Photo Information

051028-M-2607O-008 - Staff Sgt. Wayne T. Byron says some words about his friend and fellow Marine Staff Sgt. Richard T. Pummill who died in the line of duty Oct. 20 while helping make Iraq a free country.

Photo by Pfc. Christopher J. Ohmen

2/2 says goodbye to fellow Marine, Cincinnati, Ohio, native

28 Oct 2005 | Pfc. Chistopher J. Ohmen 2nd Marine Division

He had many good qualities that he shared with his fellow Marines, one of the most important was no matter what his Marines needed, he did everything in his powers to accommodate them. Second Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, said goodbye to three excellent Marines who were lost in the line of duty, Oct. 20. One of them, Staff Sgt. Richard T. Pummill, a 27-year-old, Cincinnati, Ohio, native, took care of his Marines with the same dedication he gave the Corps. Upon learning of Pummill’s passing, the Marines of Weapons Company were left speechless. Despite the tragic loss of a good Marine, all that knew him agreed that he has moved on to a better place. The Marines from the company gathered in the battalion Motor Transportation building along with friends and guests from other units aboard Camp Fallujah. At one end of the building, emblems were placed in memory of Pummill. As the “Marines’ Hymn” played, an M16-A4 service rifle with bayonet was inserted by one Marine into a small pile of sand bags. A second Marine placed a Kevlar helmet on the butt stock of the down-turned rifle and hung a set of dog tags from the pistol grip. The last emblem to be put in place was a pair of boots at the base of the sandbags. Following the invocation by Navy Lt. Teddy L. Williams, battalion chaplain, Lt. Col. James J. Minick, the battalion commanding officer, continued with comments about Pummill. “We honor these men who answered their country’s call and selflessly gave their lives so others may live in peace,” said Minick. “General Robert E. Lee once said: Do your duty in all things, you cannot do more, you should never wish to do any less. That is exactly what these Marines did.” “This morning as we remember our fallen heroes we should not focus on their passing, instead emphasize the importance of their lives and the positive impact they had on all of us,” stated Maj. James B. Conway, Pummill’s company commander. “All three of them were loyal and faithful peers that would do anything for their fellow Marines. I think they would like to have been remembered as good friends, good men and good Marines.” As the words of Conway sank in, Staff Sgt. Wayne T. Byron, friend and fellow member of the company, stepped up to the podium to say goodbye to his comrade in arms. “He did anything anyone asked of him with no complaints,” Byron said. “He was a selfless and caring Marine who would help you with any problem you had. He was every man’s best friend and every Marine’s brother.” Following Byron’s kind words, Weapons Company First Sergeant Reginald C. Baker called role with three Marines answering ‘present!’ Then he called Pummill’s name with no answer. “Staff Sgt. Pummill … Staff Sgt. Richard Pummill … Staff Sgt. Richard T. Pummill!” Following a short pause, Conway gave the command “present arms” to the company. The rest of the Marines in attendance saluted as “Taps” was played to honor their fallen comrades. “Dismissed,” commanded Conway. The Marines quickly formed a line to say a personal farewell to Pummill before the emblems at his memorial. Many of the Marines snapped a salute and touched his Kevlar to show their respect. “It is our duty to continue with the job they have begun, and make a difference in this country so their sacrifice will not have been in vain,” Conway stated.