Eulogy for a Fallen Marine
Compiled by R. E. “Pat” Ruckstuhl, Sgt USMC 1966-1972
“Once a Marine Always a Marine” A eulogy to (Rank and Name of Fallen Marine)
(Photograph of Deceased Marine)
(Marines Name and Rank) entered the USMC (date).
He served with the (Battalion, Regiment, and Division).
During his tour of duty he received (from DD-214Decorations, Medals, Badges and commendations) Separation of Service was (date separated).
Brief History of the United States Marine Corps
Two hundred and twenty seven years ago on November 10, 1775, the Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia passed a resolution stating that “two Battalions of Marines be raised” for service as landing forces with the fleet. This resolution established the Continental Marines and marked the birth date of the United States Marine Corps. Serving on land and sea, these first Marines distinguished themselves in a number of important operations.
Who are these Men and Women we call Marines?
He is a police officer on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn’t run out of fuel.
He is the POW who went away one person and came back another-or didn’t come back at ALL.
He is the Paris Island Drill Instructor who has never seen combat-but has saved countless lives by turning slouchy, no account rednecks and city boys into Marines, and teaching them to watch each other’s backs.
He is the carrier pilot landing on a rolling, pitching, heaving flight deck during a rain squall in the pitch black night of the Tonkin Gulf.
He is the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb of The Unknowns, whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all the anonymous heroes whose valor dies unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the oceans deep.
He is a Marine who has fought battles in places most people have never heard of: Tripoli, Montezuma, Meuse-Argonne, Belleau Woods, Corregidor, Turk Island, Midway, Saipan, Iwo Jima, In- chon, Khan Shan, Hill 55, Somali, Beirut Lebanon, Iran, Afghanistan and countless others.
But the most outstanding custom in the Marine Corps is simply “being a Marine” and all that it implies. Call it morale, call it esprit de corps, call it what you will-it is that pride which sets a United States Marine apart from the other armed services. It is not taught in manuals, yet it is the most impressive lesson a recruit learns in boot camp. It is not tangible, yet it has won fights against material odds. Perhaps Senator Paul H. Douglas has best defined it:
“Those of us who have had the privilege of serving in the Marine Corps value our experience as among the most precious of our lives. The fellowship of shared hardships and dangers in worthy cause creates a close bond of comradeship. It is the basic reason for the cohesiveness of Marines and for the pride we have in our corps and our loyalty to each other”. (Name and Rank of Marine) was proud of his Corps and believed it to be second to none. He was loyal to his comrades and to the Marine Corps, adhering always to the motto Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful)
Last Verse of the Marine Corps Hymn
“Here’s health to you and to our Corps
Which we are proud to serve;
In many a strife we’ve fought for life
And never lost our nerve.
If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heaven’s scenes,
They will find the streets are guarded
By United States Marines.”
(Name and rank of Marine, received his orders on (Date of Death) and has reported for Duty.