Honoring two veterans on Memorial Day; add your special name, too.

Hey guys,

Since it’s Memorial Day, I wanted to honor two special people who gave their lives in service of our country.

The first one was a big reason I ended up joining the Marine Corps.

Bobby Fisher, who retired as a Gunnery Sergeant in the Marine Corps, was a man I looked up to as a young boy. He was probably the only Marine I really knew before joining, and I recognized and respected how different he was. He was a quiet man, who always stood tall and pulled his share of the load, while never boasting or talking big.

Gunnery Sergeant Fisher served in Desert Shield and Desert Storm and while he survived the combat, he’d struggle with and eventually succumb to a blood disease related to Gulf War Syndrome. (Some may quibble and say he didn’t die in service or combat, but this man left Grainger County a strong man and upon his return, soon found himself struggling with an undiagnosed disease, losing weight and strength and unable to work or do anything physical. He’d die at the young age of 47, and believe me when I say his last years were miserable. I don’t care what anyone says, this man was killed by the war no differently than someone who took a bullet over there.)

The second man I’d like to honor is Lance Corporal Andre Foster, who I served with in Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment. Lance Corporal Foster died in a dangerous stream crossing we were doing as part of our training at the Jungle Warfare Training Center in Okinawa.

Lance Corporal Foster died on April 10, 1999, while Alpha Co., 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment conducted highly dangerous jungle training in Okinawa. Foster drowned while crossing a roaring stream in full combat gear.

Lance Corporal Foster died on April 10, 1999, while Alpha Co., 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment conducted highly dangerous jungle training in Okinawa. Foster drowned while crossing a roaring stream in full combat gear.

I’ll post a tribute one of his close friends wrote about him below. But just like with Gunnery Sergeant Fisher, I can say I knew Lance Corporal Foster and he was a great man.

Finally, I wanted to end by saying that one of the reasons I felt compelled to write this post is that a quick Google search barely turned up anything online for either of them. (In fact, I happened to search them both after thinking of them on this special day, which is what led to this last-minute, Memorial Day blogpost.) As such, I wanted to write this small tribute to them so that anyone who searches their name in the future will easily find information about their service and sacrifices.

Furthermore, it’s worth noting that though there’s not much written about either of them, both died within the past couple of decades, when the internet was fully alive and should have captured more. But there are thousands and thousands who died in previous wars, whose names probably aren’t recognized or easy to find online.

Therefore, I wanted to offer everyone the opportunity to honor peopleLCPL Foster they knew who died in service to our country. Thanks to the support of so many, this site has 400,000-plus views and is ranked well with Google and all the other search engines. Thus, if you know someone who’s sacrifice may have been forgotten, or perhaps their information is online but difficult to find, you can post a comment with their name and branch, as well as rank if you know it. Also, feel free to talk about them some.

It’s not much, but this will help preserve their great sacrifices online, in a way that will benefit future relatives and friends.

I know that Gunnery Sergeant Fisher and Lance Corporal Foster are without question no different than the other nearly two million who have died defending our country, all of whom deserve our gratitude and respect. (Note: Please be respectful in the comments. Any inappropriate comments or political statements will be deleted, and you can be rest assured that I will continue to monitor this page for years to come as a small way of keeping a living memorial up for my two great friends, as well as any others honored in the comments below.)

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell

19 Comments

Filed under Marine Corps

19 responses to “Honoring two veterans on Memorial Day; add your special name, too.

  1. GREAT that you’re doing a tribute on Memorial Day.
    My friend L/Cpl Gary Gray
    “Here’s to us, and those like us. (And there’s damn few of us!)”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Dave Olmsted

    RIP, GUNNY, YOUR WAR IS OVER. L/CPL. RIP

    Liked by 2 people

  3. My father. Dog-faced Soldier in WWI. Born in 1893 and had only heard stories about the Spanish-American war and the War of Northern Aggression/War against Secession. He was a motor-cycle dispatch courier and I never heard him say a word about what it was like. His younger brother talked some after my father passed, and – no surprise – it was as mucked up as the wars the rest of us have been in.
    Semper Fi and RIP,
    OG

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, OG. And while EVERY war seems to be nastier than the previous one, World War I, with its trench warfare and gas attacks, has to rank up there as one of the ugliest. A lot like that patch of jungle you fought in during the ’60s. Semper Fi, and may he rest in peace along with all the others.

      Like

  4. Thank you for introducing us to those two Marines that have influenced you so much Stan. This family that we know as the Marine Corps is a large and extended one, but we are all Brothers and Sisters, regardless of time or era served. Rest easy Gunny Fisher and LCpl Foster. And like a lot of other storied battalions, 1/8 has more than it’s fair share of Devil Dogs guarding the perimeter of Heaven. SF Brother.

    Liked by 2 people

    • So, true, Mike. And if you get a chance in the coming days, would you mind posting the names of the friends you knew that died in Beirut? Even just a few of them? (I may come back and post the entire list afterward.)

      Semper Fi, Brother!

      Like

      • 1/8 Comm Platoon Marines KIA 10/23/83

        Moses Arnold
        Nicholas Baker
        John W. Blocker
        Joseph J. Boccia (Comm Officer)
        Anthony K. Brown
        Bobby B. Buchanan
        Charles D. Cook
        Curtis J. Cooper
        Rick R. Crudale
        Nathaniel G. Dorsey
        Michael S. Fulton
        David D. Gay
        Richard J. Gordon
        Donald W. Hildreth (Platoon Sgt.)
        Steven Jones
        John McCall
        Louis Melendez
        Richard H. Menkins III
        Alex Munoz
        Luis Nava
        Ulysses G. Parker
        John A. Phillips
        Rafael Pomalestorres
        James C. Price
        Charles R. Ray (Comm Chief)
        Terrence L. Rich
        Louis J. Rotondo
        Ronald L. Shallo
        Eric R. Walker
        Eric G. Washington
        Obrian Weekes
        John R. Weyl
        Dwayne W. Wigglesworth

        I think about them often. For some of us, every day is Memorial Day. SF.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Well done Marine – a fitting tribute.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My father served in the Cold War, on the front lines in Germany, where I was born. We don’t hear much about the men who served there in the fifties, because after all there was no war. But there could have been, at any moment, and my dad and his buddies would’ve been sent to take on the Russians. My mother was told to have a suitcase packed at all times in the event a hasty evacuation of dependents was ordered. Soviet war plans actually called for nuclear strikes against NATO formations in the field and selected cities. In the event hostilities had actually broken out, it’s unlikely my parents would’ve survived. We don’t do enough to honor the men who served on those lines. Without them things would’ve turned out much differently.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. J. Travis Kidd

    Good evening Mr. Mitchell, My name is Travis, I was stationed at the jungle warfare training center April 10,1999. I very vividly remember the day LCpl Andre Foster died. I remember the day because it is the one day I have ever seen rain fall that hard. I also remember that day because myself and Sgt. Bennett were the first two individuals to arrive on scene where LCpl Foster was later found. I agree that there is almost nothing mentioning LCpl Foster’s passing any where. I would like to say thank you for remembering LCpl Foster. Occasionally I think of LCpl Foster and I have wondered if anyone remembers him, I know that I do. I did not know him, but I do remember that he was here and he was one of our brothers. Simper Fidelis, Cpl. Kidd

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dang, Travis. It’s a small world and I’m so glad you stopped by to leave a few words. Thanks for all your efforts on that day. I’m sure all the jungle warfare instructors and staff took it about as hard as we did.

      Email me sometime if you get a few minutes. There are still a few questions I have about the incident and some memories I’d like to check/confirm. Also, definitely let me know if I can ever be of service.

      Again, thanks for the comment and all your efforts on that day.

      Semper Fi,
      Stan
      (Formerly, Sgt Mitchell, A/1/8)

      Like

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