Marines of 1st Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment paused to honor a man who gave his life for the cost of freedom.
The battalion held a memorial service for Lance Cpl. Jeremy S. Shock at Camp Baharia Dec. 1.
Shock was a 22-year-old machine gunner from Cincinnati assigned to Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment.
Shock was killed Nov. 19 while conducting combat operations with Regimental Combat Team 5 in Al Anbar Province in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“I am here before you because we are compelled to honor Lance Cpl. Shock,” said Lt. Col. Harold Van Opdorp, a 39-year-old battalion commander from Stafford, Va. “I say compelled because that’s what Marines do; we pay honor to our fallen comrades. We do it because we share a love for our fellow Marines that few can understand.”
Shock planned on becoming a Marine officer upon returning home from Iraq.
“He was in the process of becoming an officer of Marines,” Van Opdorp said. “He was in the process of taking the next step to committing his life to the service of his country and of his brothers. He was on his way to experience the honor of leading some of the bravest men our country has to offer. He was already a member of that group.”
Maj. Gregory Cramer, Weapons Company commander, remembered Shock for his hard work ethic.
“My memories of Shock include conscientious, whether it was a task critical to the accomplishment of the mission or something mundane, routine and at times tedious, one could always count on Shock to close the loop and complete the task to the best of his ability,” Cramer said.
His fellow Marines spoke of his great friendship and his devotion to his wife and family.
“He loved his family,” said Cpl. David Dean. “It’s what he liked to talk about. He planned on changing his religion just to marry his wife in Ecuador.”
Dean also spoke of Shock as one of the reasons he re-enlisted into the Marine Corps.
“Once you get out of the Marine Corps you miss it, but not only do you miss the Marine Corps but mostly the Marines, the man to your left and right,” Dean said. “That is one of the reasons why I re-enlisted, to fight alongside guys like Shock.”
A photo of Shock was placed beside a memorial of a helmet resting on a rifle with a set of identification tags hanging from them. A pair of empty combat boots was also placed in front of the rifle.
Marines from the company came forward to pay their last respects after the ceremony, on the banks of Lake Baharia.
Shock reported to Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C., in August 2005. Following boot camp, he completed the School of Infantry at Camp Lejeune, N.C., as a machine gunner and subsequently reported to Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment.
In June 2006, Shock was assigned to Headquarters Platoon and served as the company armory custodian.
He was activated in June 2006 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
He completed training at Camp Pendleton and Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., prior to deploying to Fallujah, Iraq, for Operation Iraqi Freedom.
His awards include the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal and Armed Forces Reserve Medal.
“Shock was a great Marine and a great friend,” said Cpl. Mark Sadowy. “He has left a hole with his passing, in the Marine Corps, in this battalion, company, platoon, his families both here and at home, but most importantly a hole in our hearts.
“There’s only one way to fill that hole, which is to continue to remember all the good times we had with him,” he added.
By Lance Cpl. Stephen McGinnis