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Westport Native, Fallen Marine Remembered by Grandfather, Former Coach

Seven marines, including Westport native Roger Muchnick, were killed in Nevada Monday after a 60 millimeter mortar exploded on the ground during a training exercise. Eight marines were injured in the incident.

Update, March 21, 11:07 p.m.

Fairfield First Selectman Michael Tetreau offered condolences to the family and friends of Roger Muchnick Thursday:

“As the brother of a lieutenant colonel currently serving in Afghanistan, I am deeply saddened to learn of the tragic death of Marine Lance Corporal Roger W. Muchnick, Jr. whose dedication to our country is to be commended. On behalf of the town of Fairfield, I give my heartfelt condolences to the Muchnick family and hope they take comfort in knowing how honorable and brave their son was.”   

Original Story

Roger Muchnick’s grandfather and former college lacrosse coach remember him as a competitive athlete and a loving person with great work ethic, according to a report in the Associated Press (AP).

Jerome Muchnick, Roger’s grandfather, told the AP that his grandson was in the Marines for nearly three years, had served in Afghanistan on two tours, and was thinking about going back to college after his enlistment in the Marines was complete.

“You can’t imagine losing a very handsome, 23-year-old grandson who was vital and loving,” said Jerome Muchnick, 77, of Philadelphia, adding that his grandson was at the top of his game when the incident occurred. “He was a fabulous kid. Just fabulous.”

Muchnick played both lacrosse and football while at Staples High School. Muchnick, who studied business at Eastern Connecticut University, went on to play lacrosse at the college level after he graduated from Staples.

Eastern Connecticut Lacrosse Team will wear Muchnick’s number 36 on players’ helmets for the remainder of this season to honor him, men’s lacrosse coach Justin Axel told the AP.

"It’s just an absolute tragedy," Axel said. "Our deepest heartfelt sympathy goes out to his family during this time."

Muchnick’s parents, Kate Coakley, and Roger Muchnick Sr., divorced and moved out of Westport a few years ago.

Several media outlets from Hartford and New York gathered outside Westport Town Hall Wednesday afternoon while conducting interviews about Muchnick.

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