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Little League Honors Fallen Hero

Marianna Winchester accepts the award from Bob Klein, president of the Rockville Centre (N.Y.) Little League. Mrs. Winchester's son, Marine 1st Lt. Ronald Winchester, was killed in battle earlier this year in Iraq. (Photo courtesy of the Rockville Centre Herald.)

Ronald Winchester never took the easy way out.

A graduate of the Rockville Centre (N.Y.) Little League, Ronald went on to earn an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy, where he became starting left tackle for the Division I Midshipmen. He chose to become a U.S. Marine.

In his second tour of combat duty, he was killed in action Sept. 3 in the Al Anbar province of Western Iraq.

At a ceremony on Nov. 4, the Rockville Centre Little League honored 1st Lt. Winchester’s memory with an award created by the league specifically for him: The Spirit of Little League Award. Accepting on her son’s behalf was Ronald’s mother, Marianna Winchester.

“His mom displayed more courage than I have ever seen in any person,” league president Bob Klein said. “I know where her son got it.”

Kristine and Marianna Winchester enjoy a moment at the ceremony honoring Marine 1st Lt. Ronald Winchester. Lt. Winchester, son of Marianna and brother of Kristine, lost his life in combat in Iraq on Sept. 3, 2004. (Photo courtesy of the Rockville Centre Herald.)

Mr. Klein came up with the idea for the award when Lt. Winchester was eulogized.

“At his funeral, he was recalled as a man of highest moral character, who was courageous in battle and remained loyal to his troops and friends – the same three words which appear in our logo,” Mr. Klein said. “This prompted me to recommend to our Board that we establish a Spirit of Little League Award and make him our first recipient.”

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