When Marine Cpl. Mark Goyet returned from Iraq last winter, he spent a month with his grandparents in Westbrook.

He talked about going to college and then becoming an officer like his father, Navy Cmdr. Raymond Goyet. But he soon changed his mind and convinced the Marine Corps to let him go to Afghanistan, said his grandfather, Philip Curran of Westbrook.

Cpl. Goyet, 22, died in battle Tuesday in Helmand Province. Family members in Maine are mourning the loss.

“He was a very popular guy, a very thoughtful guy,” his grandfather said. “He was the kind of guy who would take people under his wing.”

Goyet felt strong loyalty to the men with whom he served. His family tried to talk him out of going to Afghanistan, Curran said.

“They think that he (went) because he thought some of his friends had been injured, and that he hadn’t given enough,” he said.

Mark Goyet never lived in Maine, but he spent plenty of time here with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.

His parents, Raymond and Martha (Curran) Goyet, grew up in Westbrook and graduated from Westbrook High School in 1977. Raymond Goyet, who joined the Navy after high school, was a well-known high school athlete. He and Martha Goyet are from longtime Westbrook families.

Mark Goyet’s maternal grandparents, Philip and Nancy Curran, live on Duck Pond Road in Westbrook. His paternal grandparents, Raymond Goyet Sr. and Muriel Goyet, lived on Brown Street in Westbrook before their deaths.

Other members of the extended family live in southern Maine.

When Mark Goyet’s unit returned from Iraq last winter, two of his aunts went to the airport in Bangor to be with the greeters welcoming the unit home to the United States.

Goyet was given an honorary “Maine Patriot” license plate. “He was very proud of that license plate,” Curran said.

After three years and three tours overseas, Goyet was scheduled to be discharged in February — until he asked for the transfer to a unit bound for Afghanistan.

Along with his deep ties to Maine, Mark Goyet had strong family ties to military service. Along with his father’s naval service, both of his grandfathers served during World War II. One Maine ancestor served in the War of 1812.

Mark Goyet’s parents now live in Sinton, Texas. The Currans and other Maine relatives plan to fly to Texas this weekend for a military ceremony on Monday, July 4th, when his casket is scheduled to arrive home. His funeral is planned for Tuesday.

Goyet died on the battlefield from gunshot wounds, his grandfather said.

He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, (Regimental Combat Team-8, II Marine Expeditionary Force FWD), 1st Marine Division, based in Twentynine Palms, Calif.

Several of the state’s political leaders issued public statements about the latest death of a serviceman with Maine ties.

“We mourn the tragic loss of Cpl. Goyet, and we are profoundly mindful of his steadfast courage and noble sacrifice as he heroically answered his country’s call to service,” said Sen. Olympia Snowe. “His bravery and dedication will never be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this most difficult of times.”

“Our nation will be forever grateful for his selfless sacrifice and brave service to our country,” said Sen. Susan Collins. “My thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and fellow Marines.”

Gov. Paul LePage said, “We will not forget his courage and dedication which he displayed fighting to the defense of our freedom. His sacrifice will forever be remembered.”

Staff Writer John Richardson can be contacted at 791-6324 or at:

[email protected]

 


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