Someone 2 Know: Cline Family 10 Years Later - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Someone 2 Know: Cline Family 10 Years Later

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Ten years ago, a Sparks Marine returned home, but not the way his family had hoped. Lance Corporal John Cline was the first northern Nevadan killed during Operation Enduring Freedom. As a new reporter back then, I spent a lot of time with his wife, Tina and their two sons. In 2003, Dakota just two years old and baby Dylan was just seven months old. A decade later, I went back for a visit.

Our community wrapped its arms around the Cline family when we learned John was missing in Iraq. We also mourned with the young family when they found out John wouldn't be coming home. He died during a firefight in An Nasirya March 23, 2003.

All these years later not a day goes by that Tina doesn't think about the love of her life. She makes sure their sons, Dakota, who's now almost 13 and Dylan, who is 10, remember their father, too. "I promised John he was never going to be forgotten," said Tina with a warm smile.

She keeps pictures and special mementos up. One of her favorites is an oil painting of John that she found on her doorstep. A stranger left it there just a few months ago. She says it feels good knowing the community still thinks about her husband.

Tina is still healing. "I have children I have to stand strong for." Making memories with her kids brings her the most joy. They most recently flew to Washington, D.C. for a 10-year reunion with John's battalion. They also visited the National Museum of the Marine Corps and the Arlington National Cemetery. They even saw a monument where their hero father's name is engraved.

John's spirit, however, isn't only kept alive through those memorials; Tina also sees John in her sons. "Dylan, he has that contagious laughter like his dad did. Dylan's passion is football. Dakota is working towards becoming an Eagle Scout. He also takes pride filling his dad's shoes - both figuratively and literally. When we interviewed him, he was wearing a pair of John's dress shoes. "I take care of Mom, Dylan." Although Tina encourages him to enjoy his youth, Dakota works hard to be the man of the house, just like his father would have wanted.

Written by Kristen Remington
 
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