News: Fallen GTMO Marines Honored at Memorial Service
Story by Chief Petty Officer Bill Mesta
GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba—On July 7, a memorial service was held at the Base Chapel at the Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The service was held in memory of three Marines attached to Marine Corps Security Force Company Guantanamo who perished on July 4.
Cpl. Paul Fagundes, Lcpl. Giovani Cruz and Lcpl. James May Jr. of Fleet Anti-terrorism Team, Alpha Company, 6th Platoon, out of Norfolk, Va., perished on July 4, while swimming at Cable Beach. Cable Beach is one of the recreational beached available to the residents of the Naval Station.
“Our hearts were broken this past Sunday by a horrible tragedy as we lost three young, American fighting men,”stated Maj. Winston Tierney, the Commanding Officer of Marine Corps Security Force Company Guantanamo.
“Tonight we celebrate these Marines as the best our nation has to offer”, said Tierney, “young men who volunteered to serve the greatest call a man can answer. And while not lost in combat, they were lost in the defense of our nation.”
“We stand today in the midst of tragedy, and the mystery of tragedy,” said Capt. Steven H. Blaisdell, the Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba Commanding Officer,” Our task today is to remember the fallen as they were, as they would have wanted to be remembered; living in freedom, blessed and proud to serve their nation as Marines. “
“Know that the heart of America is here today” said Blaisdell, “and that it speaks to each one of you with words of sympathy, consolation and compassion.”
“To the fellow Marines and friends of the fallen Marines” said Blaisdell,”I extend the deepest sympathy and condolences from the GTMO community.”
“The pain of their loss will not easily be overcome by any of us,” said Tierney,” their memory will most certainly endure forever.”
Marine FAST companies spend three months at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba guarding the fence line that separates U.S. sovereign territory from the Republic of Cuba. Additionally, FAST Marines attached MCSFCo GTMO participate in a regiment of anti-terrorism training.