Blast kills Marine

The war in Iraq has claimed the life of a 21-year-old Marine from Columbus.

The family of Cpl. John Corey Tanner was notified Wednesday that he had been killed in a roadside bomb incident in Iraq.

The Defense Department said late Thursday that Tanner died Wednesday while conducting combat operations in Anbar province. He was assigned to the 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Pendleton, Calif.

"The family's taking this pretty hard," said Brandon Tanner, one of the three sons of Melanie Tanner of Columbus and Hank Tanner of Panama City Beach, Fla. "My mother's taking it worse than the rest of us."

Brandon recently separated from active duty with the Air Force and is employed by Aflac.

John Tanner entered the Marine Corps in June 2006 and wanted to become a Marine aviator after his deployment ended."I'm sure he was looking forward to making the Marines a career," Brandon said.

John Tanner's wife, Anna, lives in Montana with her parents and was also notified of her husband's death Wednesday. She is expecting the couple's first child next month.

Melanie Tanner, who works as a nurse at Columbus Regional, spent much of the day Thursday deciding where to bury her son. But arrangements cannot be completed until his body is returned to the United States.

While his brothers are both graduatesalumni of Jordan High School, John Tanner attended Hallie Turner School and earned his GED before entering the Marine Corps.

"He loved the Corps and was a good Marine," Brandon Tanner said. "We're still trying to accept the idea that he's gone."