This day always keeps me grounded. God Bless the true warriors that have paid the full measure for my freedom. Never Forgotten!
Corporal Richard Schoener Bronze Star
For heroic achievement in connection with combat operations against the enemy while serving as 2d Fire Team Leader, 2d Squad, 2d Platoon, Company K, 3d Battalion, 3d Marines, Combined Joint Task Force-76 in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM in Afghanistan. On 8 May 2005, while conducting security patrols in the Mayl Valley, Alishang District and Laghman Province, Corporal Schoener’s squad became the assault element in the counter-attack against an Al Qaeda and Associated Movement ambush position. Corporal Schoener became the point man for his squad while leading his fire team and closing with the enemy under the cover of close air support. Upon closing with the enemy position and while conducting a search of an enemy body, Corporal Schoener and a fellow Marine noticed movement in a fortified cave just ten meters from their position. With little regard for his personal safety, Corporal Schoener valiantly assaulted the position to clear it of enemy personnel. In the process, Corporal Schoener received multiple wounds from enemy automatic small arms fire.
Despite his wounds, Corporal Schoener continued to fire on the enemy position while covering his fellow wounded Marine and identifying the enemy position to the remainder of his squad so that they could position themselves appropriately.
Corporal Schoener continued to fire from his exposed position until mortally wounded by two enemy fragmentation grenades. By his zealous initiative, courageous actions, and exceptional dedication to duty, Corporal Schoener reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service
Eulogy for our Warrior
We learn all that we know in life by asking Questions. How did we come to be here today? How could this happen? Why oh why did this happen? I offer just one man’s thoughts. I trust many people seeking peace around the world will be able to gain some solace from my thoughts.
On September 11th 2001 Our Nation’s freedoms where attacked. Terrorist hoped to use fear as a weapon. We all watched the horror and soon would learn the mastermind of that day. Our Nations actions to send troops to Afghanistan to hunt down this mastermind are clear. We now protect the rights of Afghans to live a free life and develop a Democratic way of life. We share their desire to live free.
Trust me my friends, all these issues were clear to little Ricky.
Ricky, as always, fulfilled his duty on Sunday May 8, 2005.
His courage and desire to serve carried him into that cave. He looked fear in the eye, and stood the test. As with many things I witnessed and all who know Ricky will attest, he would have led the way.
Article 1 of the Marine Code of Conduct states.
I am an American, fighting in the forces, which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.
Ricky has fulfilled his duty.
As our hearts long to hold him, to see the great smile, to look into his eyes, I trust who holds him now. God, Family, and the Marine’s, and yes my dear friends each of us. This small town that we each share now must be certain to hold Ricky to our hearts. We must never allow his service to us to be forgotten. When you listen to someone speak about freedom please remember Ricky’s price. The real cost of freedom, the ultimate price, his beloved life.
Marines speak best for themselves.
From the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli
We fight our Countries battles in the Air, on Land and Sea
First to fight for right and freedom and to keep our honor clean.
We are proud to claim the title of United States Marine.
Our flags unfurled to every breeze from dawn to setting sun
We have fought in every clime and place where we could take a gun
In the snow of far off northern lands and in sunny tropic scenes you will find us always on the job
The United States Marines
Here’s health to you and to our Corps which we are proud to serve.
In many strife we’ve fought for life and never lost our nerve.
If the Army and the Navy ever look on Heaven’s scenes.
They will find the Streets are guarded by The United States Marines.
When my time comes I know that Heaven’s gate is now well guarded. Guarded by one of us. Hayes and Bell City have offered a child, A Man of this community. The cost, the price of freedom has come home to us. The Hayes and Bell City communities have given one of our best and brightest. Hold guard Little Ricky so that we may enter at the gates.
My prayers are for Boo, Bonnie and Jessica and the family. My hope is that the freedoms Ricky gave his life for are clear to all of us and to the peoples of Afghanistan. God bless and hold Ricky and The United States of America.
Faithful to God, Country, Family and the Corps.