News: Fallen Corpsman honored for service, sacrifice
Story by Lance Cpl. Timothy Lenzo
FORWARD OPERATING BASE DELARAM II, Afghanistan - “Every corpsman wants to be out there to help protect and save the Marines that we serve with,” said Petty Officer 1st Class George Fricke, leading petty officer, Regimental Aid Station, Regimental Combat Team 6.
On Sept. 9, 2011, Petty Officer 2nd Class Brian Lundy Jr., a Navy corpsman with 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, gave his life while protecting the Marines he served with.
Standing in front of a formation of Marines and sailors with RCT-6, Col. John Shafer and Sgt. Maj. Jamie Deets, commanding officer and regimental sergeant major, RCT-6 honored Lundy during a ceremony March 23.
Together, Shafer and Deets helped Fricke to memorialize his fellow corpsman by officially naming the Regimental Aid Station the Lundy Clinic.
To the Marines who served with Lundy, he was more than a “squid” – a Marine term to describe sailors. He was a Fleet Marine Force hospital corpsman.
“There is nothing like a group of Marines, and there is nothing like being a sailor in that group of Marines. It’s tough,” said Shafer. “There is something special about that FMF corpsman that can take that, and prove his [worth].”
While on a partnered patrol, in Helmand province, Afghanistan, Lundy proved his worth when his squad took enemy fire.
During the fight, an insurgent shot Lundy. The squad evacuated him to a nearby medical facility, but Lundy succumbed to his wounds while en route.
“I can assure you, Lundy died doing exactly what he wanted to do,” said Shafer. “Which was reassuring Marines who were going forward in the face of a fight, to defend our way of life and advance a cause for the Afghan people. You can always be certain that he contributed to the betterment of this nation.”
Shafer went on to add that Lundy died while ensuring others could live.
Before reading Lundy’s citation, Petty Officer 2nd Class James Vanzella, religious program specialist with RCT-6 and friend of Lundy’s, shared a favorite memory of his fallen brother.
Vanzella recalled when the two went through field medical training together at Camp Johnson, N.C.
“He was one of those guys from Texas that had to let you know he was from Texas,” said Vanzella. “He wore Longhorn hats and sweatshirts all the time.”
Vanzella said despite the circumstances, Lundy always motivated the sailors. Once during training, the sailors watched a staff sergeant demonstrate an obstacle course in 30 degree weather. At the end of the course, the sailors were required to jump into a pond. Due to the cold weather, the staff sergeant waded hesitantly into the water.
“Lundy being who Lundy was screamed ‘Let me show you how we do it in the Navy!’ With a leap, larger than superman, he swan dived – not so gracefully – into the water,” said Vanzella with a smile. “He motivated the class. Everyone was chanting ‘Lundy, Lundy, Lundy.’ We were ready for that course that day. It wasn’t cold anymore.”
His ability to motivate continues for the Marines and sailors at the aid station.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Antonio Saenz, assistant leading petty officer with the aid station, said having the clinic named after Lundy was inspiring.
“His name inspires the junior sailors who work in this clinic because he died doing what corpsmen are trained to do; serve along side Marines, serve in action,” said Saenz. “It was a great honor to name something after him that will be here for a long time.”
The regimental aid station, with it’s newly hung sign, tells more than a name. It tells a story of a Navy corpsman, who gave everything for the Marines he served with.
“Lundy you deserve this clinic, and this clinic deserves to be in your name,” said Vanzella.
Editor’s note: Forward Operating Base Delaram II currently houses Regimental Combat Team 6 in 1st Marine Division (Forward), which heads Task Force Leatherneck. The task force serves as the ground combat element of Regional Command (Southwest) and works in partnership with the Afghan National Security Force and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to conduct counterinsurgency operations. The unit is dedicated to securing the Afghan people, defeating insurgent forces, and enabling ANSF assumption of security responsibilities within its area of operations in order to support the expansion of stability, development and legitimate governance.