United States Marine Corps Staff Sergeant • Line of Duty Death: March 8, 2010

On March 8, 2010, United States Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Nicanor Lopez Caboteja Jr. passed away suddenly due to an illness connected to his tour during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
SSgt Caboteja was born in Yuma, AZ and grew up with a Naval father who was stationed on Naval bases around the world. While growing up, Nick had a knack for creating and building things. On the Naval bases he grew up, the Marines he would observe inspired him to one day be a Marine and he joined the United States Marine Corps in 1996.

SSgt Caboteja was honored and proud to be a Marine. Often joking with his Naval father and Army brother-in-law on which military branch was the best. During his time in the Marines, Caboteja broke down several preconceptions and biases about Asian/Pacific Islander Marines.
SSgt Caboteja was the main Logistics NCO for the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit in 2004-2005 and worked as a Logistics NCO traveling throughout Iraq procuring supplies in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Caboteja received many awards during his time in service, including but not limited to the Navy and Marine Corp achievement medal with two gold stars, Navy Unit Commendation, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation award, Marine Corp Good Conduct Medal with three Bronze stars, National Defense Service Medal, Global war on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Sea Service deployment ribbon with two Bronze Stars, and the Marine Corp Recruiting Ribbon.
Nick was known for his humility and broke down tensions with his humor with those he worked alongside with. Known for his practical jokes and pranks both with his family, friends, and fellow Marines. For fellow Marines, Caboteja always strived to be a good role model by being efficient, accountable and being there for them when they needed someone to listen, especially the junior Marines.

Caboteja was an affectionate and warm-hearted husband and father to his daughters. As a father, he would not hesitate to teach his daughters skills he would teach a son like car repairs. Yet, he would also spend time learning how to do “girly” things for them like learning to do their hair and nails.

United States Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Nicanor Lopez Caboteja Jr. is survived by his wife Brigitte, and daughters, Brittaney and Angelina.