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.
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 people they knew who died in service to our country. Thanks to the support of so many, this site 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