One of the Marines killed last week during live fire-training exercises in Nevada has roots in Western New York.
Lance Cpl. Mason J. Vanderwork, 21, was born in Jamestown and still has relatives in the area.
Vanderwork was one of seven Marines killed Monday when a mortar shell exploded during a training exercise at the Hawthorne Army Depot, located about 100 miles southeast of Reno, Nev.
He moved out of Jamestown with his mother, Melissa, at a young age and settled in Hickory, N.C., where he graduated from St. Stephens High School, according to published reports.
Vanderwork’s father, Kevin Hallberg, is from Jamestown. His grandfather, Terry Vanderwork, lives in Clymer, while an uncle, Dawayne Vanderwork, is in Lakewood.
Vanderwork joined the Marines in 2010 and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2011, where he served as a mortarman.
He was married in June and was based at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, N.C.
Vanderwork’s mother told the Jamestown Post-Journal that her son loved being a Marine and loved cars. Shortly before his death, he realized a dream when he purchased a Ford Cobra.
“When he got back from Afghanistan, he finally got his Ford Cobra,” his mother told the newspaper. “He said to me, ‘See, I told ya, Mom,’ and I said, ‘I know. I’m proud of you because you’ve turned out to be the man that you are.’ ”
Besides his parents, Vanderwork is survived by his wife, Taylor, and a sister, Katelyn McMahon.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. April 1 at Bass-Smith Funeral Home, Hickory, N.C.