NEWPORT BEACH — Marine Cpl. Alfonso Palacios has a tattoo on his left forearm depicting tombstones in memory of servicemen killed during a seven-month tour in Afghanistan.
The 24-year-old Afghan War veteran said he lost four buddies who were "really close" to him.
His friend, Army Spc. Deon L. Taylor, 30, of the Bronx, was killed Oct. 22, 2008, by a roadside bomb while driving his vehicle in Bala Baluk, Afghanistan.
"Losing friends over there, that's the worse part," said Palacios, who comes from Los Angeles. "Our battalion 2/7 [2nd Battalion, 7th Marines] took 20 hits from roadside bombs."
Palacios was one of dozens of active-duty Marines who enjoyed a buffet dinner with all the trimmings served to them by Newport Harbor High School cheerleaders Monday night at the American Legion Post 291 in Newport Beach.
The dinner for the Marines, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, capped a long day of golf for a good cause at the Costa Mesa Country Club. A golf tournament held there Monday to benefit the Camp Pendleton-based Semper Fi Injured Marine Fund raised $35,000. The money will help families of wounded Marines with their loved ones' recuperation and rehabilitation.