Photo Information

Marines, family and friends gathered at the base theatre June 29, at a memorial service to commemorate the life of Lance Cpl. Osbrany Montes De Oca. After the service Marines, friends and family members were given the opportunity to go up and pay their final respects to Lance Cpl. De Oca. (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Bobby J. Yarbrough)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Phillip R. Clark

New Jersey native gone but not forgotten

12 Jul 2012 | Lance Cpl. Phillip R. Clark

    Marines, sailors, family and friends gathered at the Base Theater June 29, for a memorial service that honored the life of Lance Cpl. Osbrany Montes De Oca.

    De Oca, a North Arlington, N.J., native, was killed in action while supporting 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, in Helmand province, Afghanistan, Feb. 10.

    De Oca was a member of the 81 millimeter mortar platoon and held the billet of infantry mortarman while serving in Afghanistan.

    During the service, Marines who served alongside De Oca, had an opportunity to come up and say a few words about their fallen brother.

    “(De Oca) was a dependable Marine who could always be counted on to do his share,” said Lt. Col. Matthew Morrissey, the battalion commander. “He cared about each and every one of us and he will remain with us in spirit. Our efforts in Afghanistan won't be won by weapons they will be won by people; people with strong will, like (De Oca).”

    Some of the personal reflections from the Marines discussed how De Oca was a great brother-in-arms and how we will not be forgotten.

    “I will always remember the good times we shared, brother,” said Lance Cpl. Michael Whaley, a mortarman with the unit. “You will always be in our hearts and your memory will never be forgotten.”

    Lance Cpl. Christopher Carson, a missile-man with the unit, shared how De Oca had made a personal impact on his life.

    “In the months we spent together deployed. I learned to admire him and the traits he had that I wish I had,” said Carson. “He always strived to better himself as an overall Marine. He lived honorably and set an example for myself and other Marines to follow and I'm thankful for that and too of known such a great Marine.”

    Carson recalled after losing another Marine with the unit how much it meant to him and De Oca.

    “He was really upset about another Marine in our unit being shot. He wanted everyone to step it up so nobody else would get hurt in our unit,” said Carson. “Things weren’t the same after he left he was my closest friend in Afghanistan.”

    After the speakers finished, Sgt. Maj. William Frye Jr. conducted a ceremonial roll call for the fallen Marine that went unanswered.

    Finally, the memorial detail fired a three-shot volley as the Marines with the unit stood at attention to honor their fallen brother one last time.