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The family of a Royal Marine killed in Afghanistan have said how proud they were of him and how he ''touched the lives of everyone who knew him''.
Marine James Wright, 22, from Weymouth died in hospital on Friday August the 5th after a grenade was thrown into his patrol's checkpoint in the Nad-e Ali district of Helmand province.
His family and colleagues praised his courage and bravery.
His father David said:
''James was so proud to be a Royal Marine and we are so proud of him. He was determined to be the best.''
His mother Sallie added: ''He was always smiling with a wonderful sense of humour. James never had a bad word to say about anyone and was so kind and considerate.''
The couple added:
''James loved his family and was as proud of us as we are of him. He touched the lives of everyone who knew him.''
Marine Wright's partner Shelley is expecting their baby.
Lieutenant Colonel Ewen Murchison, MBE, Royal Marines, Commanding Officer, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said:
''Marine James Wright was an impressive young man with an insatiable appetite for life.
''A spirited and passionate character, he loved his job, his fellow Marines and his family and leaves behind a massive void in the lives of all those who knew him. An extremely bright prospect, he was renowned for his cheerfulness, no matter how dire the situation, and indefatigable loyalty and commitment to his profession.''
He said the marine had spent the past four months in an ''austere combat outpost'' in Afghanistan.
Major Aaron Fisher, Royal Marines, Officer Commanding, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, said his
''courage, heart and gentle manner will be long remembered''.
The serviceman took part in Navy ski championships in France, scaled Ben Nevis and had a passion for motocross.
Colleagues remembered how he had once rescued a cow that had got trapped in barbed wire near their base, and treated its injuries, and praised him for his jovial nature.
His nickname was ''Big Reach'', because he once befriended a gangster on the streets of New York who used that name.
Defence Secretary, Dr Liam Fox said:
''Marine James Wright was by all accounts a man of great character and ability, fearless in battle and a model marine.
"He was doing vital work to bring stability to Afghanistan and, by extension, greater security to us all.
"The tributes from his family and comrades say it all: he was a hero who died for his country. They have my deepest respect and sympathy.''