MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
A memorial service was held at the Protestant Chapel here Nov. 28 for two fallen Marines of 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force.
“(They) made the ultimate sacrifice for this nation,” said Cmdr. Michael L. Tomlinson, battalion chaplain with 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines, in the memorial invocation. “They gave themselves; selflessly themselves so we could live today, in freedom.”
All was quiet and attentive as Capt. David Emmel, company commander, Company B, 2nd Bn., 9th Marines, took the podium to speak.
“Marines, sailors, family and friends, welcome; we come here today …. to celebrate the lives of Corporal Carlos Gilorozco and Lance Corporal Jon Hicks Junior,” Emmel said.
California native Gilorozco, a vehicle leader, and N.J. native Hicks, a humvee driver, both Marines with Co. B, were killed on Sept. 9 during actions in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Comrade after comrade took the podium to speak on behalf of their fallen brothers-in-arms, some in prayer and others in memory.
“If you didn’t know him, he would walk up to you and introduce himself,” said Cpl. Pedro Adame, vehicle commander, Co. B, in reference to Gilorozco. “He was a brother to me.”
Lance Cpl. Brian Burnpike, rifleman, Co. B, said Hicks really “loved people”, it’s words like those that brought forth much emotion from all who were present. Everyone reacted in their own way; some wept and wailed and some sorrowfully smiled or frowned.
“They will live on,” Tomlinson said. “Forever in honor, courage and commitment.”