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
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
“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
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
By USMC Staff Sgt. Ryan Smith
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