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The traditional battlefield memorial cross, a statue of a rifle, combat boots and identification tags, symbolizing the sacrifice made by fallen Marines, stands on display during a memorial service for fallen members of 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, Oct. 5, aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. Next to each of the statues stood a portrait by which their fellow Marines could remember the faces of the men who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Photo by Pvt. Brian M. Woodruff

3/2 Marines honor their fallen brothers

5 Oct 2011 | Pvt. Brian M. Woodruff

Marines, sailors, family members and friends gathered to honor, Staff Sgt. Jason A. Rogers, Cpl. Adam D. Jones, Lance Cpl. Peter J. Clore, Sgt. Mark A. Bradley, Cpl. Michael C. Nolen, Lance Cpl. Jabari N. Thompson, and Seaman Apprentice Aaron D. Ullom, during a memorial service aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., Oct. 5.

The service members, who were all a part of 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, fell during the battalion’s most recent deployment to Afghanistan.

The ceremony consisted of readings from scripture, personal reflections from the Marines who knew their brothers best, and a final roll call, which was carried out by Sgt. Maj. Dennis Downing, battalion sergeant major.

Each Marine was honored with the traditional battlefield memorial cross, a statue of a rifle, combat boots and identification tags, symbolizing their sacrifice and time honored traditions of the Marine Corps.

Next to each of the statues stood a portrait by which their fellow Marines could remember the faces of the men who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

The crowd wept as Marines who knew each of the fallen made personal reflections about what made those Marines particularly special.

One testimonial was especially emotional. Staff Sgt. Jason A. Rodgers was remembered by his platoon commander as being a great Marine and an even better comrade.

“I was fortunate enough to be able to call him my friend. Anyone who knew him understands what I say when I tell you he had a way of putting you at ease,” said 1st Lt. Will Riordon, platoon commander, Company C, 3/2. “He would make you laugh and then get his point across.”

Another Marine’s actions that were remembered were those of Sgt. Adam D. Jones, mortarman, Company I, 3/2.

“His passion was a hallmark of how he lived his life,” said Capt. Michael J. Mulvaney, commanding officer, Company I, 3/2. “We all knew him as this goofy guy who was just as happy in the field as sitting in front of his T.V. watching NASCAR.”

The reflections were followed by remarks from the battalion commander, Lt. Col. Christopher G. Dixon, several prayers for those who had perished and Taps.

“Many may call what we have a team,” said Mulvaney, “but it’s not. When you live together, sleep together, laugh with each other – you’re not a team, your brothers.”