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thedrifter
12-09-05, 07:39 AM
3/1 remembers fallen comrade
2nd Marine Division
Story by Cpl. Adam C. Schnell

HADITHA DAM, Iraq (Dec. 9, 2005) -- Marines with 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment paid respects to and remembered the life of one of their fallen comrades during a memorial service here Nov. 23.

Tiahoga Falls, Ohio, native Sgt. Jeremy E. Murray, a vehicle commander with the battalion’s Mobile Assault Company, was conducting mobile patrols here when a roadside bomb detonated under his vehicle, killing him.

His friends, leaders and fellow Marines packed the chapel here to pay their respects and celebrate the life of this fallen warrior. The battalion’s chaplain, Navy Lt. Philip N. Park, welcomed everyone and started off the service with an invocation.

Murray’s commanding officer, Capt. Eric A. Reid, then provided the opening remarks, talking about his leadership skills and life in the military.

Murray began his military career in 1996 when he joined the U.S. Army. He became an Army Ranger and finished his honorable service with the Army in 1998. Two years later he became one of The Few, The Proud, when he joined the Marines and went to recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C.

His first assignment in the Marines was with 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C. As a young machine gunner, he was attached to the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operation Capable) and participated in many different operations in countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo and Djibouti.

In early 2005, Murray was re-assigned to his current unit and became a vehicle commander, a job with many responsibilities. Murray spent most of his time on the current deployment here patrolling roads to disrupt the movement of insurgents and their equipment.

Next, Gunnery Sgt. Carlos M. Murcia, Murray’s platoon sergeant, commented on how Murray impacted the platoon. One major way Murray influenced his unit was how he always looked out for every Marine.

“Everyone can speak Marine, but Sgt. Murray could also speak Pfc and lance corporal,” said Murcia about how he could relate to every person. “He always took care of his troops.”

After those remarks and some from Murray’s best friend, Sgt. John M. McLemore, roll call was taken by 1st Sgt. William R. Shaw, the Mobile Assault Company first sergeant. A number of names were called off, and a loud ‘here first sergeant!’ came after every name.

Until Murray’s name was read.

“Sergeant Murray…. Sgt. Jeremy Murray,” sounded off the first sergeant. “Sgt. Jeremy E. Murray.”

And again there was no answer.

The silence after Murray’s name brought out different emotions in each person in attendance, as did the sound of Taps, which is a military tradition for fallen service members.

The 27-year-old father of one was the first Marine with the battalion to lose his life during the current deployment. Losing an experienced Marine is especially tough for the Marines, as they have lost a good Marine and good friend.

“He was a Marine’s Marine,” Murcia commented during the service. “We are better people to have served with him.”

Murray is survived by his wife, Megan; son, Ian; mother, Pamela, and father Harold.

Ellie