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First Name: Travis

Last Name: Manion

Birthplace: Camp Lejeune, NC, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Marines (present)

Home of Record: Doylestown, PA
Middle Name: Joseph Lemma

Date of Birth: 19 November 1980

Date of Death: 29 April 2007

Rank: First Lieutenant

Years Served: 2004 - 2011
Travis Joseph Lemma Manion

Graduate, U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 2004

•  Iraq War (Operation Iraqi Freedom) (2003 - 2011)


Travis Joseph Lemma Manion
First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps

First Lieutenant Travis Joseph Lemma Manion died on 29 April 2007 in combat in Anbar Province, while assigned to the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, CA. He was serving his second tour in Iraq supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom, and was embedded with an Iraqi army unit that he was leading and training.

“He was so sure what he was doing over there was right,” said his mother, Jannette Manion. “He called the night Bush made his speech about the troop surge and told us, ‘That’s exactly what we need.’ His biggest concern was that the politicians over here were giving life to the insurgents by putting the military and president down.”

His father, Tom Manion (a retired Marine Colonel with 30 years of active duty and reserve service), said he was proud of how his son would 'give his all' in life and in the military. “He was a kid with a big heart, never had a bad word for anyone. He was all heart; that is who he was,” Tom Manion said. “We’ve had calls from all over the country, from people who said they loved him like a brother; he really touched people like that.”

Best Friends Buried Side by Side

Travis Manion and Brendan Looney spent four years together at the U.S. Naval Academy learning to be sailors and officers and, by the time they graduated in 2004, they had become the best of friends. Now they are reunited side by side at Arlington National Cemetery.

Manion, a Bucks County native and First Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps, was killed in Iraq in 2007. On 21 September 2010, U.S. Navy Lieutenant Brendan John Looney [Honoree Record ID 9499], a Navy SEAL and Manion's Naval Academy roommate for three years, was killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan that also took the lives of eight other Americans.

Shortly after Manion's death in 2007, his family laid him to rest at Calvary Cemetery in West Conshohocken, Montgomery County, a 30-minute drive from the family's Doylestown Township home. Not long after that, they learned from his friends that Travis had expressed a desire to be buried in Arlington, said his father, Tom Manion.

Manion's family was planning to have his remains moved to Arlington, but it was not easy to do, his father said. When they learned last week of Looney's death, and that he had told his wife if he were killed he would like to be buried at Arlington with Travis, they set the wheels in motion.

Cemetery officials told the family they don't save spaces, so if they wanted Travis to be buried next to his close friend, they'd need to move quickly, Manion said. "It just seemed like if we were going to move him down there, moving him to be right next to his roommate would be a good thing," Manion said. "It is hard to think about a good thing at a time like this, losing someone like Brendan. It just seemed like it made sense to make it happen."

The two men, both good students, strong athletes and born leaders, shared a love of family and great sense of humor that created a strong bond, Manion said. He said Looney's wife, Amy, told him that before his death, her husband had said he kept three things with him at all times while fighting in Afghanistan: his watch, their wedding ring and a bracelet honoring his fallen friend Travis. "They used to call themselves brothers from a different mother," Manion said. "Anytime they were together they were always having a good time … and a lot of laughs and were a lot of fun being around. That is my lasting memory of the two of them when they got together."

Looney, a star lacrosse player from Owings, MD, was killed during a special operation in southern Afghanistan's Zabol Province. He was 29. Manion, 26, was killed on 29 April 2007, by a sniper in Al Anbar Province, Iraq.

Over the years, the two men's friendship brought their families together, Manion said. When Looney's parents went to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to retrieve their son's body, they asked the Manions to accompany them. Manion will be buried in Arlington on Friday. Looney will be buried next to him three days later.

"If you are going to be laid to rest, I know he wanted to be in Arlington," said Manion, who has said his son's service inspired him to run for Congress in 2008. "And to be next to Brendan, his brother-in-arms and his great friend.…I can't help but think that if this had to happen, he has to be sort of happy that he is beside his buddy Brendan."


First Lieutenant Travis Joseph Lemma Manion is buried at the Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Arlington County, VA, in Section 60, Site 9179.


Medals and Awards

Silver Star Medal
Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device
Purple Heart
Combat Action Ribbon
National Defense Service Medal
Iraqi Campaign Medal

Honoree ID: 7000   Created by: MHOH




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