These are the men who so selflessly gave their lives so that others may know freedom. These are the 25 Marines lost from the 3/5 "Darkhorse" unit. The 25 brave men we will honor and remember here at Darkhorse Lodge as long as we live.
Several families have not yet submitted photos and information. As we receive it, we will add those men here.
Sgt Matthew Abbate
H & S
Sgt. Matthew T. Abbate of Honolulu, Hawaii, formerly of Fresno, California, attended Buchanan High School in Clovis before graduating from Sierra Charter School in Clovis. He enlisted in the Marine Corps on February 1, 2006 and was serving his second combat deployment. His awards include the Navy Cross, Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy and Marine Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
He leaves his wife, Stacie; a son, Carson; his mother and stepfather, Karen and James Binion; his father and stepmother, Sal Abbate and Jane Whitfield; three sisters, Dominica Abbate, Valerie Binion and Kelly Binion and a brother, Elliott Abbate.
He died at age 26 while conducting combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Sgt Abbate has been approved for a posthumous Navy Cross, the second highest medal for valor in combat. He was recognized for his actions on October 14, 2010, responding to a complex enemy attack involving multiple improvised explosive devices that wounded several Marines.
Authorized by James and Karen Binion
LCpl James Boelk
Lance Corporal James D. Boelk was born in Longview, Texas on 16 January 1986. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in October 2008 and began recruit training in San Diego in March 2009. Upon graduation from School of Infantry – West, Lance Corporal Boelk received the military occupational specialty of rifleman. In September 2009 he was assigned to Company K, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, where he served as a radio operator. He was promoted to Private First Class in September 2009 and to Lance Corporal in May 2010. In September 2010 Lance Corporal Boelk was deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His personal awards include the Purple Heart and Combat Action Ribbon. He is survived by his parents, David and Cilicia Boelk, and siblings Timothy, Charlynn, Oressa, Alyssia, Christina, and Amanda.
Authorized by Cilicia Boelk
LCpl Matthew Broehm
Corporal Matthew Broehm was born on 1 September 1988 in Williams, Arizona. He attended high school at Sherwood Academy, enlisted in the Marine Corps in July 2007, and left for recruit training that September. He graduated as Private First Class on 30 November and then reported to School of Infantry – West, where he graduated in March 2008 as a rifleman. He was assigned to Company L, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines and promoted to Lance Corporal in July 2008.
While assigned to Company L, Lance Corpor-al Broehm completed a summer and winter package at Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, California, as well as completing Enhanced Mojave Viper Training at 29 Palms, California in preparation for deployment to Afghanistan. He was deployed to Okinawa, Japan with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, where he participated in partnered bilateral training with Thailand, South Korea, Philippines, and Australia.
Lance Corporal Broehm served as the 2nd team leader, 2nd Squad, 2nd Platoon while deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He was post-humously promoted to Corporal in November 2010. Corporal Broehm’s personal awards include the Purple Heart and Combat Action Ribbon. He is survived by his wife Liana Renee, his parents Douglas and Christine Broehm, and siblings Robert, Alicia and Jessie.
His desire was to become a youth pastor after his military service.
Authorized by Liana Bailey
LCpl Alec Catherwood
I know it sounds cliche but Alec really did light up whatever room he was in. He was my sunshine since the day he was born, and that of his father and sister as well.
He had a goofy grin that seemed plastered on his face, almost 100% of the time, with a sense of humor to match. There is nothing that Alec would not have done for friends, family and even strangers. He was a champion of the underdog and stood up to bullies on behalf of classmates at school.
While out, if we saw a homeless person, Alec would always ask if we could purchase food for the person and bring it back to them. Once, he gave some burgers and fries to a man who was standing on a highway ramp with his dog. When Alec ran the food to him, the man first fed his dog and then offered some to Alec. Alec was stunned by that gesture, made by a man who had nothing else to offer. I was forever learning how to be a better person because of my son.
Don't get me wrong, Alec was not a saint. He was rarely in trouble, but when it did happen, getting angry with him was almost impossible! He would hug me (sometimes lifting me off the floor) and look at me with that smile, making my anger disappear. Most of the time.
Alec was 19 years old and engaged to be married. He was so incredibly full of life. He worked hard, played hard, loved fiercely and was devoted and loyal.
What he did not do much, was sleep. After a long day of school, work and friends, I would tell him to get some sleep. Without fail, his response was always, "Don't worry Mom, I'll sleep when I'm dead".
Now, he sleeps.
Submitted by Gretchen Catherwood
LCpl Irvin Ceniceros
LCpl Irvin M. Ceniceros born in Tampa, Florida on August 29 of 1989. He was the youngest of 4 sons. He went to school in New Mexico and Arkansas where he graduated from Clarksville high school on 2007. He loved sports; he also played tennis and football. He had a strong character and always used it to defend his friends from any injustices. He was always happy and with a good sense of humor, always seeing the good things in life. He joined the Marines in September of 2007, His 1st tour was overseas in 2009 and his 2nd and last deployment was to Afghanistan in 2010. He was an extraordinary Marine... that is how his friends recognized him. He was proud to be a Marine. He gave his life defending his fellow Marines. He was awarded the Purple Heart and the Silver Star for his act of bravery and he will always be our Hero.
Submitted by Ignacio and Maria Ceniceros
LCpl Kenneth Corzine
Lance Corporal Kenneth A. Corzine was born in Woodriver, Madison County, Illinois on May 4, 1987. Following his graduation from Civic Memorial High School in Bethalto, Illinois, he enlisted in the Marine Corps on August 17, 2007. He graduated boot camp on December 7, 2007 and reported to School of Infantry-West. On March 5, 2008 he graduated as a 0311, Rifleman. He was then assigned to 3d Battalion 5th Marines. Lance Corporal Corzine deployed to Okinawa, Japan with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. During the deployment he traveled to Thailand, South Korea, the Philippines, and Australia. He completed a winter package at Mountain Warfare Training Center, Bridgeport, California and Enhanced Mojave Viper Training in advance of his deployment to Afghanistan in September 2010. He served as a rifleman in 1st squad, 3d Platoon, Company L. Lance Corporal Corzine’s personal awards include the Purple Heart and Combat Action Ribbon.
He is survived by his parents, Kenneth and Carla Corzine, his Grandmother Sharon Collins, and his Aunt Diane & Uncle J Allen Corzine who misses his “little buddy.”
Authorized by J Allen Corzine
1st Lt Robert Kelly
First Lieutenant ROBERT M. KELLY was born in Bethesda, Maryland on 5 September 1981. He graduated from Garfield Senior High School in Woodbridge, Virginia. After graduating from Florida State University with a B.A. in history, he enlisted in the Marine Corps in September 2003. He graduated basic training that December and checked into the School of Infantry – East, where he graduated in January 2004 as an assaultman. As a Private First Class, Kelly was assigned to 1st Battalion, 8th Marines, serving as an anti-tank assault man. During his tour he participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004 and 2006. He also participated in Special Marine Air Ground Task Force Katrina Hurricane Relief Operations in New Orleans, Louisiana. Having been promoted to Corporal, Kelly reported to Combat Instructor Company, The Basic School in October 2007 and served in Weapons Platoon. He was commissioned Second Lieutenant in December 2008 after graduating from Officer Candidate School. After graduating from Infantry Officer Course in September 2009, he was assigned to Company L, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines. Lieutenant Kelly completed a winter package at Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, California, as well as completing Enhanced Mohave Viper Training at 29 Palms, California.
He served as 1st Platoon commander for Company L. In September 2010 Kelly deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He was posthumously promoted to First Lieutenant in November 2010. First Lieutenant Kelly’s personal awards include the Purple Heart, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat V, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and Combat Action Ribbon with one gold star.
He is survived by his wife, Heather; his parents, General John and Karen Kelly; his brother, Major John Kelly; and his sister Kathleen.
Authorized by Karen Kelly
LCpl Jose Maldonado
Lance Corporal Jose L. Maldonado was born in Falfurrias, TX in 1989. He grew up with his siblings in Mont Belview, Texas, where he was active in sports, including baseball and football. LCpl Maldonado joined the Marine Corps in September, 2007, attending Recruit Training in San Diego, CA. he was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 5th marines in March, 2008 and deployed with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. During this deployment, he served in Japan, Thailand, Korea, Philippines and Australia. He attended the Tactical Site Exploitation Course and Combat Life Saver Course as well as participating in cold weather training in Bridgeport, CA and Enhanced Mojave Viper training in 29 Palms. LCpl Maldonado deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His personal awards include the purple Heart and Combat Action Ribbon. He is survived by his wife, Jackie, mother Oralia Maldonado, aunt Alicia Williams, uncles George and Eric Vera and sisters Emilia Vera and Darlynna Mejia.
Authorized by Alicia Williams
Cpl Brandon Pearson
My Beloved Son
Brandon was his father’s only son. His father writes:
Brandon was extremely loyal to his friends, family, and brothers in arms. A phrase you would often hear him say is, “I’ve got your back…”. Those weren’t just hollow words for Brandon. He really meant it and demonstrated it on numerous occasions.
I smile as I look back on his life and the energy, warmth, and happiness that he brought to everyone he touched. Even the challenging times that included quotes like, “What do you mean, Dad…?” and “It seemed like a good idea at the time.” are precious to me.
With every day that passes, I celebrate Brandon’s life and focus on those things that are truly important: Life, love, and the freedoms we all enjoy. Those like Brandon, who have sacrificed much to pursue a path defending our great nation already understand this. No father could be more proud than I am of Brandon. You will live in our hearts forever. We love you buddy.
Inside the flyers that were printed at his service was a poem. We chose that poem because I believe it is something that Brandon would have said.
To those I love and to those who loved me:
When I am gone, release me, let me go.
I have so many things to see and do.
You must not tie yourself to me with tears
Be thankful for our beautiful years.
I gave to you my love you can only guess,
How much you gave to me in happiness,
I thank you for the love you each have shown,
But now it's time I traveled alone.
So grieve a while for me, if grieve you must.
Then let your grief be comforted by trust.
It's only for a time that we must part
So, bless the memories within your heart.
I won't be far away, for life goes on
So if you need me, call and I will come.
Though you can't see or touch me, I'll be near
All my love around you soft and clear
And then, when you must come this way alone,
I'll greet you with a smile and say,
This is the poem that I believe inspires us to go on with our lives. I know that as I read this, I can feel Brandon listening with us, comforting us, living within us. Brandon, I love you and miss you.
Until we meet again…
Submitted by Michael Pearson
LCpl Colton Rusk
Lance Corporal COLTON W. RUSK was born on 23 September 1990 in Corpus Christi, Texas and grew up in Orange Grove, Texas. He was an avid hunter who enjoyed the outdoors. In high school, Lance Corporal Rusk lettered in baseball and football – and was voted all-district lineman. He joined the Marine Corps immediately after graduating from high school. He stepped on the yellow footprints at San Diego in November 2009 and attended the School of Infantry – West, where he graduated as a machine gunner. Lance Corporal Rusk was assigned to Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines to be part of Combined Anti-Armor Team 2.
He was selected to be an improvised explosive device dog handler and was trained as a bomb dog handler in South Carolina. In September 2010 he deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
He was posthumously promoted to Lance Corporal in December 2010. His personal awards include the Purple Heart and Combat Action Ribbon.
Lance Corporal Rusk is survived by his parents Darrell and Kathy Rusk, brothers Cody and Brady, and USMC (ret) Eli, the black lab assigned to Lance Corporal Rusk.
Authorized by Kathy Rusk
Lcpl James Stack
LCpl James Stack was born on 11 JUL 1990. He was raised and homeschooled by his parents Robert and Linda Stack in Arlington Heights, Illinois, where he grew up with his sister Megan Stack. He was a member of the Arlington International Airgun Club (AIAC) during his high school years, where he competed in state and national shooting matches. In 2008 he earned a gold medal in the USA Shooting National pistol match and received an appointment to the Olympic Development Team. He was also on the track and soccer teams of Christioan Liberty Academy and was 2008 MVP in track.
LCpl Stack graduated high school in 2008 and enlisted in the Marine Corps. In Spring 2009, he attended School of Infantry-West where he graduated as an 0311, Rifleman. Upon graduating he was assigned to Company I, 3rd Battalian, 5th Marines. He completed cold weather training at Marine Mountain Warfare Training Center and Enhanced Mojave Viper.
LCpl Stack was deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM 10.2.
LCpl Stack's personal decorations include the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Ribbon, Global War on Terrorism Service Ribbon, Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon and NATO (ISAF) Ribbon.
LCpl Stack is survived by his wife Katelyn, his daughter Mikayla, his parents Robert and Linda Stack and his sister Megan Stack.
Submitted by Robert Stack
LCpl Phillip Vinnedge
Phillip Vinnedge is the youngest of three sons. Born in Spokane, Washington on February 22, 1991 and grew up in St. Charles, Missouri. On 10/13/2010 nineteen-year-old Marine Lance Corporal Phillip Vinnedge gave his life defending our freedom. He will be missed by all that knew him, but never forgotten. Words cannot express how proud we are to be Phillip’s parents. Phillip was taken too early and our time together on this Earth too short, but Phillip would not want us to mourn his death, but instead to celebrate his life. Phillip believed that, “The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing”. This is how Phillip lived his life every day. Phillip was known for taking on new challenges with confidence, so it wasn’t a surprise when Phillip wanted to serve in the military. Since he was a young boy he knew what he wanted and didn’t waver from that decision. Phillip was 10-years old when the September 11th, 2001 attacks destroyed the World Trade Center changing his life and ours forever. He decided at that age that he was called to help defend his country. When he turned 17 he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. Phillip wanted to protect and serve our country. If you asked Phillip to tell you something about himself or to brag about himself his words would be “I’m now a United States Marine”. Phillip did not take his service in the Marines lightly. He readily and knowingly accepted that, as it came to pass, by serving our country he might have to make the ultimate sacrifice. Without hesitation Phillip was willing to do this. A couple of Phillip’s favorite quotes are, "It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” and, "I haven't failed, I've found 10,000 ways that don't work". Phillip would keep trying until he accomplished whatever challenge was given to him. Phillip loved life and lived life to its fullest each and every day. Please don’t mourn the loss of Phillip but celebrate the live that he lived. Always remember and don’t worry, ‘in one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night'. Please remember, “When you look upon Heaven's scene, you will see the streets are guarded by United States Marines" and one of those Marines will be our son; LCpl Phillip Vinnedge.
Submitted by Dave and Julie Vinnedge
Sgt Jason Amores
Jason was an amazing man. Anyone who knew him would agree. He played many roles in his short life. He was a son, a brother, a husband, a father, and a Marine. In each role he always looked out for someone else. Taking care of so many was easy for him and he never complained about it.
Submitted by Jen Amores
LCpl Randy Braggs
Lance Corporal Randy R. Braggs was born in Ft. Lewis, Washington on March 4, 1989. He graduated from Buena High School in Sierra Vista, Arizona in May, 2008. The following May, he enlisted in the Marine Corps and reported to recruit training in San Diego. Upon graduating from School of Infantry West, Lance Corporal Braggs received the military occupational specialty of rifleman. In September 2009 he was assigned to Company K, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, where he served as an automatic rifleman. He was promoted to Private First Class in September 2009 and to Lance Corporal in May 2010. That September he was deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Lance Corporal Braggs personal awards include the Purple Heart and Combat Action Ribbon. He is survived by his parents, Randy and Tamrah Braggs and sisters Talisha Braggs and Shauntay Smith.
Authorized by Randy Braggs, Sr.
LCpl Arden Buenagua
EOD Charlie Co
LCpl Arden J. Buenagua was born on December 27, 1990 in San Jose, California. He joined the Marine Corps in July 2009, seeing it as a rite of passage; a way to get some direction in life and an opportunity to travel. He attended Recruit Training in San Diego. After graduation, he attended Marine Combat Training and the basic Combat Engineer School in North Carolina. In March 2010, LCpl Buenagua was assigned to Company C, 1st Combat Engineer Battalian. He participated in cold weather and mountain warfare training in Bridgeport, California and in Enhanced Mojave Viper training in 29 Palms. Additionally, he completed Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Detection and Defeat training. In September2010 LCpl Buenagua deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His personal awards include the Purple Heart and combat Action Ribbon.
Arden knew grief at a young age. Still, his friends said; he remained funny, kind and an attentive older brother who was just becoming a man. He loved fast cars and computers, music and dancing. he collected every movie in the Fast and Furious franchise and played "Call of Duty" video games for hours with his brothers. He is survived by his mother and step father, Veronica and Raymond Trinidad, brother, Justin Buenagua and step brother Bryan Trinidad.
Authorized by Veronica Trinidad
Cpl Justin Cain
Your life began in 1988
On September 5th your mother could not wait
She had a son, her only boy
It filled her heart with such great joy
You went to Monroe to start your schooling
Who ever knew it would be so grueling
You became a Boy Scout you earned your star
Who ever knew you would take it this far
Then on to Washington Jr High
Your years there really flew by
You lived your life to the fullest extreme
All those who knew you know what I mean
To you, your family was such a charm
All those Sunday dinners up on the farm
“Old fashion” Christmas, there was no other
Especially that Christmas dance with your grandmother
You loved baseball, football and NASCAR it’s true
You would watch these with friends and your sister Jo Jo too
Your sister Jeanne, she really knew
That her son, Dominic was your favorite nephew
Old man, big man, little man, young
A family play you thought was fun
Always with family in the back of your mind
This was you, you were always so kind
While in high school, you would be found in the shop
Fixing on your truck, from bottom to top
Graduating from Lincoln High in 2007
You thought this was great, it finally happened
You put a smile on everyone’s face
No matter the time, no matter the place
You loved to travel with your good friends
Jeremy, Jake and Nick, then you were off again
You liked going mudding up on the pipeline
Showing your friends how to have a good time
Over by Nick’s house you had some bad luck
For at the bottom of their pond, a bike is still stuck
Girls really loved you, is what you would say
Could tell by your looks, you liked it that way
On 9/11 you made up your mind
Peace on Earth, you said you will find
You stuck to your word, you made the call
You did it for your family, you did it for us all
On the 19th of June of that same year
You became a Marine, you had no fear
Stationed out on the western coast
With friends at the beaches, you loved the most
You received your orders one proud day
And off to Afghanistan, you were on your way
You called your mother to give her your news
She told you that she will always love you
You said not to worry, “I’ll be alright”
This was your duty, to stand up and fight
I will not leave you stranded, for the Eagle has landed
This is what you would say
So let’s be on our way
On October 13th of 2010
We were told we would never see you again
Our hearts turned to sorrow
We felt so blue
We knew you had died doing what you wanted to do
If only we all could see
What God’s plans for you would be
Remember the good times and the bad
Let your tears flow when you are sad
A brave soldier you were so true
Whoever knew this would happen to you
Bow your heads, say a prayer
Justin will listen, Justin will care
We will miss your smile, you caring man
We will get through this the best we can
You left this world doing what you wanted to do
Corporal Justin J. Cain we will never forget you
Submitted by David R Luckow
1st Lt. William Donnelly lV
First Lieutenant William J. Donnelly lV was born in Frederick, MD on 29 March, 1983. He graduated from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy with a degree in marine engineeering in June 2008 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant. He then attended Basic School of Infantry Officer course in Quantico, Virginia. In 2009, First Lieutenant Donnelly was assigned to Company K, 3rd Battalian, 5th Marines, where he served as a rifle platoon commander. In September 2010, he was deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. First Lieutenant Donnelly's personal awards include the Purple Heart and Combat Action Ribbon. He is survived by his wife, Linsey, his parents, William and Vicki Donnelly and his sisters Rebecca Donnelly and Meilissa Donnelly (U.S. Navy Lt JG).
Authorized by Melissa Donnelly
LCpl Joseph Lopez
To fully grasp Joey as a person, you must first look toward his family. Joey grew up in a small home in Rosamond Ca, but his family was nothing near that. Joey was the stereotypical "middle child" of 5 boys. Growing up in a smaller home ensured that Joey and his 4 brothers were always together. Art Sr. and Tracy Pratti got all they hoped for with Joey and his brothers growing up together, as any parents of 5 boys would. Joey always had a love for sports, basketball mostly, he spent his youth helping his dad coach kids not too much younger than him. Joey enjoyed teaching kids about sports, as well as being a part of their lives in a positive manner. This is probably the reason why Joey was such a great uncle to his nieces. From a young age, Joey was the uncle that never got tired of playing with his nieces, he loved those kids like they were his own, and in his mind, he treated them like they were. Before Joey passed, his excitement to have a nephew was talked about all the time. Although Joey never got to see his nephews in the physical form, they talk about him like they know their uncle Joey personally. It wouldn't doubt us if Joey hasn't visited his nephews and nieces somehow or another, just to make sure they never forget him. Joey was much more than a hero to the nation, he was a loving son, brother and uncle that can never be replaced. Joey loved his family more than anything in the world, a close second would probably be the Phoenix Suns, a team he followed relentlessly since his young childhood. Joey's passing has left a hole in the Pratti family that can never be filled, but his spirit will never be lost, because he will live on with us all, forever.
Submitted by Arthur E Pratti
Cpl Tevan Nguyen
I want to tell you how much I miss you. To your handsome face. I want to express to you, all the regret I hold within of all the things I wish I could change. Back in the time we shared together as children when the world was truly a happy place. My days are not the same. Never will be. I feel as though I've lost so much of my future already. To live a life without you is far more unbearable then one can imagine. I have not lost sight of your face. Every second of every day, you are in my mind. The world is changing but no matter how distorted it becomes, I will be thinking of you. Dear God, how I miss you. I pray that you are resting peacefully, my dear brother.
Submitted by Tamara Nguyen
Sgt Jason Peto
Jason, a man of many facets. A son, a brother, a Marine. If you wanted to know Jason it was not very hard to do. He was that one that everyone in a room wanted to know and be friends with. He had a smile and a laugh that would light up the room and also make you think there was more to it than that. Determined & stubborn, but in a way that made him the best of leaders. If there was something in his life, both Marines and outside that he wanted, there was nothing on this Earth that would stop him from it. Growing up, Jason had an adventuresome heart. He tried all there was to try, being a cowboy, a surfer, motorcycle rider, hunter, fisherman. Life was his play ground. People gravitated to Jason. His charisma knew no bounds, a trait so easily passed down from our father who always had a knack for making new friends everywhere he went, and one Jason learned so very easily. Once you had Jason's friendship you often found yourself in adventures as well. He was always ready to try something new or go someplace exciting, but there was always a calling for Jason in his heart, a tradition in our family to be a Marine. That was everything Jason ever wanted to be. In a family of Marines I will say there was no better Marine then Jason. He commanded not only the respect of his peers and brothers but their absolute loyalty; and rightfully so. There was nothing Jason would not do for his brothers, his Marines.
Submitted by Darin Peto
LCpl Joseph Rodewald
He was proud to be a United States Marine
The day that you were born
Oh how I began to pray
Saying thanks to God for allowing me
To be your mom on that very special day
I remember when you were little
Practicing your salute
You were going to be a Marine someday
Chasing your dream in full pursuit
Talking on the porch
Almost every day
Discussing how to enjoy life
So the sky is never gray
You finally were so happy
That you had found true love
Saying how perfect it was
Reminding me of a dove
You fell in love with Kandi
She gave you strength to stand up tall
And you marveled how she reached out
Every time you were about to fall
I miss so much you being home
I really cannot say
The aching in my heart
Will never go away
When the breeze blows
I can feel your strong embrace
I see your smiling eyes
When the sun kisses my face
You lived each day
Like it was your last
Always looking to the future
And not dwelling on the past
You said you would have no regrets
When your time on Earth was through
When you hold my hand in Heaven
Jeremiah will be there to
The ultimate sacrifice
The price you proudly did pay
Life changed forever
On that warm October day
I love you unconditionally
And am very proud, that’s true
You’re a true hero and marine
That bled red, white, and blue
For your country
You were ready to die
Standing by your 3/5 brothers
Shouting Semper Fi
When we are at our lowest
You whisper in our ear
Telling us to be strong
And to no more shed a tear
You touched so many lives
And were loved by everyone
Always putting others first
A mother’s perfect son
Submitted by Jacque (Rodey’s momma)
Sgt Ian Tawney
Sgt. Ian M. Tawney died on October 16, 2010, in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Ian was born on December 3, 1984 in Salem, Oregon the son of John and Theda Smith Chandler Tawney. He grew up in Dallas, Oregon and graduated from Dallas High School in 2003. Ian married Ashley Stevenson on July 30, 2005 in La Jolla, California.
Ian always maintained close ties to his roots in the small town of Dallas, but even from an early age, he loved to explore. His strong sense of independence manifested itself when he organized a yearlong trip to Argentina at age 15. And his enthusiasm for life became evident when he returned, spouting fluent Spanish.
He enlisted in the Marine Corps on March 14, 2005 and graduated basic training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California on 11 June 2005. Upon completion of his basic training, Sergeant Tawney reported to the School of lnfantry, Camp Pendleton, California. Successfully completing training as an lnfantry Rifleman, he was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines. While assigned to Echo Company he participated in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, deployed to Okinawa, Japan in support of the Unit Deployment Program, and deployed with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit. Sergeant Tawney joined 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines in March 2010. While assigned as a squad leader for 1st Platoon, Lima Company, Sergeant Tawney's proficiency and discipline assisted his Marines with the pre-deployment training program. He had a reputation for always putting his fellow Marines before himself.
Ian never got the chance to meet his daughter, Claire, who was born on January 11th, 2011. But just knowing of her upcoming arrival before he deployed to Afghanistan brought him much joy and excitement. He enjoyed his pets, Quincy his dog and Bobby and Tucker his cats. He loved watching football, drinking good beer, and eating porterhouse steaks. He was an avid Oregon State Beavers fan. He also liked watching movies and could quote many on cue. Ian was a loving husband, a loyal friend, and family man. He loved shooting and collecting guns, snowboarding and riding his motorcycle.
Among the awards he received are the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Iraq Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Humanitarian, and Navy Unit Commendation. He graduated at the top of his Squad Leader course and was recognized as the class Honor Man.
Ian is survived by his wife, Ashley Tawney, their daughter, Claire Tawney, parents, John and Theda Tawney, brothers, Shayne Chandler and Jacob Tawney, and sisters Stacy Barham, Karin Lamberton and Karla Cowan.
Submitted by Ashley Tawney