By Michael Swaney
The family of a Marine security guard stationed at the US embassy in the Republic of Congo says their son died on December 19th but the Marine Corps has yet to comment.
When a service member dies their identity is withheld until their next of kin is notified of their death but sometimes the family of the bereaved will go public before the military has decided to.
Lance Cpl. Nicholas Maurice Dural, 20, of Lafayette, Louisiana, had been serving at the U.S. embassy in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, since April, according to his father who spoke with the Military Times.
“In response to a Marine Corps Times query about Nicholas Dural’s death, a State Department spokesperson on Friday confirmed the death of a U.S. service member in the Republic of Congo but declined to comment further. The Marine Corps didn’t respond over the weekend to a Marine Corps Times request for comment,” the Times reported.
“He’s one of the best people I’ve ever met in my whole life,” the young Marine’s father, Dalton Dural said. “His heart was so good. And I’m not saying that because he’s my son. It’s what I saw and experienced.”
When Nicholas Dural joined the Marines he pursued the infantryman military occupational specialty because he was drawn to the pride of the job.
“I wanted to be the tip of the spear,” he told reporters in April after being hailed a hero for preventing a stabbing. “I wanted to be the best of the best.”
While his first assignment on active duty was as a Marine embassy security guard, according to his mother, he still had an opportunity to be a hero.
Not long after completing his embassy guard training in Virginia, he was having lunch with two other Marines at a Chick-fil-A before going to get a haircut.
As he was slowly finishing his fries he observed two teens in an altercation with another diner.
Dural saw one of the two teens pull out a knife and that is when his new training kicked in.
As Dural had just learned in Marine Security Guard training, he grabbed the wrist of the teen holding the knife and twisted.
“Dural said he put so much pressure on the top of the blade that the knife snapped. The blade flew into the air and slid across the floor,” the Marine Corps Times reported at the time.
The local sheriff’s office publicly thanked the “hero Marines” who stepped in to prevent a potentially fatal scenario.
The Marines were presented the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals at aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia.
Dural departed for his embassy assignment in the Republic of Congo the following week.
“I want to be that strong person that anybody can trust,” Dural told reporters at the time. “I’ve always wanted to do that. I was like that for my sisters when I grew up with them. And I would love to do that for the rest of the world.”
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