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SATURDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2005
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Marine buried in Cullman

CULLMAN (AP) — There were tears, salutes and moments of laughter as friends and family gathered here Friday to remember a North Alabama Marine who was accidentally shot and killed while serving in Iraq.

Family members say Cpl. Adam Fales, 22, of Cullman was listening to music on his laptop when he was shot by a member of his unit.

Military officials have confirmed that Fales was accidentally shot while in his barracks in Fallujah on Dec. 16, but have not released details.

Fales' brother, Jacob Fales, said the family learned from the military that he was listening to country music with three of his fellow Marines before two of them got up to leave.

"They picked up their guns. One of them accidentally pulled the trigger. The gun was pointed at Adam," Jacob Fales, who is also a Marine corporal, told The Cullman Times.

He said the news came as a relief to the family, which initially thought foul play may have been involved. An overflow crowd attended the emotional service.

Those in attendance ranged from Fales' former classmates and teammates to Cullman County's legislative delegation. State Sen. Zeb Little and Reps. Neal Morrison and Jeremy Oden presented the family with proclamations from Gov. Bob Riley.

Adam Fales has been awarded the State of Alabama Distinguished Service Medal — the highest medal awarded to state residents.

Jacob Fales said his mother has requested that the members of his brother's unit not be punished, though they violated rules by not clearing the gun chambers of ammunition. He said guns are also supposed to be pointed in the air to prevent accidents.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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