Marine Pfc. Serge Kropov
21, of Hawley, Pa.; assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif.; died Dec. 20 as a result of a non-hostile incident in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
(The following is taken from www.wayneindependent.com of Dec. 30) South Canaan -
PFC Serge Kropov, 21, of Hemlock Farms, was laid to rest Wednesday with full military honors.
Kropov, a CH-53 helicopter aircraft mechanic, with the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing out of Miramar, California, was serving in Afghanistan in Operation Enduring Freedom when he died in a non-hostile incident in Helmand Province, December 20.
Friend and neighbor, Lindamay Rodnite of Hawley says her sons were friends of Serge’s; that they all attended school together. “He was just a very kind, giving, friendly, loving person,” she said. “He had a million friends.”
“When he went into the Marines, he joined the Marines voluntarily, to be part of keeping our Country free,” she said. “I told Serge, ‘I would love to raise a Marine Flag in your honor.’ And he sent me a flag which I still have hanging in front of my house in his honor ...He was a very likable man ...He was a wonderful son to his mom,” she said.
Rodnite’s daughter, Lorrie Schwinn said, “He was always smiling. He just was always friendly, a gentleman ...A tragic loss, just a good kid.”
Schwinn says when she learned of Serge’s death, she contacted the Hemlock Farms association, respectfully requesting they drop their flags. “We just lost one of our own,” she remembers saying. “They did it immediately, in honor of our fallen Marine.”
Jonathan Rodnite, 22, of Hemlock Farms has all good memories of Serge. “He was a good friend from day one. Very outgoing, very social.” He remembers how Serge didn’t have a car when he first moved into Hemlock Farms, how he’d ride his mountain bike throughout the neighborhood.
The last time he spoke with him was a month or so ago on Facebook, asking him, ‘How’s life?’ and other catch-up questions. “He was a good-hearted person,” Jonathan said. “He’d do anything for you.”
Jonathan’s brother, Patrick, 21, says Serge was a best friend. They too last spoke via Facebook two months ago, catching up on each other’s lives.
Patrick says he and Serge both attended Wallenpaupack Area High School, used to work out together, enjoyed a good game of basketball and trick bike riding. Serge, he said, was “a fun loving guy, always in a good mood,”
To Serge’s family, Patrick said, “Sorry for your loss. I send my condolences. Peace be with you.”
To his friend, he said, “Rest in peace.”
The service was held at the Monastery of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk, in South Canaan.
PFC Kropov received the following awards in service to the country: Iraq Campaign Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, and Sea Service Deployment Medal.