2nd Battalion, 9th Marines Honor Fallen Machine Gunner
(September 25, 2010)
PROVINCE, Afghanistan - Marines and sailors with 2nd Battalion, 9th
Marines, gathered to remember Cpl. John C. Bishop (photo left), a
machine gunner with Echo Company, 2/9, Sept. 16, during a memorial
service in Helmand province, Afghanistan. |
Bishop gave the ultimate sacrifice during combat operations in
support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Sept. 8.
Capt. Charles E. Anklam, commanding officer for Echo Company, took
the podium to memorialize the life and accomplishments of the
company's departed machine gunner. Anklam credited weapons Marines,
such as Bishop, for often doing more than asked to get a job
“He was mentally and physically tough and always carried more than
his share of the load,” said Anklam. “But moreover, as a man, he was
the type of person his fellow Marines gravitated to.”
Because of his maturity and ability to effectively lead, Bishop was
chosen to be a team leader, an appointment that is uncommon for
machine gunners, said Anklam.
“He exhibited the traits and professionalism that instill in his
Marines the utmost in trust ... and superb confidence from his
leaders,” said Anklam. “To say that he demonstrated the qualities
that Marines both junior and senior should emulate would be a gross
During the memorial service, service members who served alongside
Bishop got a chance to pay their respects. One after another, fellow
comrades wept at the podium, describing the man in intimate detail.
“To many, Cpl. Bishop was a friend, but to me, he was more of a
father figure,”said Lance Cpl. Jonathan R. Buckle, a machine gunner
with 2/9. “No matter what the situation was, he always stood up for
the junior Marines. He taught us everything we ought to know about
being a good Marine, machine gunner and infantryman. He really took
the time to know his Marines.”
Cpl. Joseph N. Musulin, a mortarman with the company and a close
friend of Bishop, mournfully remembered their friendship. Both men
had families. Their children played together, and Bishop had a
lovely wife, Musulin recalled.
Musulin expounded on how much he wanted to emulate Bishop's
leadership skill and ability to balance his career and family.
“Today when I think of John Bishop, I think of a quote that is
inscribed in the First Marine Division cross,” said Musulin to the
crowd. “'Iron sharpens iron as man sharpens man.' When I think of it
today, it has a whole new meaning because Cpl. Bishop truly lived
Close by, as an American and a Marine Corps flag rippled in the
steady breeze, a group of Marines stood at attention waiting for the
command to perform a 21-gun salute. The attending Marines stood in
reverent silence as a recording of “Amazing Grace” resounded.
The detail raised their rifles and fired rounds into the sky, giving
the fallen warrior a final and honorable farewell.
By USMC LCpl. Andrew Johnston |
Regimental Combat Team 1
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