The battlefield cross of Lance Cpl. Caleb L. Erickson sits on display during his memorial service at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan. Erickson, of Waseca, Minn., a motor transportation mechanic stationed out of Camp Lejeune, N.C., died while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan, Feb. 28, 2014.
(Article and photo by Corporal Joshua Young, 7 MAR 2014.)
“We’ve come together today to remember Lance Cpl. Caleb Erickson,” said Navy Lt. Doyl E. McMurry, the 1st Battalion, 9th Marines chaplain during the opening prayer for Erickson’s memorial. “He was many things to many people, but to us he was our brother.”
Erickson, 20, of Waseca, Minn., was stationed out of Camp Lejeune, N.C. He is remembered by his peers as a Marine who would always volunteer for the jobs that others didn’t want to do but made those jobs fun with his sarcastic humor.
“He always found the positive side of everything,” said 1st Lt. John Matlaga, the logistics officer for Motor Transportation Platoon, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines. “His sense of humor and optimism always lifted the hopes and moods of those around him.”
Erickson’s peers who spoke at his memorial all mentioned his work ethic and willingness to help everyone. When Erickson saw others working, he would drop what he was doing to help them out. He was loved by all and showed his love for all with his selfless attitude.
“The day of the convoy, most of the platoon left for a quick chow break after the brief,” said Cpl. Martin McNamara, also with 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, who then began prepping his truck while others ate. “When the guys came back, there was Erickson, with a heaping to-go tray in his hands. He said, ‘Hey man, I grabbed you some food.’ I told him I hadn’t expected anyone to grab anything for me. He said, ‘Hey, you’re my driver, I gotta make sure you’re taken care of.’ I patted him on the shoulder and said, ‘Erickson, this is why I love you,’ not knowing it would be my last time.”
Everyone who knew Erickson knew of his love for his Volkswagen GTI and his fellow Marines, but Erickson loved one thing more than all others, his family.
“Everyone knew that about him, how close he was with his family,” said Lance Cpl. Derek Feick, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, who commented on Erickson’s ‘trademark smile’ during the memorial. “I think he got the most letters out of anyone in the whole platoon while we were out here. That just shows how much he was loved and if you ever met him, you knew why he was loved.”
Erickson had a strong Minnesota accent that he and his peers loved to make fun of. His fellow Marines knew him as someone who would make himself the butt of the joke to keep everyone smiling and laughing.
“He was a model for how every man should be,” said Lance Cpl. Zachary Dewar, with 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, who considers Erickson his best friend and brother. “He always had a smile on his face, and if you didn’t, he’d put one on your face within two seconds of talking to him. He was the greatest man I’ve ever met. I plan on living every day just as he would, and I hope others do too. He made an impact on others’ lives and a huge impact on mine. I know you’re up there, keeping us safe. The memories of you are what keep me going. Semper Fidelis, I love you brother.”
I wish I was good at summaries. It is a Gadreel x Reader.
The story will feature Mechanic!Dean, Stanford!Sam, Writer!Reader, Veteran/Teacher!Cas, and Marine!Gadreel
Warnings: As of right now I want to put a blanket warning on the entire thing. There will be mentions of PTSD, explicit language, Bipolar disorder, mentions of emotional abuse, descriptions of pain and injury. That’s all I can think of right now.
Also any inconsistencies; military, location, or medical wise are all on me. It’s a fanFICTION, not fanFACT.
U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Stephen Dodd from Sandy Springs, Ga. and assigned to Regimental Combat Team 7 chambers a round during a foreign weapons and NATO ballistics live-fire shoot on Camp Leatherneck, Helmand province, Afghanistan. The Marines conducted the shoot to ensure serviceabilty of the weapons systems.
(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Ezekiel R. Kitandwe/Released)
U.S. Marines with Bravo and Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, conduct rocket range outside of Camp Leatherneck, Helmand province, Afghanistan, Jan. 31, 2014. The Marines used the range to keep their knowledge sharp on the different weapons systems they use. (Official Marine Corps Photo by Eric S. WIlterdink/Released)
Willie Robertson, foreground right, one of the stars of the reality show “Duck Dynasty,” autographs a photo of the show?s cast for U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Mariah Brown at Camp Leatherneck in Helmand province, Afghanistan, Dec. 10, 2013, during the 2013 USO Chairman’s Holiday Tour. (DoD photo by Cpl. Austin Long, U.S. Marine Corps/Released)
An infantry Marine with Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, takes aim at a simulated enemy position during a life-fire training exercise aboard Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, Mar. 6, 2014. The exercise, which simulated an enemy insurgent attack, increased confidence in locating and suppressing enemy positions. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Frances Johnson/ Released)