Marine LCPL
Eaton Rapids, MI
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Memorial Location: 

G.A.R. Island Park
Eaton Rapids, MI

Died of wounds suffered while conducting combat operations, Al Anbar province, Iraq.

Assigned to the Marine Force Reserves 1st Battalion, 24th Marine Regeiment, 4th Marine Division, Lansing, MI.

Marine Lance Corporal Troy Douglas Nealey was born on July 15, 1982, in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, and died on October 29, 2006, in Fallujah, Anbar Province, Iraq. He is survived by parents Annette and Norman Nealey, and brothers and best friends Todd, 23, and Michael, 15, of Eaton Rapids, Michigan. Troy also leaves behind his birth father Edward Lutz of Aurora, Colorado, his children Wesley, 37, of Brighton, Colorado, Kacey, 20, and Haley, 15, of Aurora, Colorado, grandmothers Barbara Rogers and Lois Nealey, several aunts, uncles, cousins, and numerous friends.

Troy grew up in Grand Ledge and Eaton Rapids, Michigan, graduating from Eaton Rapids High School in 2001. Embracing his farming heritage, Troy lived the “Country Boy Life” and was active in 4-H, drove an old Ford pickup truck, owned a cattle dog and raised beef cows, and drank Mountain Dew and Bud Light longnecks. A love for country music was one of his trademarks, and country music stations were the only ones preset on his truck radio. Troy dreamed of being a farmer, riding in the rodeo, showing beef cattle in national competitions, and traveling the western United States. He was planning a trip with his Mom once his tour in Iraq was complete. The trip was to include Denver, a visit to his Uncle Neal in South Dakota, and his greatest wish - meeting his birth father.

Troy enlisted in the Marine Corps in January 2004, and completed basic training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, California. He was a Reservist assigned to the Charlie Company in the 1st Battalion, 24th Regiment of the 4th Marine Division. When asked “Why the Marines, Troy?” he replied, “Because they have the best looking uniforms, Mom, and besides, no one will mess with a Marine.” Troy was always looking for an angle.

Charlie Company, 1/24th, was activated June 1 and deployed on September 27, 2006. Charlie Company was in Iraq just one month when Troy became its first casualty. Troy was 24 years old when he was killed by a rocket-propelled grenade during a combat mission in Anbar Province.

On what turned out to be his last trip home, Troy asked that, if he should not make it home alive, he wanted to have the song by Billy Ray Cyrus, “Some Gave All,” played at his funeral. Not only was it played, Mr. Cyrus also performed and recorded the song on the day of Troy’s funeral - Veterans Day, November 11, 2006. Mr. Cyrus presented the special recording to Annette as an expression of his deep appreciation for Troy’s sacrifice.

Troy also requested that part of his life insurance money be used to establish a 4-H memorial scholarship in his name, awarded to the showmanship winners in the Beef, Sheep, and Swine Divisions at the Ingham County Fair. The Troy D. Nealey Showmanship Memorial presented the award to nine recipients in 2007.


Brian J. Backus

Army PFC

Died 06/18/2011

Age 21

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Mark D. Vasquez

Army SSG

Died 11/08/2003

Age 35

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Todd A. Motley

Army SPC

Died 09/14/2007

Age 23

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Justin S. Smith

Army 1LT

Died 11/07/2005

Age 28

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John Wayne Marcum

Navy Senior CPO

Died 09/12/2008

Age 34

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Matthew J. Leach

Army Reserve SSG

Died 06/24/2012

Age 29

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David A. Huhn

Marine LCPL

Died 12/01/2005

Age 24

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In C. Kim

Marine CPL

Died 12/07/2004

Age 23

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Joseph A Miracle

Army PFC

Died 07/05/2007

Age 22

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Nicholas A. Miller

Marine Reserve LCPL

Died 12/28/2006

Age 20

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