AR RAMADI, Iraq -- It’s the hardest thing to do, especially in a brotherhood as close as the Marine Corps. Saying good-bye to one of your own, a fellow Marine lost on the battlefield. The Marines of 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment recently paid their respects and honored their own when a memorial service was held for Lance Cpl. Shane Swanberg, who died from indirect fire Sept. 15.
The ceremony was a solemn one, with many Marines from the battalion attending. The ceremony became especially poignant when one of his best friends, Lance Cpl. Seth Williams gave a speech honoring his lost friend.
“I have never met a more genuine, nicer person then Shane Swanberg,” said Williams. “I know he’s looking down on us now and smiling.”
Swanberg was born in Tacoma, Wash., March 7, 1981. After graduating high school in the Tacoma area, he joined the Marine Corps at the age of 21. After spending time with 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment and with 1st Tanks, he was transferred to Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines in January of 2005. Once there, he was assigned to the Combined Anti-Armor Team.
“He was always wondering how I was doing,” said Williams. “He always wanted to know if he could do anything for me, or any of his friends.”
Another member of his CAAT team, Cpl. Chris Harmon, agreed with Williams as they remembered their friend.
“He was so laid back, he always had a smile on his face,” said Harmon. “I met him six months ago when I came to CAAT Red. We immediately became very good friends.”
The ceremony concluded with the traditional roll call, where the company first sergeant calls roll of the fallen Marines squad.
“Lance Cpl. Del Toro.”
“Corporal Chris Peichoto.”
“Corporal Chris Harmon”
As the three Marines names were called, they placed Swanberg’s rifle, helmet and boots on a podium with his photo on it.
“Lance Cpl. Shane Swanberg. Lance Cpl. Shane Swanberg. Lance Cpl. Shane Swanberg.
“I report one Marine killed in action. Lance Cpl. Shane Swanberg, killed Sept. 15 in Ar Ramadi, Iraq.”
When the ceremony concluded, Williams said what seemed to be a consensus among the Marines honoring their friend.
“He was the best man I’ve ever known,” said Williams.