CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - A memorial service was held aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., April 9, to honor a religious program specialist who died while on post deployment leave.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Pasquale Antonio Troisi Jr., 31, from Abington, Pa., died of complications from 2nd and 3rd degree burns sustained while on leave in Philadelphia, March 18. Troisi was stationed at Camp Pendleton and assigned to 9th Communication Battalion, I Marine Expeditionary Force, which recently returned from a deployment to Afghanistan.
More than 100 service members attended the memorial held at the Blinder Memorial Chapel and paid respect to Troisi’s family during the ceremony. A slideshow played during the service to showcase Troisi’s time in the Navy.
Cpl. Christopher Witkowski, a motor transportation mechanic with 1st Radio Battalion, I MEF, who spent countless hours at the gym with Troisi during their deployment, said he’s probably laughing at them for taking the service so seriously.
“For as much as we could here, we did him justice,” said Witkowski, 21, from Allen, Texas. “He might not have wanted all this super-military stuff, but I think for what we did for him, he would have really liked it.”
Troisi spent much of his time keeping in shape and working out with friends. He was known for being a people person who would go out of his way to make new friends.
“He was very charismatic,” said Master Sgt. Nick Bettencourt, from Hopkinsville, Ky., and the communications chief for 9th Comm. Bn. “He was definitely a good guy. He had compassion for anybody and everybody that was out there. He’d do the most he could for anybody.”
Troisi was known as someone who would drag his friends along to any training available. He impacted his friends’ lives through his ability to lead and his constant encouragement for improvement.
“I think the best thing that could be reiterated was that if he did touch your heart, take one of his traits and carry it with you for the rest of your life,” said Witkowski, who said he was encouraged by Troisi to attend random training exercises and programs during their deployment.
As a religious program specialist, Triosi was tasked with providing Navy chaplains administrative, logistical and technical support as well as providing them with security so they can carry out religious programs and services.
His personal decorations include the Navy Commendation Medal, the Navy Achievement Medal gold star in lieu of second award, Combat Action Ribbon, and the Navy Good Conduct Medal Bronze Star in lieu of second award.