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A strong breeze blows through a battlefield cross display honoring Lance Cpl. Terry E. Honeycutt Jr., a machine-gunner with Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, during a memorial service at a Marine Corps Base in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, Nov. 11. Honeycutt gave the ultimate sacrifice, Oct. 27, while conducting combat operations in Northern Marjah.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Andrew D. Johnston

2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, honors the loss of a hero

11 Nov 2010 | Lance Cpl. Andrew D. Johnston

Marines and sailors with 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, gathered here to honor Lance Cpl. Terry E. Honeycutt Jr., a machine gunner with Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, Nov. 11. Honeycutt made the ultimate sacrifice, Oct. 27, while conducting combat operations in Northern Marjah.

Lt. Col. James R. Fullwood, commanding officer of 2/9, approached the podium and emphatically stated that no words could ever replace the great man who had passed.

Fullwood made a point to explain the importance of holding the memorial service on Veterans Day and related the words of former President Woodrow Wilson to Honeycutt’s sacrifice.

“As President Wilson commented on the heroism of soldiers recognized during Veterans Day, how fitting it is that we gather today to honor the life of Lance Cpl. Terry E. Honeycutt,” said Fullwood.

Fullwood explained how Honeycutt’s pride and dedication to his country and Corps made him the type of Marine he was.

“When Terry entered the Marine Corps in 2009, the war in Afghanistan was in its eighth year,” said Fullwood. “However, Lance Cpl. Honeycutt never shied from his duty or his desire to serve, knowing full well that combat was in his future.”

“He chose the most demanding path possible; that of being a Marine and a machine gunner at that,” continued Fullwood. “In my mind, this is the true definition of a hero. When fully knowing you place yourself at great personal risk, but with the greater good of your nation and your fellow Marines in mind, you freely choose to suppress the attack.”

During the memorial service, Marines who served alongside Honeycutt were given a chance to give their own personal reflections on the time they spent with him.

“Terry was a fun loving Marine who liked to laugh as much as possible and poke fun at every situation, even if it meant making fun of himself,” said Capt. Michael W. Manocchio, commanding officer for Fox, 2/9. “He was a good Marine and a perfectionist who would give his all until perfection was achieved. He also had a heart of gold and would do anything for his fellow Marines even if it meant going without for himself. As long as his brothers were taken care of, he was okay with it.”

One of Honeycutt’s closest friends, Lance Cpl. Timothy J. Frechette, a Marine with Fox, 2/9, said he had spent a lot of time getting to know Honeycutt over the past few months and developed a brotherly bond with him.

“There is one thing I have faith, in and that’s family and friends,” said Frechette. “Having someone there to joke around with, help you through hard times or just sit and talk to you about something important; Lance Cpl. Honeycutt was good for all of that. In the few months I spent with TJ, we quickly became friends and brothers. I hope you’re at peace now Honeycutt, you’ll always be missed and never forgotten.”

The song Amazing Grace resounded over the steady breeze, bringing the memorial service to an end. Close by, a group of Marines stood at attention, waiting for the command to perform a 21-gun salute.

The detail raised their rifles and fired rounds into the sky, giving the fallen warrior a final and honorable farewell.

“The loss of such a great Marine stirs grief and sorrow in us all, but let us not only focus on our loss, but celebrate the life of such a great person,” said Manocchio to the crowd. “Let us think of all the things Terry did for us, did with us, made us smile and made us very proud of him. Let us also focus on what we all know Terry would demand of us: to continue to fight in his name and in his honor. He would demand that we continue to take the fight to the enemy, to not let up and to not let him have died in vain.”

Honeycutt is survived by his mother, Christine S. Honeycutt, and his father, Terry E. Honeycutt, Sr. His awards include the Purple Heart Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.