Cpl Merrell headstone, and a bit about Steve{0}

The Marine Corps League is taking care of its own. This past winter, we updated Cpl Merrell’s headstone.

Tomorrow, May 15, at 1800 we will conduct our annual honor guard for Cpl Merrell. Unfortunatley, I will not be able to attend because I am leaving for my annual training for Marine Corps Reserve duty tomorrow morning.

Last week, Marine Corps League Det Commandant Ralph Lillig took a call from a Marine Sergeant who relayed the following information about Cpl Merrell.

The Sergeant told me that ‘Steve’, as he refers to him, was very popular with the other Marines. He had a pleasant attitude and was a ‘good Marine’ and there were no ‘problems’ when The Sergeant became the new NCOIC.  Merrell had been with the CAP for about 8 months, prior to The Sergeant’s arrival.  The Sergeant said Merrell had been a good ‘Platoon Leader’ (as the CAPs were called), and that he always felt confident in his leadership when the ‘platoon’ split for individual patrols.  Following Merrell’s death, a small memorial service was conducted at a Buddist shrine near Tam Bau: There was nowhere else to have a memorial, although the service was a Christian service, conducted by a Navy Chaplain. Several ranking officers and the Company Gunnery Sergeant attended.  This is the account, as best I can recall and relay.

Memorial Day is coming up. Please remember that Memorial Day is not the first camping weekend of the year. It is a day to remember those who have gone before us. I, for one, have wondered who Cpl Merrell is, and I’m thankful for the Sergeant in the quotes above to have relayed a bit about Steve to us. Some of the League members here in Pocatello might be able to relate to the names of those places mentioned above. I can’t. All I know is the post-80’s Marine Corps. But at least now I know a bit more about Steve.  And I really hope he and others who have gone before us are remembered and honored appropriately on Memorial Day…….to hear people refer to it as the first camping weekend of the year really misses the point about how they are able to enjoy the freedom to think that.

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