News: 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion Marines remember their fallen
Story by Sgt. Rebekka Heite
CAMP SCHWAB, Japan - 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion Marines said final farewells to two comrades during a memorial service here Feb. 3.
Sgt. Daniel D. Gurr and Cpl. Adam J. Buyes were both killed in action during a recent deployment to Afghanistan with 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force.
“When the battalion lost Sgt. Gurr on 5 August and Cpl. Buyes on 26 November, we all felt a tremendous sense of loss that to one degree or another affect every single member across the battalion,” said Lt. Col. Travis Homiak, the battalion’s commanding officer. “A memorial service was held and a flag was flown aboard Patrol Base Alcatraz for each man. However, the real grieving and assimilation, the making sense of the loss, that was put on hold until we completed our mission and returned to Okinawa. Both men were dedicated professionals being United States Marines and on top of that they accepted the added challenge of becoming a reconnaissance Marine. They truly represented the best our nation and the Marine Corps has to offer.”
The battalion returned from Afghanistan in December 2011. During the deployment, Buyes was a reconnaissance radio operator and Gurr was a tactical debriefer.
“By their selfless service and sacrifice, every citizen of our nation owes them a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid,” said Brig. Gen. Frederick M. Padilla, commanding general, 3rd Marine Division. “President Reagan once said, ‘some people wonder all their lives if they’ve made a difference.’ He went on to say that ‘Marines don’t have that problem.’”
The service began a day of remembrance for the fallen Marines’ families, who attended the service, along with their brothers-in-arms.
“Sgt. Daniel Gurr and Cpl. Adam Buyes will never be forgotten by those who served with them and by their loving families,” Padilla said. “Their loss will leave a space that cannot be filled. We may however take some small measure of comfort in knowing that they lived their lives as men of action and as President Ronald Reagan said, ‘they made a difference.’”
The hole left by the fallen Marines was also noted by Sgt. Michael Barczak, one of Gurr’s friends in the battalion, said this during the service:
“What I’ve come to understand since [Gurr’s] passing is that when you spend that much time with someone you learn basically everything there is to know about each other,” said Barczak. “When the smoke settles what you have is a forged bond that cannot be broken by anything or anyone. When you let someone so deeply into your life, that person never leaves you. What I’ve also come to understand is when that very same person is so abruptly taken away from you, you are left with a large, gaping hole in your heart that nobody could ever fill. In the end all you are left with are the memories you’ve made with them and, most importantly, a brother’s love.”
Buyes was also remembered fondly during the service.
“A warrior thinks of death when things become unclear,” said Staff Sgt. Saint-Matthew Scott, Buyes’ staff non-commissioned officer. “The idea of death is the only thing that tempers our soul. It truly pains me to see a son, not of my blood, but a son in the truest form, taken. Adam was a big guy. But his size was only dwarfed by the size of his heart.”
During the service, Gurr’s family accepted the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Combat Distinguishing device in honor of their son.
Buyes’ family also accepted the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal in honor of their fallen son.
“Sgt. Gurr and Cpl. Buyes are now on advanced party,” said Padilla. “They’re providing watch from a new observation post. May God bless them and keep them until we meet again.”