Home Local News Memorial Day is a time of remembrance || JD Marrs

Memorial Day is a time of remembrance || JD Marrs

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vet day jd
Photo: Submitted by JD Marrs


As a veteran that served 24 years in the United States Navy, Memorial Day has a different meaning to me. Many have forgotten what the day is about. It isn’t about an extra day off or a big sale at a store.

The official definition of Memorial Day is meant for remembering and honoring military personnel who died in the service of their country, particularly those who died in battle, or as a result of a wound sustained in battle. I do not remember only those that have died while in combat, I also remember those that died in training, while working in the defense of our freedom, and even those that have lost their lives as a result of the scars they brought home from those wars.

On this Memorial Day, I want you to remember those that I served with, those that were friends, those I knew, those I worked with, and those that I helped to train. For they gave the Ultimate Sacrifice while serving in the Defense of our Liberty, Freedom, and American way of life. I ask you to not to just read these names, but to look just one name up and see what they gave to this country and to each and everyone one of us. I remember them every day, today I want you to remember not only these heroes,
but the loss their families will always bear.

I will post the names of MY WARRIORS in the comment section for this article on eParisExtra’s website, Facebook, and Instagram pages, then I will share it to my social media pages. I ask that you list the names of YOUR WARRIORS, your family members, your friends, that served and never came back home to their loved ones. Then share the posts on your social media page so they will never be forgotten to the rest of us.

“I do not know or recall all those that came before me to pave the path that I was honored to walk. They shall forever have my utmost respect, my thanks, and my remembrance always” JD Marrs

In 1989 I was onboard the USS Iowa (BB-61) installing some equipment for the Commander of the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean not long after the explosion in turret #2 that took the lives of 47 sailors. It was a somber time and the first time that Memorial Day really hit me in the face. It forever changed the way I looked at this day. I read this somewhere years ago and reworded it to fit my thoughts, feelings and to be my 10 personal ground rules as a Veteran for the Memorial Day Weekend:

1. Do not wish me a Happy Memorial Day, there is nothing happy about those dying for our freedom.
2. It is not a holiday, it is a remembrance.
3. If you want to know the true meaning of Memorial Day, then visit Arlington, your local VA, or the Red River Valley Veterans Memorial, not the sale at the store.
4. Do not tell me how great any one political power is. Tell me about one of the names I have listed, one you served with, or someone in your family that sacrificed it all.
5. Attend a Bell Ceremony or a Reef Laying Ceremony and shed some tears.
6. If you have never put on a uniform, don't tell me you understand. I have carried the burden too many times for my warriors who now stand their post with God.
7. Remember the Fallen for all the Good they did while they were here.
8. Reach out and let a Veteran know you are there as we are losing too many after their service is over.
9. Before you start your BBQ or feast, say a prayer out loud so all can hear the thanks you give to those that are gone, for all the families that have lost, for the freedoms we have because of their sacrifices. Now you can eat in remembrance.

10. Veterans, raise that drink to your brother and sister, you do not need to say a word because everyone knows what you are thinking and the tear that goes with it.

I wrote this poem after losing a close friend and one of My Warriors.

“You & I”
You are my brother
I remember you every day.
You will never be forgotten 
I will tell all your sacrifice.
You touched my soul
I shall not weep your loss.
…for You know I would have taken your place.
JD Marrs

Lastly, if you want to hear the best Memorial Day message that pays tribute to all that have fallen in our Nation’s Freedom, listen to this 10 minute “Memorial Day 2018: Remember Me” post from the Jocko Podcast. I had the honor of being stationed and serving with Jocko Willink. http://jockopodcast.com/2018/05/28/memorial-day-2018-remember-me/

#MyWarriors
#YouWillNeverBeForgotten
#MomentOfSilence
#UltimateSacrifice
#MemorialDay2019
#eparisextra

2 COMMENTS

  1. Since my tour on the USS Gonzalez (DDG-66) from 1995-1998, thru those horrific acts on September 11th, 2001 and to current date, these are MY WARRIORS, my Brothers, my Friends, my Shipmates.
    I ask that you list the names of YOUR WARRIORS so that all of us can remember them as well.
    Eric Anthony Ferrazzoli, Torpedo Man 2nd Class, Passed Away, 14 May 2019.
    Chad Michael Wilkinson, Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL), Suicide, 29 OCTOBER 2018.
    Robert James Schwartz, Gunner’s Mate Seaman, Passed Away, 25 September 2018.
    Eduardo Valadez, Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL), Passed Away, 19 December 2017.
    Kyle J. Milliken, Senior Chief Special Ware Operator (SEAL), KIA Somalia, 5 May 2017.
    Willam “Ryan” Owens, Senior Chief Special Ware Operator (SEAL), KIA Yemen, 29 January 2017.
    Michael O. Entrican, Operations Specialist, Cancer, 17 August 2015.
    David A. Fegyo, Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL), Cancer, 5 October 2014.
    Bradley S. Cavner, Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL), Training, 23 June 2014.
    Brett D. Shadle, Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL), Training, 28 March 2013.
    Matthew J. Leathers, Special Warfare Operator 1st Class (SEAL), Training, 19 February 2013.
    Nicolas D. Checque, Special Warfare Operator 1st Class (SEAL), KIA Afghanistan, 8 December 2012.
    Tyrone S. Woods, Sr., Senior Chief Special Ware Operator (SEAL), KIA Diplomatic Mission, Bengazi Libya, 12 September 2012.
    Michael Rex Tatham, Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL), Accident, Indonesia, 12 October 2011.
    Jason R. Workman, Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL), KIA Afghanistan, 6 August 2011.
    Aaron C. Vaughn, Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL), KIA Afghanistan, 6 August 2011.
    Jon T. Tumilson, Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL), KIA Afghanistan, 6 August 2011.
    Jesse D. Pittman, Special Warfare Operator 1st Class (SEAL), KIA Afghanistan, 6 August 2011.
    Louis J. Langlais, Master Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL), KIA Afghanistan, 6 August 2011.
    John W. Faas, Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL), KIA Afghanistan, 6 August 2011.
    Brian R. Bill, Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL), KIA Afghanistan, 6 August 2011.
    Darrik C. Benson, Special Warfare Operator 1st Class (SEAL), KIA Afghanistan, 6 August 2011.
    Collin T. Thomas, Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL), KIA Afghanistan, 18 August 2010.
    Tyler S. Stimson, Special Warfare Operator 1st Class (SEAL), Training, 16 July 2010.
    Ryan C. Job, Special Warfare Operator 2nd Class (SEAL), Passed Away, 24 September 2009.
    Eric F. Shellenberger, Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL), Training, 7 May 2009.
    Sean Michael Flynn, Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL), Passed Away, 01 February 2009.
    Joshua T. Harris, Special Warfare Operator 1st Class (SEAL), KIA Afghanistan, 30 August 2008.
    Thomas J. Valentine, Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL), Training, 13 February 2008.
    Michael E. Koch, Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL), KIA Iraq, 4 February 2008.
    Shapoor A. Ghane, Special Warfare Operator 2nd Class (SEAL), Training, 30 January 2008.
    Joseph C. Schwedler, Special Warfare Operator 2nd Class (SEAL), KIA Iraq, 6 April 2007.
    Michael A. Monsoor, Master at Arms 2nd Class (SEAL), KIA Iraq, 29 September 2006.
    Mark Alan Lee, Aviation Ordanceman 2nd Class (SEAL), KIA Iraq, 2 August 2006.
    Michael Bell, Special Warfare Operator 2nd Class (SEAL), Stabbed in Montana, 12 April 2006.
    Matthew G. Axelson, Sonar Technician Surface 2nd Class (SEAL), KIA Afghanistan, 28 June 2005.
    Danny P. Dietz, Jr., Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class (SEAL), KIA Afghanistan, 28 June 2005.
    Jacques J. Fontan, Chief Fire Controlman (SEAL), KIA Afghanistan, 28 June 2005.
    Erik S. Kristensen, Lieutenant Commander (SEAL), KIA Afghanistan, 28 June 2005.
    Michael M. McGreevy, Jr., Lieutenant (SEAL), KIA Afghanistan, 28 June 2005.
    Michael P. Murphy, Lieutenant (SEAL), KIA Afghanistan, 28 June 2005.
    Shane E. Patton, Machinist Mate 2nd Class (SEAL), KIA Afghanistan, 28 June 2005.
    James E. Suh, Quartermaster 2nd (SEAL), KIA Afghanistan, 28 June 2005.
    Daniel R. Healy, Senior Chief Information Systems Technician (SEAL), KIA Afghanistan, 28 June 2005.
    Brian J. Ouellette, Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class (SEAL), KIA Afghanistan, 29 May 2004.
    Mario G. Maestas, Information Systems Technician 2nd Class (SEAL), Training, 3 July 2003.
    Matthew J. Bourgeois, Chief Hospital Corpsman (SEAL), KIA Afghanistan, 27 March 2002.
    Neil C. Roberts, Aviation Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class (SEAL), KIA Afghanistan, 4 March 2002.
    Our 1st scheduled deployment on the USS Gonzalez (DDG-66) was cancelled because we hit a reef and went back to the shipyards. The schedule for all the East Coast Destroyers was affected because of that. I’m not sure if this would have been our deployment, but the USS Cole (DDG-67) was pushed forward on their deployment cycle as they were the next newest Destroyer in line. They were targeted by terrorist in Yemen and we lost 17 shipmates, many of which were friends and classmates of mine.
    12 October 2010 – USS Cole
    Kenneth Clodfelter, 21, Mechanicsville, VA. Hull Maintenance Tech 3rd Class.
    Richard Costelow, 35, Morrisville, PA. Electronics Technician 1rst Class.
    Lakeina Francis, 19, Woodleaf, NC. Mess Management Specialist.
    Tim Gauna, 21, Rice, TX. Information Systems Technician.
    Cherone Gunn, 22, Rex, GA. Signalman Seaman Recruit.
    James McDaniels, 19, Norfolk, VA. Seaman.
    Marc Nieto, 24, Fond du Lac, WI. Engineman 2nd Class.
    Ronald Owens, 24, Vero Beach, FL. Electronics Warfare Technician 3rd Class.
    Lakiba Palmer, 22, San Diego, CA. Seaman Recruit.
    Joshua Parlett, 19, Churchville, MD. Engineman Fireman.
    Patrick Roy, 19, Keedysville, MD. Fireman Apprentice.
    Kevin Rux, 30, Portland, ND. Electronics Warfare Technician.
    Ronchester Santiago, 22, Kingsville, TX. Petty Officer 3rd Class.
    Timothy Saunders, 32, Ringgold, VA. Operations Specialist 2nd Class.
    Gary Swenchonis Jr., 26, Rockport, TX. Fireman.
    Andrew Triplett, 30, Macon, MS. Ensign.
    Craig Wibberley, 19, Williamsport, MD. Seaman Apprentice.

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