnasium at 1885 Miramonte Ave. in Mountain View, according to the website captainmattmanoukian.com. Along with the service, the Manoukian family also announced the creation of a St. Francis High School scholarship fund called the “Matthew Patrick Manoukian Tribute,” in honor of the slain marine. While in Afghanistan, Manoukian was serving in the 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Manoukian had been sent to Helmand province after other tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to the Manoukian family, Manoukian was involved in a project that helped to train and arm local governments against Taliban infiltration. At the time of his death, Manoukian was likely conducting a meeting with village leaders, a Marines spokesman said. In 2006, Manoukian had been stationed in Iraq, where he learned to speak Arabic and studied Middle Eastern cultures. After being injured by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and saving an injured comrade, Manoukian was re-deployed to Western Iraq in 2008, according to the Manoukian family.
Manoukian was on his second tour in Afghanistan when he died. He had recently applied to law school and rejected a position as an executive officer, preferring instead to lead a special operations team in Afghanistan. Among his commendations for past exemplary service, Manoukian had received two Purple Hearts, according to the Marine Corps. He was both an airborne parachutist and a 1st degree Black Belt. Manoukian is survived by his father, Santa Clara County Judge Socrates “Pete” Manoukian, state appeals court Associate Justice Patricia Bamattre-Manoukian, and his two brothers, Michael and Martin.
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