Marines from 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion paused to honor a fallen Marine Oct. 29 at Camp Fallujah’s Chapel of Hope.
Sgt. Jonathan J. Simpson, assigned to B Company, 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, was killed in action Oct. 14 while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He was remembered and honored by his fellow Marines in a memorial service. Simpson, from Laval, Canada, was 25 years old.
Lt. Col. William H. Seely, the battalion’s commander, spoke to the gathering, telling them that the reputation and honors the battalion enjoys are due to men such as Simpson.
“The strong reputation of this battalion is solely based on men like Jon,” Seely said. “He met the challenges of being a Recon Marine and all that it entails. What he brought to this battalion was professionalism and a sincere trust to his men. He was steadfast in his beliefs, a man of great courage, a man committed to the service of others, a man whose calling was not self, but others. That is how I know Jon. That is how we intend to honor Jon.”
Seely spoke of Simpson’s career as a Marine and the challenging route he chose to serve as a Recon Marine. Simpson initially served as a C-130 aerial navigator before he decided to seek a role as a Reconnaissance Marine.
“He could have continued his service in the Marines as a navigator, but he chose something more to his liking,” Seely said. “He wanted a different type of challenge. He wanted to be part of another small community, which is based on demanding physical, mental and spiritual challenges.”
As a Recon Marine, Simpson thrived, according to Capt. Stanton C. Hawk, B Company’s commander. He quickly took to his role as an assistant team leader, absorbing as much information as he could. He was demanding of himself and his Marines, leading them by his own example.
By Gunnery Sgt. Mark Oliva