PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. (9/29/2011) - Memorial Park received a
new monument Sept. 22 honoring nine Marines from the same
recruit training platoon who were killed in action during
the Vietnam War.
A new monument was added to Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island Memorial Park Sept. 22,
2011 as a dedication to Marines killed in action from Platoon 3086, who graduated recruit training, Oct. 21, 1966.
Photo by USMC Lance Cpl. Francisco Abundes
Platoon 3086's former senior drill instructor and other platoon
members donated the memorial.
“The regiment is honored to
accept this monument on behalf of Brig. Gen. Reynolds and the entire
recruit depot,” said Col. Robert Jones, commanding officer for the
Recruit Training Regiment. “Nine members of Plt. 3086 were killed in
action in the Republic of Vietnam, and it is fitting we honor their
The Marines' photos were placed in front of
Lawrence Ward, the platoon's senior drill
instructor who pushed for the memorial, spoke at the ceremony.
“I'm not much of a spiritual man, but I believe that they're
here with us now,” Ward said. “Not in that marble, but they're here,
and they'll always be here.”
Ward said he plans to revisit the memorial each year. After
his speech, each of the donors presented a wreath.
“It was an important day for me, because I could see what it
did for my drill instructor,” said William Simon, a graduate
of the platoon. “He was proud as a peacock out there and
that makes it exciting for me.”
referred to Ward as his “dad.”
“Camaraderie is the
main player in all of this,” Simon continued. “It took us 45
years to come together and create this memorial for nine
people we only know as brothers and raised by the same
father – we're not forgetting our fallen.”
Simon, Jones and some of the depot personnel present at the
event placed Marine Corps and American flags in front of the
memorial, in front of the KIA Marines' photos.
Raymond Edwards, another platoon member, said a Marine that
falls is never forgotten as long as the Corps lives on. All
three former Marines of 3086 believe it is important for
future Marines to learn that.
“When a Marine endures
and survives the trauma of war, it's their moral obligation
to articulate that experience to others,” Ward said.
Coincidentally, Plt. 3086, Lima Company, 3rd Recruit
Training Battalion will graduate Oct. 21 this year, 45 years
after their predecessors. The platoon was present at the
“We're so honored to have you here today,
because the legacy we speak about, we are looking at right
now,” Simon said, as he addressed the recruits. “You are our
More associated images in frame below
By USMC Lance Cpl. Francisco Abundes
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