Marine Corps PFC Deryk Hallal was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California. PFC Hallal was killed by hostile fire.
Deryk was a 1998 graduate of North Central High School in Indianapolis, Indiana. He was considered an All-American kid by nearly everyone who knew him. He loved sports, especially basketball, and enjoyed playing video games. After graduation, he attended college and then studied computer programming at Professional Careers Institute. Deryk also modeled occasionally, taking advantage of the 6 foot 5 inch frame he had used as a wide receiver in high school, but his dream was to be a sports agent. Deryk was so affected by the events of 9/11 that he quit college and signed on with the United States Marine Corps as an infantry rifleman in February 2003. He left for boot camp in May 2003 and graduated in the Honor Platoon.
Deryk deployed to Iraq in late February 2004. He told his family that he was glad to be in Iraq and wanted to give hope to Iraqis. Deryk was a big jokester who often performed impressions of Jim Carrey, Ross Perot, and George W. Bush. On April 6, 2004, the Marines were engaged by the enemy in al Anbar province, just west of Baghdad. Deryk moved as the point man for his squad as the insurgents launched a major city-wide offense. During the initial engagement, he was caught in the open, exposed and under intense enemy rocket-propelled grenade, machine gun, and small-arms fire. He returned accurate fire, immediately eliminating three insurgents and allowing the squad to position themselves for an assault against the enemy strongpoint. Ordered to clear an enemy emplacement, he courageously led the attack, moving through difficult urban terrain while constantly under intense enemy fire. Deryk received gunshots to both the right and left thigh shattering his left femur, rendering him unable to move on his own. Receiving enemy fire from 360 degrees, he continued to fire on the enemy as the other Marines attempted to move him to a covered position. He continued encouraging his squad mates and engaging the enemy as his brother Marines began to carry him into an alleyway. A fatal bullet struck him and little more could be done than to administer morphine and pray as he died in the street. Deryk received many medals in the short 11 month Marine career, one being the prestigious Bronze Star with Combat “V” for valor for his heroic actions that day.
Deryk is buried in the Field of Valor at Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis. His tombstone is 3 feet high and has the following inscription on it: "Christ died for your sins, our son died for your freedom."