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Patriotic Article
Heroes and Patriots
By USMC Cpl. Benjamin Crilly

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Fallen Marine 2nd CEB Engineer Honored
(May 19, 2011)

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USMC Lance Cpl. Ronald D. FreemanPATROL BASE JAMIL, Helmand province, Afghanistan (05/15/2011) - Marines and sailors from 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion and Company A, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, paused to remember the life and service of Lance Cpl. Ronald D. Freeman during a memorial service at Patrol Base Jamil, May 4.

Freeman was killed in action April 28 while clearing the way for others on a foot patrol while conducting combat operations in Sangin, Afghanistan. Freeman was 25 and from Plant City, Fla.

Freeman enlisted in the Marine Corps in September 2008 as a combat engineer and was assigned to 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C. He deployed with 1/5 in March 2011 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom clearing the way for the Marines and sailors of 1st Platoon daily on foot patrols.

“We all looked up to Lance Cpl. Freeman and admired his confidence and ability to conduct his job without any mental reservation,” said 1st Lt. Luis E. Murillo, the platoon commander for 1st Platoon, Co. A, from Meriden, Conn. “He in turn gave us the confidence we needed to be able to do our job in Sangin.”
Navy Lt. Cmdr. Danny Purvis, a chaplain for 2nd Marine Division, delivers the invocation for U.S. Marines with Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, as they mourn the loss of two Marines during a memorial ceremony in Sangin, Afghanistan May 4. The ceremony was for Lance Cpls. Joe Jackson and Ronald Freeman, who were killed in action while conducting combat operations in support of International Security Assistance Forces and Operation Enduring Freedom. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Corporal Nathan McCord
Navy Lt. Cmdr. Danny Purvis, a chaplain for 2nd Marine Division, delivers the invocation for U.S. Marines with Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, as they mourn the loss of two Marines during a memorial ceremony in Sangin, Afghanistan May 4. The ceremony was for Lance Cpls. Joe Jackson and Ronald Freeman, who were killed in action while conducting combat operations in support of International Security Assistance Forces and Operation Enduring Freedom. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Corporal Nathan McCord
Nicknamed ‘Dougie,' he was also remembered by his fellow Marines and friends for his positive attitude and ability to lighten any situation and keep others focused on the brighter side of life.

“What Lance Cpl. Freeman gave this world on a daily basis in the way of his warm personality, friendly smile, and positive attitude will be sorely missed,” said 1st Lt. Max Wineland, a platoon commander for 2nd CEB attached to 1/5. “In this line of work it's not always easy to stay positive, but I could always count on Lance Cpl. Freeman to lighten the mood and bring a sense of calm and stability to the situation.”

Along with constant reassurance, Freeman was remembered for his selflessness and service when he was not leading Marines through Sangin.
“If you were in need, Freeman was the kind of guy that would be right there to help you with whatever it was you needed help with,” said Sgt. Gregory A. Jecko, a squad leader for 2nd CEB attached to 1/5, from Toledo, Ohio. “Freeman would always put others before himself. He would go the extra mile just to say hello or ask about your loved ones.” 
 “A few others remember that one of his last words was that it was his daughter's birthday that day,” said Navy Lt. David D. Kim, the 1/5 battalion chaplain. “His family and his loved ones at home, was on his mind continually and to the end.

“Their love for him gave him strength as his love for them, his love for all of us, actually, fueled his desire to fight for peace and prosperity in a distant land and for a country full of strangers,” said Kim, from Mineola, N.Y.

Freeman's reassuring personality, selfless service and continual sacrifice for others will be remembered and missed by the Marines of 2nd CEB as they carry on counterinsurgency operations and daily patrols without him leading the way.

Freeman's personal awards include the Purple Heart and the Combat Action Ribbon. 
By USMC Cpl. Benjamin Crilly
Regimental Combat Team 8, 2nd Marine Division
Copyright 2011

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