MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- 2nd Radio Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group, hosted the Sgt. Lucas T. Pyeatt Run to Remember and conference room dedication ceremony at the 2nd Rad. Bn. Headquarters aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, August 3, 2013.
Participants ran throughout the five kilometer event bearing the names of 48 Marines who died in Iraq or Afghanistan on their shirts. Each name having a connection, be it friendship or kinship, to different members of the unit.
Pyeatt was a well-known member of the battalion. Marines who worked for him knew he was a friendly and caring individual.
According to Cpl. Mathew Nicodemus, a friend and coworker of Pyeatt, Pyeatt was not only a good Marine, but also a great person.
Cynthia and Lon Pyeatt, parents of the honored Marine, both expressed that they were surprised when 2nd Rad. Bn. contacted them about being present for the run and dedication ceremony.
“He would like what the event stands for and the great people and facets involved,” said Cynthia, “I think he is celebrating with his friends and fellow Marines today.”
After the last runner crossed the finish line, awards were presented to the fastest runners in each class. Cynthia and Lon Pyeatt disbursed the awards, shook the hands of each recipient, thanked them for coming and congratulated them.
It was announced that the new unit’s conference room would be known as “The Pyeatt Room” at the dedication ceremony, after the awards were distributed. Multiple speakers shared a few words accompanied by anecdotes and memories of their fallen brother.
The first speaker and distinguished guest, was Mr. Phillip Chudoba, the assistant director of intelligence for the Marine Corps. He summarized hard work and efforts the of 2nd Rad. Bn. Marines, the significance of events like the “Run to Remember,” he also took time to give his condolences to the families of the fallen Marines and to Cynthia and Lon Pyeatt for the loss of their son.
Lt. Col. Pugh, commanding officer for the 2nd Rad. Bn., gave a speech after Mr. Chudoba that cited the impact Pyeatt had on the battalion and the character he demonstrated through his interaction with his Marines and his actions while deployed to Afghanistan.
Cynthia thanked everybody for attending and shared a personal story about her son and his decision to join the Marine Corps. She had discouraged her son from joining the Marine Corps initially, but, after witnessing his dedication to joining, came to respect her son’s decision.
The ceremony came to a close with the commemoration of the “Pyeatt Room” in a ribbon cutting ceremony. The “Pyeatt Room,” conference room, is decorated with photos of Sgt. Pyeatt at various points throughout his Marine Corps career and a wooden plaque that displays the engravings of two sergeant’s chevrons and “The Sgt. Lucas T. Pyeatt Room.”
Another highlight of the event was the Sgt. Pyeatt Scholarship Program that activated as part of the event.
“The program is an opportunity for children to go to an overseas location of their choice,” said Lon Pyeatt, “Children can write and submit an essay and enter it into the program. After reviewing the essays, one of the entries submitted will receive a scholarship to go visit another country.”
According to the Pyeatts, the event was wonderful, and they were impressed with the number of people who showed their support. They believe their son will continue to have a spiritual presence with his fellow Marines of 2nd Rad. Bn. and his family.
“You know, I think he’s really paying attention to everything that goes on,” said Cynthia. “He loved his Marines and this is his family … we feel him close by.”