Colin Joseph Wolfe, a dancer turned Marine who fought in Iraq for a mere seven weeks, died Wednesday from an explosion next to his military vehicle, his family said.
Wolfe graduated from Osbourn High School and believed very much in becoming a Marine and fighting in Iraq, his parents said.
“He loved his country. He wanted to help fight in Iraq to help other people in the world have what we have here,” said Amy Wolfe.
Colin Wolfe wanted to join the service ever since Marines visited his elementary school classroom, Amy Wolfe said.
Growing up, he played baseball and danced for the family-owned Manassas Dance Company.
In 2005 Colin Wolfe signed up for the Marines, began training at Parris Island in South Carolina then prepared for his Iraq duty at Camp Lejeune, said his father, Mark Wolfe.
“He died doing what he wanted to do,” he said.
They plan to bury their eldest child and only son in Arlington National Cemetery.
“For the congregation, everyone was in absolute shock,” said Rabbi Jennifer Wiener of Congregation Ner Shalom.
Wiener said the 19-year-old Wolfe was a spiritual person.
“He had an inner sense of who he was and his Judaism and God were definitely a part of that,” she said. “He wore his uniform to services and he was very respected for what he was doing.”
She said his time in the Marines brought out his inner strength.
“He was too young. He died too young,” she said.
Amy Wolfe said her son called from Iraq to tell her about his nearly seven-week stint in the Middle East.
“It was very, very hard because it’s very hot,” she said. “They wear pounds and pounds of protective gear. They drive back and forth every day and it’s slow and tedious but he felt what he was doing was very important.”
Rabbi Jonathon Katz, who blessed Wolfe at his bar mitzvah, the Jewish coming of age ceremony, said the teen was a “playful generously spirited good kid.”
Katz left the congregation after 10 years of service and now practices in Indiana.
“I was impressed by the bravery he showed in defending our country in a place so far away,” Katz said. “I’m sure he was a fine soldier as he was a fine young man.”
Amy Wolfe said the family is going to establish a memorial fund in her son’s name to support the future performing arts center at the George Mason University Prince William County campus.