Honoring Corporal Merrell{0}


Yesterday, 15 May, 2012, we conducted the 1st Annual Memorial observance for CORPORAL STEVEN D. MERRELL, USMC, deceased. Corporal Merrell died of combat wounds, on this date, 42 years ago, and is the namesake of our Detachment.

The Memorial observation was attended by many members of his family including; his parents, sister, nephew (2nd Lieutenant Merrell, USA), Aunts, Uncle and niece.  Also attending were wives of Detachment members. A presentation of a floral bouquet’ was presented to Mrs. Merrell, and a sleeved copy of the Memorial speech was given to Mr. Merrell.  Each family member also received a Detachment ‘chip’ bearing our motto and Corporal Steven’s likeness.

With only minor glitches (this was our maiden voyage into this sea), the event was repectful and dignified and brought honor to Corporal Merrell, and to The Marine Corps League. The Merrell family were deeply moved and grateful.

This event couldn’t have been successful without the dedicated efforts of (Chaplain) William “Bill” Call, his attention to detail, including ‘dressing’ the grave marker and arranging for the wreath, flowers, and other logistical needs. His well composed and compassionate Memorial Prayer, brought comfort to the family, and credit upon himself and The Detachment.  Also, providing invaluable assistance, (Adjutant/Paymaster) “Stan” Brangham who attended to transporting the Flags and other equipment, placing the chairs, and in presenting “TAPS”.

BOTH Bill and Stan ‘made this happen!”

I am grateful for the participation of, Lieutenent Colonel Darin Letzring (presented the flowers and speech to parents); Sergeant Major William “Bill” Head (Past Commandant) who directed the Honors Detail; Master Gunnery Sergeant Anthony “Tony” Meath (Laying of the wreath); and (Sergeant) Luke Marley, and (Sergeant) Ron Tapia for ‘Posting the Colors’ and other uniformed duties. The uniformed appearance of these Marines as they performed the ceremonial duties reflect honorably upon The Detachment and The Corps.

Thank you to (Captain) Gary Black and (Sergeant) Phil Clifton for memorializing the event with their camera work.

As stated in the Memorial speech, Marines do NOT leave their brothers on the field, and we do Not forget their sacrifice. We will continue this Memorial event annually.  SEMPER FIDELIS!


Ralph “Doc” Lillig


Steven D. Merrell Detachment

No. 698