Peter Giannopoulos'' parents weren''t thrilled when he decided to risk his life for his country. As a varsity athlete and National Merit Scholarship finalist, he had a promising college career ahead of him.
"He decided early in his senior year that he wanted to go into the Marines and that''s what he did," said his father, John. "We weren''t too happy about it, but we weren''t going to try and stop him."
Giannopoulos, 22, of Inverness, Ill., was killed Nov. 11 in a hostile attack in Iraq''s Babil province. He was based in Chicago.
A goal tender on his high school''s hockey team, Giannopoulos got his parents to sign a waiver so he could join the reserves at 17. He attended Purdue University and was planning to transfer to Northern Illinois University when his unit was activated in June.
In a high school essay, he explained his motto _ "Live to win, dare to fail" _ and why he wanted to become a Marine. "The military would sharpen the virtues that cannot be taught in the classroom, like honor, commitment, courage, valor and camaraderie."
He is survived by his parents.