2nd Battalion, 9th Marines Honors Fallen Warrior
(October 21, 2010)
Afghanistan - Throughout history, the title Marine has carried with
it a heritage of honor, courage and commitment. The legacy of past
battles, fallen comrades and sacrifices for country and Corps runs
deep through the veins of its members.
Cpl. Stephen C. Sockalosky, a machine gunner with Golf Company, 2nd
Battalion, 9th Marines, joined the ranks of the Corps' fallen
heroes, Oct. 6, while conducting combat operations in support of
Operation Enduring Freedom. His brothers in the battalion paid their
respects during a memorial ceremony here, Oct. 13.
Lt. Col. James Fullwood, commanding officer of 2/9, approached the
stand to reflect on the man his Marines held close to their hearts.
“When he joined the Marines in 2007, the nation had already been at
war for seven years,” said Fullwood. “He joined under those
difficult circumstances, knowing that combat would be in his future.
Without fear, he embraced being a Marine and gave the ultimate
sacrifice for his country.”
One by one, close friends of the fallen warrior stepped up to the
podium, honoring a man who was dear to his family, country, and
Capt. Daniel Nilsson, commanding officer for Golf Company, 2/9,
expounded on Sockalosky's relationships with the other Marines.
“Socks, as most people affectionately called him, was a man that was
truly dedicated to his Marines, his mission and his family,” said
Nilsson. “He had an unmatched love for the Marines under his charge.
This was often seen by the way he looked after them as if they were
his own flesh and blood.”
Nilsson's heartfelt words provided some comfort to the Marines. He
recalled a conversation he had with Sockalosky's grandmother the
“His grandma told me, ‘You tell those boys to get their heads in the
game and keep their minds focused where it needs to be. While you
may want to, don't mourn the death of Coty. Take care of what you
need to do over there, and you get everyone back home. And when you
get back home, we will be there to meet you where we can tell each
other stories about him.'”
As the ceremony drew to an end, the company gunnery sergeant marched
in front of the crowd, came to attention and shouted out names of
Marines. Replies of, “present,” could be heard over the steady
breeze until Sockalosky's name was repeated several times with no
A single trumpet bellowed Taps while Marines and sailors raised
their hands to salute their fallen brother.
Close by, a group of Marines stood at attention, waiting for the
command to perform a 21-gun salute. The detail raised their rifles
and fired into the sky, giving the fallen warrior a final and
Sockalosky is survived by his wife, Mrs. Brittney B. Sockalosky, his
mother, Carolyn A. Adsit, and his father, William S. Sockalosky. His
awards include the Purple Heart Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Marine
Corps Good Conduct Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign
Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Sea Service
By USMC LCpl. Andrew Johnston
Regimental Combat Team 1
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