Showing posts with label fallen Marine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fallen Marine. Show all posts

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Marine's call-to-action about honoring fallen veteran goes viral

Houston area Marine's call-to-action about honoring fallen veteran goes viral

By Amanda Cochran - Social Media Producer

HOUSTON - A Marine has issued a touching call-to-action to service members and the public in the Houston area to honor a fallen veteran at his funeral services next week.

Lance Cpl. Ruben Vega Jr. died in California in a car accident last Friday at the age of 22, but his funeral will be held in Houston on Tuesday.

Chris Blanco posted a video about Vega’s death on his Facebook page, urging more service members to attend after he learned that only about 20 people would be able to attend his services.
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Monday, July 17, 2017

Marine Veteran Carves Honors For Fallen Brothers

Marine Corps vet travels cross-country delivering unique sculptures
Pieces intended to honor fellow Marines
KSAT News
By Adrian Ortega
July 16, 2017

Marine Corps veteran Anthony Marquez served in the same unit as Lance Cpl. John Felix Farias, who was killed during a deployment to Afghanistan in 2011, along with 16 other Marines in his unit.
Now, Marquez is determined to honor each fallen hero with a wooden sculpture of the battlefield cross. He carefully crafts the boots, rifle and helmet with a chainsaw.

"At times, it seems overwhelming, (like), ‘How am I going to complete all this?’” Marquez said. “But it's just one at a time."

The project is a personal mission fueled by a passion. He takes great pride in honoring those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. The task has taken him across the country, and on Sunday, it brought him to Fort Houston National Cemetery, where rows of markers were lined up like military members standing at attention.
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Saturday, March 4, 2017

Super Hero Tiny Marine Takes Tears Away

Face of Defense: Marine Helps Families of Fallen Service Members
Department of Defense
By Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Cody Lemons
Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point
March 3, 2017

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C., March 3, 2017 — Superheroes come in all sizes and all kinds of disguises -- Marine Corps Sgt. Alicia Hojara is living proof of that.
Sgt. Alicia Hojara Superhero Unmasked Marine Corps Sgt. Alicia Hojara, center, an instructor at the Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., holds the flag she received as the Carteret County Chamber of Commerce’s Service Person of the Quarter, Feb. 10, 2017. Master Sgt. Christopher McGuire, left, and Lt. Col. Garrett Randel, right, nominated Hojara for her dedication to giving back to the local community. Randel is the school’s commander and McGuire is the aviation ordnance chief. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Cody Lemons
In mid-December, the diminutive Marine was surrounded by a theater full of children and their families, their expressions changing from anticipation to hope to laughter in the flickering glow of the big screen. The movie, a new animated feature with comical animal characters and lots of hopeful vocals, seemed to be just what some of these families need at the moment: an escape from real-world worries to a place where they could just relax.

Hojara had left her uniform home, replaced by a different kind of camouflage -- casual clothes, hair at ease, and a gentle expression that put her young charges at ease when they need it the most.

Most other days, you can find Hojara at the front of a classroom of young Marines as they navigate their way through the intricate details of aviation ordnance handling at the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit here. There's no kid's play here; this is serious work that will prepare the next batch of aviation ordnance Marines to load teeth onto the modern-day dragons that squat across Marine Corps flight lines around the world.

But, from time to time, Hojara slips away like Clark Kent to take on another heroic mission, volunteering her time to help families who have lost an active-duty loved one. Hojara routinely makes time to volunteer for different organizations, such as local humane societies for the protection of animals; Snowball Express, which provides support to families of deceased service members; and her favorite, the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, otherwise known as TAPS.

As Hojara sat in the shadowy theater on a mission with Snowball Express, draped in her invisible cape of good will, she feels the kind of satisfaction that superheroes must experience every time they swoop down and pull a victim a little further from despair. Chalk up one more for the good guys.
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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Staff Sgt. Louis Cardin Made Sure Others Made It Into Bunker

Marine Killed in Iraq 'Made Sure Everybody Got in the Bunker'
Military.com
by Hope Hodge Seck
Mar 26, 2016

The remains of Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Louis F. Cardin of Temecula, Calif., arrive at Dover Air Force Base, Del., on March 21. (Air Force/Zachary Cacicia)
The commandant of the Marine Corps paid tribute to a staff sergeant killed by Islamic State rocket fire in Iraq last week, shedding new light on the circumstances surrounding the loss.

Staff Sgt. Louis Cardin, 27, a member of Battalion Landing Team 2/6, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, was killed by indirect fire March 19 at a new artillery outpost near Makhmour, Iraq, shortly after he and a small element of Marines had detached from the MEU in order to support the small post.

Speaking at a Marine Corps Association awards dinner near Washington, D.C. Thursday night, Gen. Robert Neller said three other Marines wounded in that same rocket attack were due to arrive back in the United States that evening, headed for Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.

Reflecting on Cardin's loss, Neller did not prevaricate about a fight that US officials still refuse to describe as a combat operation.

"The loss of a Marine is sad, but I thought about it: He was leading his Marines in combat," Neller said. "They were in indirect fire and he made sure everybody got in the bunker, and he just didn't make it in time. Is that sad? That's sad. But if you're going to go, you want to go in the fight.
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Monday, March 21, 2016

Marine Killed in Afghanistan Memorialized in Sculpture From Florida Artist

Striking sculpture pays tribute to Nebraskan killed in Afghanistan
Omaha.com
By Chris Bowling
World-Herald staff writer
March 21, 2016

Former Marine and Vietnam War veteran Cliff Leonard of Jacksonville sculpted the bust. It is one of almost 30 he’s made for Florida Marines and corpsmen — Navy medical specialists who may serve with Marine units — killed in action.
In August 2010, during his fourth deployment with the U.S. Marine Corps, Staff Sgt. Michael Bock was killed in Afghanistan by a Taliban sniper.
Marine Staff Sgt. Michael Bock with his wife, Tiffany, and their son Zander. Tiffany said the eyes took her breath away when she saw the bust of her husband.
Bock, 26, who grew up in Springfield, Nebraska, left behind a family including his widow and then-3-year-old son.

Six years later, Bock’s family and a sculptor in Florida are reminding the world he’s not forgotten.

On March 14, a clay bust of Bock went on display at the Leesburg Public Library in Leesburg, Florida, to commemorate his service and sacrifice.

For his parents, Sandra and David Bock of Leesburg, the bust is the latest in a line of memorials, honors and commemorations for their son.

Since 2010, people have attached Michael Bock’s name to baseball games, Sept. 11 memorials and even a Florida highway he used to drive every day.

Each honor is unique and special, his mother said. When it comes to this bust, it’s the likeness to Bock that’s most striking.
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Monday, December 28, 2015

Thieves Take Fallen Marine's Mementos From Bradenton Family

Florida thieves steal trailer with belongings of Marine killed in Iraq
FOX News
December 27, 2015
“His boots, his uniforms, his battle fatigues…It means nothing to nobody but it means something to me and my daughter.” Keith Dougherty

Thieves stole a trailer containing belongings of Scott Dougherty who died fighting in Iraq. (Fox 13)

Heartless thieves in Florida last week stole a storage trailer that contained the belongings of a Marine who died fighting Iraq.

The items were all Keith Dougherty had left to remember his hero son. Twenty-year-old Scott Dougherty was killed 11 years ago.

“It feels like he died all over again,” Dougherty, 61, told FoxNews.com Sunday.

Dougherty got a call Wednesday morning telling him the trailer he had parked behind Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Roman Catholic Church in Bradenton had been stolen.

Dougherty, a maintenance supervisor at the church, kept his son’s belongings in the trailer, along with other items, like medical records, tax returns and Christmas decorations.

“His boots, his uniforms, his battle fatigues…It means nothing to nobody but it means something to me and my daughter,” Dougherty told Fox 13.
read more here

Saturday, October 24, 2015

U.S. Marine Maj. Taj Sareen's Family "Heartbroken"

FAMILY OF U.S. MARINE MAJ. TAJ SAREEN KILLED IN PLANE CRASH SPEAKS OUT
ABC 7 News
Natasha Zouves
October 22, 2015

They heard a jet crashed in Taj's squadron at 6 a.m. Wednesday and many painful hours without information followed after that. "Three Marine officers walked towards our house. They said, 'it was your son,' devastating," K.B. said.
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A young fighter pilot raised in the Bay Area who was killed when his plane crashed Wednesday is being remembered and honored by loved ones.

U.S. Marine Maj. Taj Sareen's family in Hillsborough is heartbroken. They discussed his final, heroic moments and the decision Taj made that may have saved many other lives.
Initial reports say one of his final moves was to avoid crashing into homes on the way down. "That's the kind of person he was," K.B. said.
read more here

Monday, August 3, 2015

Lima Marines Not Forgotten 10 Years Later

Families struggle 10 years after Ohio Marines killed in Iraq 
The Associated Press
By Dan Sewell
August 1, 2015
Two memorial events are scheduled for this month for the 23 people Lima Company lost over a 5-month period of 2005.

In this July 28, 2015 photo Pat Murray, left, and Ken Kreuter sit beneath a portrait of their son Marine Sgt. David Kreuter, top right, at the traveling Eyes of Freedom Lima Company Memorial currently displayed at the Cincinnati Masonic Center. (Photo: John Minchillo/AP)

CINCINNATI — Some people look surprised and tell him they just can't believe it's been 10 years already. For Keith Wightman, time hasn't passed quickly at all.

It ticks by slowly as he thinks every day of the loss of his only son — gazing at the spruce tree planted a decade ago in his yard and now marked with a cross, plaque and spotlight. He's seen his son's high school friends and former teammates start careers and families while he daydreams about what might have been for Lance Corporal Brett Wightman, whose future was blown away with those of 10 other members of Columbus-based Lima Company on Aug. 3, 2005.

Wightman promised that his dead son wouldn't be forgotten, a pledge that other families of the lost members of Lima Company have also taken to heart, establishing scholarship programs, foundations and other benefits to help others in the names of the young men — sons, brothers, husbands, fathers — lost that summer. Two memorial events are scheduled for this month for the 23 people Lima Company lost over a 5-month period of 2005.

Aug. 3 was the company's darkest day.

Wightman remembers vividly, "like yesterday," the early morning hours he spent looking at a moonlit sky wondering what his son was up to. Lance Cpl. Wightman had gone on a mission to flush out enemy combatants who had attacked six Marines two days earlier when his amphibious assault vehicle rumbled onto explosives. Eleven members of Lima Company and three other Marines were killed along with an Iraqi interpreter.
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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Fallen Marine's Medals Stolen from Widow

Thieves take fallen Marine's medals
By David Hill, Ithaca (N.Y.) Journal
December 22, 2014
Cpl. Christopher D. Bordoni, a native of Ithaca, died in April 2012 from wounds suffered while serving with the Marines in Afghanistan.
(Photo: Courtesy photo)

"The Purple Heart was pinned on Christopher's bandages in the hospital just minutes before he died. The Marine Corps Achievement Medal of valor was presented to the family just a couple hours after we laid him to rest," his mother said.

Medals given to Cpl. Christopher Bordoni, the U.S. Marine from Ithaca, N.Y., who died from wounds suffered in Afghanistan, and his family were stolen during a break-in at his widow's North Carolina home.

Jessica Bordoni discovered the burglary when she came home Wednesday evening in Wilmington, N.C., and saw that the back door and a bedroom window were broken, according to Christopher Bordoni's father, Tim Bordoni, and mother, Carol Bordoni Sprague, both of Ithaca.

The thief or thieves took Christmas presents under the tree, earrings, a watch, clothes and other items, according to a Wilmington police incident report. But the biggest losses were Corporal Bordoni's Purple Heart and Achievement Medal with Valor awarded by the U.S. Marine Corps.

Christopher Bordoni died April 3, 2012, of wounds sustained the previous Jan. 18 while conducting combat operations in Afghanistan.
read more here

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Marine talks of survivor guilt in a powerful animated film

Marine describes losing comrades in Iraq in moving animated film
Marine Times
By Hope Hodge Seck
Staff writer
December 10, 2014

Marine veteran Travis Williams doesn't try to hide the way his voice cracks when he describes the day he lost 11 teammates to a single roadside bomb in Iraq.

Williams, a former lance corporal with the Reserve unit 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines, out of Columbus, Ohio, told his story this fall for StoryCorps, an organization that records and archives interviews with participants across the country. StoryCorps recently turned Williams' interview into a short animated feature, one of three made in honor of Veterans Day this year.

In the three-minute, 45-second account titled "1st Squad, 3rd Platoon," Williams describes the events of Aug. 3, 2005, and their aftermath. The 12-man team set out on a rescue mission to find a missing Marine in Barwanah. After loading together into their tracked armored vehicle, Williams was told he needed to ride in the next vehicle in the convoy.

"I said, 'Catch you guys on the flipside," Williams said in the StoryCorps account. "And that was the last thing I ever said to them."
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Nov 11, 2014
In August 2005, Marine Lance Cpl. Travis Williams and his squad were sent on a rescue mission in Barwanah, Iraq. En route, their vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb. Of Travis' entire 12-person team, he alone survived. Here, Travis reflects on the hours and days after the explosion, as well as his life now, and pays tribute to the men he left behind.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

'Frozen' princess surprises girl who lost Marine dad

'Frozen' princess surprises girl who lost Marine dad 
KUSA, 9news.com
November 28, 2014
Anna and Codi singing
(Photo: Colorado Supporting Our Troops)
KUSA – It was a tough summer for 4-year-old Codi.

Her father, Lt. Col. Anthony Alvarado, died while serving in the Marines.

Shortly thereafter, her family moved from California back to Colorado. One of her greatest wishes that she knew would bring her joy was to meet Princess Anna from Disney's hit movie Frozen.

While at a Colorado Supporting Our Troops event in October, little Codi was surprised by the princess herself, played by local artist Aubrie Hamrick.

Together they sang "Let it go" and "Do you want to build a snowman" – as Codi's face lit up.
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Let It Go with Codi and Aubrie Hamrick as Princess Anna. Codi lost her daddy, a Marine, last June. She just wanted to sing with Princess Anna... Colorado Supporting Our Troops made that happen!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Fitting Honor for Fallen Marine by Patriot Guard Riders and Citizens

Crowd salutes fallen Marine
Fredericksburg.com
BY REGINA WEISS
THE FREE LANCE–STAR

Lee Russell leaned against his motorcycle Tuesday afternoon outside the Fraternal Order of the Eagles, joining the crowds honoring Sgt. Charles C. Strong, a Marine who died Sept. 15 in combat in Afghanistan.

Many others joined Russell to watch the Stafford County Sheriff deputies and the Strength and Honor Motorcycle Club escort the hearse carrying Strong’s body, but for Russell, it was personal.

He was remembering the death of his own son, Army Special Forces Sgt. 1st Class Michael Russell, who died trying to save others in Afghanistan in 2005.

“I’m standing for him, because he would do it, he would be out here,” Russell said.

Russell, who was part of the escort June 27 for deceased Marine Staff Sgt. David H. Stewart, is a member of the Patriot Guard Riders, an organization whose members attend funerals of those who serve in the military.
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Sep 23, 2014 A crowd gathered at the Eagles Lodge on Cool Springs Road in Stafford County to honor Marine Sgt. Charles C. Strong, 28, who died Sept. 15 in Afghanistan. His funeral procession passed through the Fredericksburg area Tuesday, Sept. 23.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Gold Star Family Feels Betrayed by Marines After Green on Blue Attack

Marine Corps responds to Gold Star family's allegations of 'misleading, offensive' information
Marine Corps Times
By Hope Hodge Seck
Staff Writer
July 31, 2014
Lance Cpl. Greg Buckley Jr.'s father Greg, left, his mother Marina, third from left, and his two brother watch as his casket is carried into St. Agnes Cathedral for his funeral Mass on Aug. 18, 2012, in Rockville Centre, N.Y.
(Mary Altaffer / AP)

The Marine Corps responded in part to a 10-page letter from a Gold Star family that accused the Corps of misleading the public about events in the aftermath of their son’s death.

The family of Lance Cpl. Greg Buckley Jr. learned last week that the Afghan youth who killed their son and two other Marines in an insider attack in Afghanistan was sentenced by an Afghan court to seven years, six months in prison. The family’s attorney, Michael Bowe, fired off the strongly worded letter to Marine Corps commandant Gen. Jim Amos on Tuesday, demanding that the Marine Corps retract a statement on the sentencing of the killer, Ainuddin Khudairaham, and a timeline of communications allegedly made with families of the fallen.

Bowe called the release of the information a “publicity stunt,” saying the media received confirmation of Ainuddin’s sentencing before the families did. He also said the timeline failed to show how little information the families received about the case as it developed.

Marine officials are standing by the information, saying it was released to press outlets following inquiries about the Buckley case.
read more here

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Procession 3 miles long escorted fallen Marine Home

New Braunfels welcomes home fallen Marine
Sgt. Thomas Spitzer killed last week in Afghanistan
ABC 12 News
By Stephanie Serna
KSAT Reporter
July 4, 2014

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas - It was an emotional homecoming for fallen Marine Sgt. Thomas Spitzer, 23, as the New Braunfels community gathered along FM 758 to thank the young sergeant and his family for his service.

"To show support for the family and their extreme loss," said Rhonda Sanders, a New Braunfels resident.

"He gave all so we can have the freedoms we have today."

Spitzer was killed just over a week ago while conducting combat operations in Afghanistan.

On Friday, a nearly 3 mile long procession with patriot guard riders, emergency vehicles, family members and friends made its way through New Braunfels to honor the fallen Marine.
read more here

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Combat Service Dog Adopted by Family of Fallen Marine

Family adopts Marine dog that was with their son when he was killed
LA Times
Tony Perry June 7, 2014

Marine dog Dino with his current handler, Sgt. Jonathan Overland, and relatives of Staff Sgt. Christopher Diaz, Dino's former handler, who was killed in Afghanistan. The Diaz family will take Dino home to El Paso.
(Tony Perry/Los Angeles Times)
CAMP PENDLETON - In a brief but poignant ceremony Saturday, a bomb-sniffing dog was declared retired and officially adopted by the family of his Marine handler who was killed in Afghanistan.

Dino, 6, a Belgian malinois, was adopted by the family of Staff Sgt. Christopher Diaz, who was 27 when he was killed in September 2011 while deployed in Helmand province.

Dino was with Diaz during the deployment but was uninjured.
He's not going to replace Christopher but he'll give us something that Christopher loved, the Marine Corps.
- Salvador Diaz

"I don't think that it will decrease any of the pain we feel," Diaz's father, Salvador Diaz, a former Marine, said of the adoption. "He's not going to replace Christopher but he'll give us something that Christopher loved, the Marine Corps."

Diaz's mother, Sandra, her voice cracking, said that, "It's going to be helpful - we'll have something to hold on to."
read more here

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Hawaii 3rd Marines runs to honor 119 fallen heroes

3rd Marine Regiment holds run, ceremony to honor 119 fallen heroes
DVID
Marine Corps Base Hawaii – Kaneohe Bay
Story by Lance Cpl. Matthew Bragg
June 7, 2013

A Marine from 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment slides his hand down a pair of dog tags as he hangs them upon the pedestal on Marine Corps Base Hawaii, June 6, 2013. A total of 119 Marines and sailors who hung dog tags of fallen heroes wore black shirts that read, “All gave some. Some gave all. In memory of our fallen brothers.”
(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Matthew Bragg)

MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII — With operations winding down overseas, 3rd Marine Regiment continued the tradition of remembering 119 service members from the regiment killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan with a memorial run followed by a ceremony, June 6, 2013.

Marines and sailors from the regiment gathered in formations at Landing Zone 216. Of these runners, 119 Marines and sailors each wore a black shirt that bore the words, “All gave some. Some gave all. In memory of our fallen brothers.” In addition, each wore the dog tags of fallen service members.

Sgt. Maj. Justin LeHew, sergeant major of 3rd Marines, reminded the Marines and sailors why they were there, and encouraged them to always honor their fellow service members.
read more here

Friday, June 7, 2013

General John Kelly speaks from broken heart at memorial's dedication

General speaks from broken heart at memorial's dedication
At the unveiling of a Camp Pendleton monument, Marine Gen. John Kelly shares the sorrows of the grieving. His son, a lieutenant, was killed in Afghanistan.
By Tony Perry
Los Angeles Times
June 6, 2013

CAMP PENDLETON — After writing scores of condolence letters, Marine Gen. John Kelly thought he knew something about the pain of having a son killed during war.

Then his own son was killed in combat in Afghanistan in 2010 and Kelly found the pain more scorching and paralyzing than he had ever imagined. But it also gave him an unbreakable bond with other family members of the fallen.

And so on Thursday, near the end of his speech at the unveiling of a memorial to 89 Marines and sailors from the 5th Marine Regiment killed in Afghanistan, Kelly made a personal offer of regret to the Gold Star family members in attendance — regret from someone who has suffered the same loss.
read more here

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Sacramento Marine posthumously awarded Bronze Star for Sangin heroism

Sacramento Marine posthumously awarded Bronze Star
DIVIDS
1st Marine Division
Story by Cpl. Joseph Scanlan
May 31, 2013

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – Marines with 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, honored a fallen brother who fought and died with valor in 2011 in Sangin, Afghanistan.

Corporal Gurpreet Singh lived by the saying, “All gave some. Some gave all,” to the deepest sense of the phrase.

On May 30, Singh was awarded the Bronze Star with Combat “V” for valor posthumously for heroic service in Sangin district.

Singh, a rifleman, was raised in Punjab, India, until he was 10 years old when his family immigrated to Sacramento, Calif.

Growing up with a Sikhism background, Singh was proud of his heritage and was inspired by Sikh warrior gurus who risked their lives to fight against terrorism, said Manpreet Kaur, Singh’s sister.
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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Marine finds closure 38 years after Marines killed

38 years later, closure for a Marine
By Erik Lacitis
The Seattle Times/MCT
Published: May 18, 2013

SEATTLE — The two had known each other less than three weeks when they found themselves inside helicopters about to land off a Cambodian island, and were easy targets for a firestorm of Khmer Rouge bullets and rocket-propelled grenades.

One would be killed as his massive chopper carrying 26 servicemen, mostly U.S. Marines, exploded on May 15, 1975.

He was among 13 who lost their lives, his remains not identified until this January. The arduous task included recovering bones using suction hoses in the sand.

The one who lived was in the CH-53 helicopter right behind and saw the fireball. Thirty-eight years later, Dale Clark cannot forget.

And so this week, he wanted to make sure his comrade in arms was remembered. Pfc. Daniel E. Benedett, 19, finally was given proper honors at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va.
read more here