PORTLAND &

An Oregonian who enlisted hoping to scuba dive in the exotic places the Marines would send him was shot to death in the town of Karma in Iraq, his family said.




Lance Cpl. Steven Stacy, 23, of Coos Bay died Thursday in the town near Fallujah.




He graduated from Marshfield High School in 2003. He was in twhe 1st Marines, 3rd Battalion, based in Camp Pendleton, Calif., The World of Coos Bay reported.




His mother, Dana Potts, said the young man known as "Scuba Steve" cited that passion and his confusion about what to do with his life as reasons for enlisting in 2005. She said her son hoped to dive in places such Singapore, Thailand and Kuwait.




A friend, Chris Stevens, told the paper that Stacy didn't realize that dream, but did get some snorkeling in.




Dana Potts and Stacy's stepfather, Robert Potts, said Stacy always wanted to be in the military. They were glad he joined, but nervous he chose to be a rifleman.




"He told us that was the best decision he ever made &

even if he never came back from Iraq," his mother said. "That that was the best thing in the world he ever had done."




Her husband agreed.




"It turned him into a man," he said.




Separately, the Defense Department reported that Army Spc. Michelle Ring, 24, died Thursday in Baghdad after being hit by mortar fire inside Camp Liberty. She was part of the 92nd Military Police Battalion out of Fort Benning, Ga., the U.S. Defense Department said.




Ring, who lives in Martin, Tenn., went to school in McMinnville before her family moved to Alaska, where she graduated from Chugiak High School, her mother, Shirley Stearns of McMinnville, said.