These two narratives were courtesy of Hector Marcayda. The two Marines featured in these stories, along with Hector Marcayda, were all in the same platoon. Maloney was the platoon commander, and Marcayda was the CO. Maloney is pictured above (far right) with Marcayda and his staff at the 2001 Marine Corps Birthday Ball.
Marine Capt. John W. Maloney
36, of Chicopee, Massachusetts.
Maloney died when his vehicle hit an improvised explosive device while conducting combat operations near Ar Ramadi, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Battalion,5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California. During Operation Iraqi Freedom their unit was attached to 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward). Died on June 16, 2005.
“Yesterday, the hand of tragedy personally and individually touched me in such a way that words of condolences would never be enough to soften the blow I and the Corps have suffered: a few days ago, a fine, young warrior perished from our midst.
Captain John Maloney knew and willingly accepted that the Profession of Arms was fraught with danger and risk, particularly when engaged in combat. And few things were more dangerous than the mission entrusted to Johnnie and his company of warriors, whom he led with pride, responsibility, and love. It was clear that Johnnie accepted the risk and served without question and fear. That is the man I knew for the better part of my fifteen years of uniformed service, as we were brought up in the Corps serving together in more than five units. I always believed that our relationship was never one of senior-subordinate, but of father and son – I valued his counsel, his comradeship, and his love.
I can only hope that all who served with him help his family remain strong so they can face this adversity with the same strength that Johnnie demonstrated each day of his life – that’s what he would want. And I have no doubt that the Marines of C 1/5 will remain focused on their mission and continue to carry out their duty with the same conviction, dedication, and professionalism demonstrated by Johnnie.
His gift of unselfishness, bravery, and dedication serve as an inspiration to all of us who were touched by Johnnie’s spirit. He made a huge difference, and has personally left a noticeable void in my life.
I will forever miss his laughter, his friendship, his love, and his “Giddee-Up”.
Semper Fi, Johnnie”
Hector E. Marcayda of Stafford, Va
Marine Staff Sgt. Jason C. Ramseyer
28, of Lenoir, North Carolina.
Ramseyer died while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Al Anbar province, Iraq. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. Died on April 20, 2006.
“Memorial Day 2006 carries added meaning and significance to me; given that on the first of May, the Marine Corps laid to rest one of the finest men I had the pleasure of both serving and leading. That Marine’s name was Staff Sergeant Jason C. Ramseyer.
It is a proud, standing tradition of the Corps that we make Marines who are capable of winning our nation’s wars. To accomplish this feat, our warriors are taught to fight with principle and discretion, and whose inner strength of self-discipline rivals physical prowess. Thus, our Corps creates men whose aggressiveness in battle is tempered by their ability to deal with the moral dilemmas of combat. Jason Ramseyer was such a man, and the epitome of a principled warrior.
Today is a day for mourning and remembering Jason, a Marine with whom I served during my tenure as the Commanding Officer, Combat Instructor (CI) Company. I am personally pained to the core by the tragedy of his untimely death. This is truly a national loss.
Jokingly, I referred to him as a “bald headed midget” as a way to antagonize him during our weekly martial arts sessions, a program he personally instituted in my company. But despite his stature, “Sergeant Ram” was a giant among his fellow Marines, imbued with a life-long passion for teaching and leading, whether as a platform instructor teaching junior officers the 81mm mortar, or leading a group of instructors through the rough terrain of the martial arts combat course.
There is an inscription in Arlington National Cemetery which transcends the loss of human life. It reads, “NOT FOR FAME OR REWARD, NOT FOR PLACE OR FOR RANK, NOT LURED BY AMBITION OR GOADED BY NECESSITY, BUT IN SIMPLE OBEDIENCE TO DUTY AS THEY UNDERSTOOD IT, THESE MEN SUFFERED ALL, SACRIFICED ALL, DARED ALL, AND DIED”. For myself, I am a personal witness to the fact that “Sgt Ram” was a man who fulfilled his duty as he understood it: as a husband, a father, a mentor, a leader — and as my friend. Jason is now resting in hallowed ground, and no Marine could hope to earn a finer epitaph.”
Hector E. Marcayda of Stafford, Va