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    Memorial honoring the fallen

    Memorial honoring the fallen

    Photo By Cpl. Colby Brown | GARMSIR DISTRICT, Helmand province, Afghanistan — A Marine with Charlie Company, 1st...... read more read more



    Story by Cpl. Colby Brown 

    I Marine Expeditionary Force

    GARMSIR DISTRICT, Helmand province, Afghanistan — More than 100 Marines from 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment gathered at Combat Outpost Rankel to honor the life of Cpl. Nicholas S. Ott during a memorial service here, Aug. 17. Ott made the ultimate sacrifice while supporting counterinsurgency operations here, Aug. 10.

    The squad leader in 3rd Platoon, Charlie Company was a rapidly maturing leader. Ott, a 23-year-old native of Manchester, N.J., was a month shy of completing four years in the Marine Corps. Before arriving at Marine Corps Base Hawaii to join 1/3 in 2010, Ott was part the Marine Corps Security Forces. This was his first combat deployment.

    “In times like this, there are no answers to explain our loss, so we look for faith in a loving and providing God, and we look for wisdom to be able to put this tragedy in perspective,” said Lt. Col. Sean Riordan, the battalion commander, in his opening remarks during the memorial service.

    “We willingly accept the obligation to drive on and accomplish the mission that lays ahead of us as a way to honor Corporal Ott,” added Riordan, a native of Montclair, Va. “I know I speak for the entire battalion when I say that our thoughts and our prayers are with the Ott family. Nicholas’s memory will always be with us. Semper Fidelis.”

    When Riordan said "Semper Fidelis," he unknowingly described Ott. In the short interviews with his peers and subordinates, a theme easily appeared from their descriptions. He never let down his Marines or his leaders. He personified the Corps motto: he was “Always Faithful.” He was dependable. He never gave up. He was called upon when assurance was needed that a mission would be accomplished.

    “Corporal Ott was a leader,” said Capt. Charles Siedlecki in his remarks during the memorial service. “A man who embodied the Marine adage of mission first and Marines always. He was the guy who every one could count on, his leaders counted on him to get the job done, his Marines counted on him to lead, teach and mentor them, and his peers counted on him to have their six.

    “He always did and he always will,” added Siedlecki, Charlie Company commander and native of Berlin, N.J.

    Ott was just as joyful as he was faithful. Ott’s assistant patrol leader, Lance Cpl. Felix Davila, didn’t just look to Ott for orders; he looked to Ott for motivation, ambition and a smile at the end of a 12-hour patrol day.

    “Ott was definitely a joyful guy,” said Davila of Chicago. “He always had a smile and was always happy. He was always there to make sure I was ready to get through the next day. He always made sure people had high spirits.”

    Ott was the perfect balance between big brother and strict leader. For Cpl. Tyler Tischer, who knew Ott during the four years he was in the Corps, Ott’s selfless character mixed with his insatiable desire to accomplish the mission made Ott unconquerable.

    “He was invincible,” said Tischer, a native of Alexander, Minn., and a squad leader in 4th Platoon, Charlie Company. “He would never give up and he could never carry to much weight. Whatever you gave him he was going to carry it, he would always just keep going … he didn’t have a breaking point and he never refused to help anyone. He was the best Marine I know, I will always follow in his footsteps. I was always trying to be like him. He was a great Marine.”

    With the rifle salute ending the memorial service, each Marine who attended took time to personally pay their respects at Ott’s memorial stand. Just as Ott was always faithful living, his memory will faithfully be in the mind of all who knew him.



    Date Taken: 08.17.2011
    Date Posted: 08.19.2011 11:59
    Story ID: 75635

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