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3rd Recon Bn. Honors Fallen Brother
by USMC Staff Sgt. Ryan Smith - September 6, 2011

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USMC Sgt. Daniel GurrPATROL BASE ALCATRAZ, Helmand province, Afghanistan (8/26/2011) - Marines and sailors of 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, Regimental Combat Team 8, paused to remember the life of Sgt. Daniel Gurr, Aug. 26 during a ceremony at Patrol Base Alcatraz, Helmand province, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

Gurr was killed in action Aug. 5 while conducting combat operations in the Upper Sangin Valley of Northern Helmand province. Gurr was 21 and from Roosevelt, Utah.

During the ceremony, many Marines and sailors came forward to talk about the impact Gurr had played in their lives. Gurr, a 2008 graduate of Uintah High School, was remembered as a hardworking, selfless and dedicated Marine willing to go the extra mile to take care of his brothers-in-arms.

“If there was a post to be stood, a head to be cleaned or a deck to be built he was the first one to roger up to the task,” reflected Cpl. Kahmdon Flanary, a fellow squad member from Company B, 3rd Recon Bn. “I spent countless, dreaded pool days with Danny, and let me tell you that he'd be the first to tell you that he couldn't swim very well and hated every second of it. But to this day, I never saw him quit at it; or anything for that matter.”

According to his fellow Marines, Gurr had been with the unit for almost three years and during this time the unit became as close as family.

Aug. 26, 2011 - Cpl. Matthew Wrisley, a member of 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, pauses in a moment of reflection at the battlefield memorial for USMC Sgt. Daniel Gurr, who was killed in action on Aug. 5, 2011 during combat operations in the Upper Sangin Valley of Helmand province, Afghanistan. Photo by USMC Staff Sgt. Ryan Smith
Aug. 26, 2011 - Cpl. Matthew Wrisley, a member of 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, pauses in a moment of reflection at the battlefield memorial for USMC Sgt. Daniel Gurr, who was killed in action on Aug. 5, 2011 during combat operations in the Upper Sangin Valley of Helmand province, Afghanistan. Photo by USMC Staff Sgt. Ryan Smith
 “When you spend that much time with someone, you learn basically everything there is to know about each other,” said Sgt. Michael Barczak, addressing the more than 200 attendees at the ceremony. “You learn about their family, their friends and their girlfriend. You learn about the town they grew up in, and what they used to do for fun or for a living. You learn about the things they're most proud of as well as the things they're most ashamed of. All of the skeletons come out of the closet so to speak, and when the smoke settles, what you have is a forged bond that can not be broken by anything or anyone.

“When you let someone so deeply into your life, that person never leaves you,” said Barczak, as he gently wiped away a tear. “When that same person is so abruptly taken away from you, you are left with a large gaping hole in your heart that no one can ever fill.”

Following the speeches by the Marines, a 21-gun salute was fired and taps played. Somber faces sketched over a few in the crowd as the ceremony concluded. All attendees took a brief moment to pay their final respects to their fallen friend, each stopping to salute his battlefield memorial and say goodbye.

The emotional tribute to their fallen friend could best be summarized in the words of Barczak.

“You can fill that hole with any emotion you want: happiness for having the pleasure of knowing such a great person, sadness for those who loved him most, hatred for those who took him away. However, in the end all you are left with are the memories you've made with them and most importantly, a brother's love.

“Look at your brothers; look all around you and see their faces. You may
love them or hate them but make no mistake; we are in this fight together.”

By USMC Staff Sgt. Ryan Smith
Provided through DVIDS
Copyright 2011

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