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Father of Las Cruces Marine recruit who died during training says the two shared a “special bond”

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico -- An 18-year-old Marine recruit who recently graduated from Mayfield High School has died after collapsing during training at Camp Pendleton.

According to a statement from the Marines obtained by the San Diego Tribune, Pfc. Javier Pong collapsed and became "unconscious and unresponsive" while participating in what the Marines have called "scheduled training." He passed away at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton on Sept. 27.

The statement adds that his death is currently under investigation by the Marines. ABC-7 reached out to Camp Pendleton for more information but did not hear back immediately.

ABC-7 spoke with Pong's father, Fabian, Monday, stating that the two were very close and shared a "special bond." Pong said that Javier "stuck by my side through hard times, and he was always there with me."

Pong added that Javier "had his full support to follow his dreams" and "will be remembered as a hero in my heart."

According to Pong's obituary, funeral services will be held on Friday, Oct. 14, at Baca's Funeral Chapel in Las Cruces. Online condolences can be left at

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Jason McNabb

Reporter/Multimedia Journalist & ABC-7 Weekend Primetime Anchor


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