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    Fallen Marine honored by squadron, family

    Fallen Marine honored by squadron, family

    Photo By Lance Cpl. Kevin Ferguson | Members of Lance Cpl. Floyd G. Cartrette's family approach Marine All-Weather Fighter...... read more read more



    Story by Lance Cpl. Kevin Ferguson 

    Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort

    When a young man or woman earns the title of Marine, they take their place in the largest family in the world. One that comes with a brotherhood, a sense of belonging and the love and care that can match the family they have outside the Corps.

    On June 18, the two families of Fightertown Marine Lance Cpl. Floyd G. Cartrette, who died March 28 in an automobile accident, came together in his honor.

    A formation of Marines with Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 224, known as the Bengals, did not allow the unforgivable heat of Fightertown’s flightline to phase their military bearing.

    They stood perfectly still, at the position of attention, as Cartrette’s family approached the F/A-18 Hornet parked outside their hangar.

    The family was witnessing for the first time Cartrette’s name, rank and hometown of Whiteville, N.C. painted in memorial on a panel of the jet. The panel is normally reserved as a place of honor for the plane captain, who is in control of the jet while it is on the ground. Putting Cartrette’s name there was a gesture signifying that even though he is no longer here, he will continue to fly with the Bengals.

    According to Cartrette’s mother, Sophia Cartrette Watts, having his name fly with a jet is fitting because he was excited to travel while in the Marine Corps and now he will be afforded that opportunity every time the Bengals deploy.

    “There is nothing that could top the way it felt seeing his name on that jet,” Watts said.

    After viewing the panel, Watts approached the formation. Lieutenant Col. Joseph Maybach, the Bengals’ commanding officer, called the Marines to at ease moments before greeting her. Maybach said a few words about the caliber of Marine Cartrette embodied and why his name is painted on the unit’s flagship jet.

    Watts then presented Maybach and the Bengals with a shadow box of her son’s career. Inside were Cartrette’s boot camp graduation photo, American and Marine Corps flags, lance corporal chevrons and the ribbons Cartrette had earned during his time in service: the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and the Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal.

    Cartrette was posthumously awarded the Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal for superior performance as a fighter jet mechanic.

    “He stood out among his peers,” said Staff Sgt. Brad Applegate, Cartrette’s former staff noncommissioned officer and Bengals’ powerline division chief. “He could complete any job with little-to-no supervision – it was like he had been doing this for years.”

    According to Applegate, the shadow box will one day hang in the squadron’s ready room with memorabilia that represents Bengals history.

    Watts said her son was a history buff in high school and would be happy to know he is now a part of history.
    Catrette’s career and life may have been cut short but his family and fellow Marines will make sure his memory lives on forever.

    “He belongs on the most senior aircraft,” said Cpl. Christopher Veazey, a Bengals plane captain. “It shouldn’t be any other way.”



    Date Taken: 06.24.2010
    Date Posted: 06.24.2010 20:16
    Story ID: 51929
    Location: BEAUFORT, SC, US 

    Web Views: 475
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    Fallen Marine honored by squadron, family