MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
The busyness of the Combat Center seemed to subside as installation personnel paused to honor a fallen Marine Feb. 15, 2011, during a memorial service for Cpl. Donald Fowler III at the Protestant Chapel.
Fowler, from Santee, Calif., and a Marine with the Staff Judge Advocate office, passed away Feb. 7 after a vehicle roll-over on Twentynine Palms Highway.
“Today I am memorializing one of my Marines,” said Col. Alex Peterson, the Combat Center’s staff judge advocate. “My respect for Cpl. Fowler was deep and strong. I will remember him as that Marine my NCOs respected, taking care of my Marines and embodying excellence.”
Many people sat solemnly in the pews, looking at a military cross or watching a slide show made by Fowler’s family, depicting him as a young boy growing through the years into a Marine, husband and a father.
Fowler’s friends gave their condolences to his family and shared stories of good times with the late corporal.
“He was a Marine, a warrior at the truest sense,” Master Gunnery Sgt. Mark Braun, the legal chief at the Staff Judge Advocate’s office. “He truly had a great sense of humor. He had a devotion to the Corps and fellow Marines. From his Marines, there are only good memories. He had a big heart, and we are going to miss him very much.”
Fowler was also remembered by several friends as a good leader, one who took care of his Marines, a “funny guy,” and a great friend.
“I imagine Cpl. Fowler executed his final set of PCS orders,” Peterson said. “As we speak, he is in-processing with his new unit. Like an NCO, he is probably walking around to see how he can make his new unit better.”