At only 19 years old, San Diego County's Luke Monahan had yet to put his Camp Pendleton Marine Corps training to use. But you could say he died in the field last Friday, in a freak fall apparently tied to the Corps' extracurriculars.
Like the rest of us, Monahan was handed a break from the daily grind last Friday: a four-day vacation for Memorial Weekend. His parents tell the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that the last they saw of him...
... was via Skype on Friday evening, just before he left for a Waikiki hotel room that one of his fellow marines had booked.
"Luke left his computer on and Terry Monahan's last image of his son was watching him get dressed and close the door to his room," the Star-Advertiser reports.
Next thing they heard -- over the phone, from a nurse at Queen's Medical Center -- their son was dead after an 8 a.m. fall from the eighth story of the touristy Ilima Hotel.
"She told me he fell eight stories," said Monahan's father. "My heart just dropped. How does someone fall eight stories?"
The go-to suspicion: Was an all-night party to blame?
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Monahan allegedly went out clubbing the night before with a group of marines. Of course, his mom claims he was a quiet, good kid who knew not to drink while he was still underage. She also implies it could have just been a reckless teen stunt:
"He did not like the Marines, but he seemed to be OK with Hawaii," Eileen said. "He wanted to spearfish and jump out of helicopters. I sent him a skateboard a month ago because he's still a kid."
However, commenters on the Los Angeles Times story seem certain alcohol was involved. Says Jeremy Markham: "So sad but I'm certain alchohol was involved. When I was in the Marines, that's all we did on the weekends. Drank, drank and drank some more. Rest in peace brother."