MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
Friends and families came out to the Combat Center’s Lance Cpl. Torrey L. Gray Field May 30, 2012, for 3rd Combat Engineer Battalion’s Remembrance Ceremony to pay their respects to four Marines who paid the ultimate sacrifice during the battalion’s previous deployment to Afghanistan.
Lance Cpls. Jason Barfield and Nickolas Daniels and Cpls. Christopher Singer and Alex Martinez were the Marines honored at the ceremony. All four men died while conducting combat operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The battalion commander, Lt. Col. John Sullivan Jr., spoke a few words on how the fallen Marines will be remembered in the battalion.
“Each of them took great pride in being a United States Marine,” said Sullivan. “These young men, because of their courage, their selflessness and the commitment to a cause greater than themselves, stands in contrast to the average American citizen.”
Combat Engineers are put in front of infantry patrols, clearing the path of obstacles and improvised explosive devices. The four engineers gave their lives keeping their infantry brothers safe.
Their families came out to say one last goodbye. With Memorial Day just two days before the ceremony, the event took an even more solemn tone, as everyone present had a very personal reminder of what Memorial Day really represents.
Before Barfield deployed, he was at home talking to his family and said, “This is my job. I’ve got to do my job. I hate that it’s in Afghanistan, but it’s my job.”
This was just one of many quotes that Sullivan reminisced on to show the character of each of the four Marines.
After the battalion commander concluded his speech and the chaplain gave the closing prayers, the ceremony ended with roll call, playing of Taps and a salute from Marines paying their last respects.