Marines with 1st Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 5 paused to honor two Marines who gave their lives for the cost of freedom.
A memorial service was held at Camp Baharia Nov. 4 to honor Lance Cpl. Tyler R. Overstreet and Lance Cpl. Richard A. Buerstetta. Overstreet was 22 years old and from Gallatin, Tenn. Buerstetta was 20 years old and from Franklin, Tenn.
Both Marines were killed in action Oct. 23 while conducting combat operations.
Overstreet and Buerstetta both volunteered to deploy to Iraq. They joined B Compaby, 1st Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment from their parent command of 3rd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment.
“These young men gave the ultimate sacrifice for the lives of their brothers of Bravo Company,” said Lt. Col. Harold Van Opdorp, 39, battalion commander, from Stafford, Va. “These men not only enlisted after 9/11, but also volunteered to leave their unit 3/24 and fill the ranks within 1/24 for its tour in Iraq.”
Marines of B Company who knew Overstreet and Buerstetta spoke of the great sacrifice each made fighting in Fallujah. They also spoke of the importance of remembering the good times they shared before they were killed.
“Tyler was the type of guy you could talk to and feel like you knew him forever; he was an absolute riot,” said Lance Cpl. Luther M. Wikle, 20, rifleman from Huntsville, Ala. “He was an absolute riot.”
Buerstetta was known for his quiet form of leadership.
“He was very quiet, but the Marines respected him and always followed his orders,” said Staff Sgt. Chedrick Greene, 30, platoon sergeant, from Saginaw, Mich. “He was a confident leader, and his men were confident in his leadership.”
Overstreet and Buerstetta were known as the “Tennessee Marines,” a nickname given to them by the company’s Marines from Michigan, where they are based.
By Lance Cpl. Stephen McGinnis