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Victor Theodore Lake Jr.
Find A Grave, courtesy Chris Goff

West Virginia Veterans Memorial


Victor Theodore Lake Jr.

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear."

Ambrose Redmoon

Victor T. Lake Jr. was born on August 27, 1968, in Jacksonville, Florida. His parents were Judy C. Jackson Lake and Victor T. Lake Senior. He also had a brother named Vincent Lake. At some point in his childhood, he moved to Marmet, West Virginia. He was a graduate of East Bank High School Class of 1987. After graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he was assigned to Delta Company, 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, after his basic training at Parris Island, South Carolina.

Victor grew up in the small community of Marmet, which had a population 2,196 as of the 1980 census. Marmet is located in Kanawha County along the Kanawha River, located five miles southeast of the capital city, Charleston, West Virginia. The town of Marmet was named in 1900 for the Marmet Coal Company, which was owned by William and Edwin Marmet. Marmet currently has a declining population with 1,469 residents calling Marmet home, according to the city's website. The high school that Victor attended, East Bank High School, was first built as Cabin Creek District High School in the year 1912. It served the upper Kanawha Valley for 87 years before its consolidation with DuPont High School to form present-day Riverside High School.

Victor was in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years and achieved the rank of corporal as a member of Delta Company. In early August 1990, Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein ordered the invasion and occupation of neighboring Kuwait. Alarmed by these actions, fellow Arab powers such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt called on the United States and other Western nations to intervene. Cpl. Lake's unit was sent to Kuwait in support of Operation Desert Storm in 1991, which is considered the First Gulf War.

Insignia of the 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion

Find A Grave, courtesy Teddy Butenas

Sadly, on February 27, 1991, Cpl. Victor Theodore Lake Jr. died from an accidental grenade explosion within his AmTrac. Other Marines present reported that he covered the grenade with his body to protect others. He laid down his life to protect his fellow Marines and his country. The Navy corpsman who assessed and provided first aid to him remembers that "he was reading his military issued Bible when he died." Cpl. Victor Theodore Lake Jr. was laid to rest at Tyler Mountain Memorial Gardens in Cross Lanes, West Virginia. His comrade in arms Teddy Butenas said, "I was there when this Marine was killed. I think about him often."

Maura McGhee and Alyssa Harper, George Washington High School JROTC
January 2019


Victor Theodore Lake Jr.

West Virginia Archives and History welcomes any additional information that can be provided about these veterans, including photographs, family names, letters and other relevant personal history.

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