Photo Information

Lance Cpl. Matthew Whitfield, a machine gunner with Combat Logistics Battalion 15, pays respects to his fallen comrade by clutching his dog tags in his hand at Marine Corps Training Area Bellows, May 19, 2015. Whitfield gave his personal reflection in the ceremony as well. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Khalil Ross/Released)

Photo by Cpl. Khalil Ross

15th MEU holds memorial service for one of their own

22 May 2015 | Cpl. Khalil Ross Marine Corps Base Hawaii

A memorial service was held for Lance Cpl. Jared R. Johnson, a Marine with Combat Logistics Battalion 15, at building 700 aboard Marine Corps Training Area Bellows, May 19, 2015.

Johnson, a 21-year old Longview, Texas, native, is survived by his wife, parents, two brothers and a sister.

“There are many things that can be said about Johnson, but words cannot simply describe how truly great of a husband, brother and Marine he was,” said Lance Cpl. Matthew Whitfield a machine gunner with Combat Logistics Battalion 15. “There was never a time or situation where Johnson wouldn’t go out of his way to help one of his brothers.”

Two of Johnson’s closest Marine “brothers” spoke at his service memorial about him as a person.

“Johnson was not only the smartest but one of the funniest guys in the platoon,” Whitfield went on to say. “There was never a good or bad situation he couldn’t make better.”

Whitfield went on to recount some of Johnson’s sillier moments, from doing burpees on fire watch to announcing the weights are all used up when he was done with them.

Lt. Justin Hayes, the battalion chaplain of 1st Battalion 3rd Marine Regiment, also spoke at the service.

“It’s hard to (move past) a death in the unit,” the Dogpatch, Ark., native said. “On a deployment they have to shake it off and continue on with the mission. Ceremonies like this help with the healing process for Marines so they can continue on.”

Hayes said any of the Marines who are having a hard time coping with the loss have the full support of the chain of command.

“Some Marines will turn to their spiritual root and ponder life and its meaning,” Hayes said. “Others will just (stay in their loved one’s company) and heal that way.”

It’s important to move past the grief phase, Hayes said. He said people must remember the good times and reminisce with friends you’ve made those relationships with.

Lance Cpl. Samuel Coyle, a driver with CLB-15, also gave his personal reflection of Johnson.

“Johnson’s love for his platoon and wife will remain an inspiration for how all Marines should be,” he said.

Coyle said Johnson was always able to make jokes about and take even the hardest times in life with a smile.

“Even though you are no longer with us, you will always live in our hearts and we will always have those great memories,” Coyle said. “We know you’re going to be watching over us while we are in this journey. We love you brother.”

Marine Corps Base Hawaii