FALLUJAH, Iraq -- “We are here today to honor Corporal Albert P. Gettings,” said Capt. William H. Grube, the commanding officer for Company F, 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment.
“It is appropriate that we should do so on Martin Luther King Day, a day already consecrated to the idea of universal brotherhood. Brotherhood is the essence of what brings us together as Marines; shared ideas, shared experiences, shared trials, and shared tragedies. When Corporal Gettings left us, it hit like a hammer blow, stunning us and striking us to the core as a unit, because he was truly our brother.”
The Marines and Sailors from Company F, 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines gathered Jan. 16 to remember a fallen comrade, Cpl. Albert P. Gettings, who was killed-in-action, Jan. 5.
“The dictionary defines the word brother as a male sibling, a close male friend or associate,” said Sgt. Michael E. Beech, a squad leader with Company F. “It also defines the word warrior as a person experienced or distinguished in fighting. These are the first two words that come to mind when I think of Corporal Gettings.
“He was a man who carried himself in such a manner that you always knew how he felt. He had the biggest heart of any Marine I have ever met. He loved his Marines and he loved his family even more. To lead in such a way, to balance family life and the life of an infantry Marine demonstrates his uncommon devotion to both his family and the Corps.”
Gettings was also known to be a responsible and caring leader. He was well respected by both the Marines in his charge and his peers.
“In the face of danger, Corporal Gettings made sure his Marines were safe and that they understood what direction the enemy fire was coming from. He made sure that another wounded Marine had made it to safety before pushing to safety himself,” Beech continued.
“This act of valor shows the background and influence his loved ones at home had on his life and what he believed in. No words can express my sorrow or sympathy for this tragic loss. I can say that I have been truly blessed to have known and served with Albert. He was a true warrior, my friend, and he is still my brother.”
His commanding officer had more to say of the first Marine lost from Company F during this deployment.
“I knew him for his stoic discipline, for his consummate professionalism, for his unswerving dedication to duty, for his forceful leadership, and for his lion-like courage, both moral and physical,” Grube said. “He was loved by his Marines, emulated by his peers and respected by his leaders.
“But we live in tough times, times made for men like Corporal Gettings. As in the past we are engaged in a struggle that seeks to reaffirm the truth that all people can live in freedom, and peace. Corporal Gettings stood with us as one of the few who answer the call of their country in time of need.
“I cannot promise ease in our mission ahead,” he continued, “but with perseverance, discipline and persistence, we will succeed. We must take it upon ourselves to live by his example and re-dedicate ourselves to God, to Country, and to Corps.