It doesn't bother Shaun Stephenson that he walks in the shadow of his older brother, a slain Marine hero of the gulf war.

Indeed, he's counting on memories of Lance Cpl. Dion Stephenson to help him make good on his dream appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md."Sometimes I do feel like I'm in his shadow, and I like to think I am," the 21-year-old said Monday after learning of his appointment. "I want to achieve what he did and do more, dedicate what I do to him."

Dion Stephenson, 22, died Jan. 29, 1991, the victim of friendly fire during a battle with Iraqi soldiers near the Saudi border town of Khafji. He was the first Utahn killed in the war.

Shaun, a Marine lance corporal with another unit in Saudi Arabia at the time, accompanied his brother's body home to Bountiful, 15 miles north of Salt Lake City.

"This isn't the way I wanted it to turn out, but I now try to do things in my brother's name," he said in a telephone interview. "I still think of him a lot."

So do his parents, James and Geri Stephenson, though time has dulled the pain and accentuated their pride - in Dion and Shaun alike.

"Dion was my first-born and just a real hard charger," said James Stephenson, himself a former Marine. "Tom Cruise in `Top Gun' - that was my older boy. Anything went. He was just a little buttkicker."

Both boys did well in high school sports, but Shaun - 4 inches taller and 20 pounds heavier than the 5-foot-7, 145-pound Dion - excelled. He expects to play both baseball and football for Navy.

"Dion would always cut the path and Shaun would follow and do it better," said James Stephenson, who enlisted in the Marines in 1962 and served a tour in Vietnam in 1964-65.

"Now, it's more of an attitude that for his brother's sake he's going to do better . . . and that's the way his brother would want it," he added.

He's also aware Dion's death probably helped in getting the appointment but insists Shaun deserved consideration on his record alone.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, apparently agrees. In announcing the appointment in Monday news release, he did not mention Dion.

Instead, he credited Shaun's "many years of hard work and personal discipline" and his development of "unique leadership, physical, and scholastic qualities" for his appointment.

Hatch noted that after serving in Saudi Arabia, Shaun attended the Naval Academy Preparatory School and was elected to the highest rank among the students - battalion commander.

Shaun said he has dreamed of going to the academy since the eighth grade but thought it a long shot after he enlisted out of high school, following in his brother's footsteps.

Now, he has his chance. And though graduation is four years away, Shaun already has set his goal - he wants to be a Marine jet fighter pilot.

He's confident, saying he has the key to success hidden in his heart.

"I think of my brother and where he would be right now," Shaun said.