AR RAMADI, Iraq -- Marines in combat areas have little time to mourn the loss of their brothers, but time is always taken for the remembrance of those who gave all.
A memorial ceremony was held for three Marines of Company C, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, at observation post Hawk in Ar Ramadi, Iraq, on Oct. 14.
The three Marines – Sgt. Julian M. Arechaga, Lance Cpl. Jon E. Bowman, and Pfc. Shelby J. Feniello – were killed during combat operations in the city on Oct. 9.
Battalion staff and members of Company C, numbering more than 50 Marines and sailors, attended the ceremony to honor their brothers-in-arms.
“We were there grieving the loss of three great young men … three great Marines,” said Navy Lt. Jamie J. Stall-Ryan, battalion chaplain.
Gathered together in a time of sadness, the Marines and sailors spoke prayers for the families of their departed brothers.
Though their own grief was strong, the mourning of the Marines’ loved ones was foremost in their thoughts.
“I just hope they understand that their sons, husbands, brothers … they were not alone,” said Lt. Col. William M. Jurney, the battalion’s commanding officer. “They were with their brothers.”
Many in attendance stood to speak for their fallen Marines, citing their most memorable traits and fondest memories.
As the emotional tributes went on, a common thought brought comfort to the hearts and minds of the mourning warriors.
“We have three more angels now, looking over our shoulder to make sure everyone comes home safe,” said Capt. Jody E. White, 35-year-old commander of Company C.
Julian M. Arechaga was a squad leader for Company C. He was born in East Meadow, N.Y., and enlisted in the Marine Corps on Aug. 26, 2002. Arechaga was remembered for his valuable leadership, love of family and dedication to his Marines.
Jon E. Bowman was a rifleman for Company C. He was born in Monroe, La., and enlisted in the Marine Corps June 7, 2004. Bowman was remembered for his reliability as a Marine and his never-ending smile.
Shelby J. Feniello was a rifleman for Company C. He was born in Uniontown, Pa., and enlisted in the Marine Corps on May 10, 2004. Feniello was remembered for his ability to lift people’s spirits and by how much he loved his family.