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thedrifter
05-08-03, 01:51 PM
Article ran : 05/08/2003
Service of hope and healing
By ERIC STEINKOPFF
DAILY NEWS STAFF

Camp Lejeune remembered its living and its dead Wednesday in a ceremony that was more prayer service than memorial. A small crowd gathered in the morning for the multidenominational service at the Lejeune protestant chapel. The assembly was for troops involved in the global war on terrorism.



Navy Chaplain Cmdr. Carroll Wheatley, a Catholic priest with Headquarters Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, said the service was developed by Brig. Gen. Mastin Robeson, who attended and remembered the 24 Lejeune Marines killed in the war with Iraq.



But the service was more than a memorial, said Wheatley, who returned March 1 after serving in the Horn of Africa as part of the effort to stem terrorism. He went ashore in Djibouti on Dec. 16.



“This is more of a prayer service than a memorial service; with an emphasis on hope, encouragement and support,” Wheatley said.



The scripture readings were positive, full of love and faithfulness with a call to seek to restrain crime, violence and immorality by preserving peace.



“We pray especially for those military and families experiencing hardship,” Wheatley said.



Then he solemnly read the names of 24 Lejeune Marines who died in Iraq in alphabetical order: Lance Cpl. Brian Anderson, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Andrew Arnold, Sgt. Michael Bitz, Lance Cpl. Brian Buesing, Lance Cpl. Tamario Burkett, Cpl. Kemaphoom Chanawonsge, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Robert Channell, Lance Cpl. Donald Cline, Lance Cpl. David Fribley, Cpl. Jose Garibay, Pvt. Jonathan Gifford, Cpl. Jorge Gonzalez, Cpl. Bernard Gooden, Sgt. Nicholas Hodson, Pvt. Nolen Hutchings, Gunnery Sgt. Phillip Jordan, 1st Lt. Brian McPhillips, Cpl. Patrick Nixon, Lance Cpl. Eric Orlowski, 1st Lt. Frederick Pokorney, Sgt. Brendon Reiss, Cpl. Randal Rosacker, Lance Cpl. Thomas Slocum and Lance Cpl. Michael Williams.



“(These deaths) displease God as much as it displeases us,” Robeson said. “God has a plan, but I am convinced that I won’t know it until I meet Him face to face. The service is important because it provides closure for the Marines who serve and closure for the families who are left behind. I was raised in a Christian home by Christian parents. The most important things (in order) are God, family, country and Corps.”



But, he said, there is still much left to do to heal our people, rebuild Iraq and track down international terrorists who would do harm to U.S. citizens and their allies.



“Combat leaves scars and (1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment) took the heaviest toll,” Robeson said. “The return of our forces is not the end, but the beginning.”







Contact Eric Steinkopff at estein kopff@jdnews.com or at 353-1171, Ext. 236.





Sempers,

Roger