Featured News

'New England’s Own' Marines gather to remember fallen brothers

26 Aug 2006 | Cpl. Brian Reimers

Marines from 1st Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 5 paused operations Aug. 26 to honor two Marines who were killed in action earlier this month.

Capt. John J. McKenna IV and Lance Cpl. Michael D. Glover were honored in a memorial service.  Both Marines were killed while conducting combat operations Aug. 16.  Both Marines were assigned to B Company.

“John McKenna represented all that is great about America and all that is great about our Corps, as did Lance Cpl. Glover,” said Lt. Col. Christopher A. Landro, the battalion’s commander, from Kennesaw, Ga.  “Michael and John faced this evil here in Fallujah, so that our nation does not have to face it on the streets of New York, or Boston, or Washington or any city in America.”

McKenna, a platoon commander and also a N.Y. state trooper, volunteered his service to deploy with the battalion when his own unit asked for volunteers.  He had already completed and earlier deployment to Iraq and another to Afghanistan as an air defense control officer.  He volunteered to return this time after retraining to be an infantry officer.

“He saw Lance Cpl. Glover raise his hand.  He saw us,” said Sgt. Derek P. Mcgee, a 29-year-old infantryman from Dutchess, N.Y.  “Young men, some a little older, some still boys, volunteering to head off into the unforgiving embraces of war, and he knew we needed a leader to weld us together … to train us hard, unleash us on the enemies of America, and then bring as many of us home as possible.”

Glover, 28, was studying law and dropped his own plans at home to serve with the battalion when Marines got the news of their activation. 

“Mike couldn’t stand the thought of any of his Marines heading off to Iraq without him with them,” said Lance Cpl. Brian D. Greene, a fellow platoon member from Albany, N.Y.  “Staying back in the rear just wasn’t an option.”

Both were remembered by their fellow Marines and friends for a strong sense of duty, leadership skills and compassionate friendliness.

“At home Americans believe in justice because of rough men like John and because of people like him the nation of Iraq has hope,” said Capt. Matt H. Bazarian, B Company’s executive officer, from Hampden, Mass.

“There is no doubt in my mind that Aug. 16 was the worst day in my life, the day that I lost my best friend,” Greene said.  “As much as I want to go home and bring back all my guys, I want more than anything to have Mike back— I miss him so much.”

Marines and sailors from the battalion honored their fallen brothers with a traditional memorial service. An M-16 service rifle with a helmet resting on its’ stock was placed for each Marine.  Identification tags hung from the rifles’ grips and combat boots were seated in front of each muzzle.  Neatly-folded American flags were also placed to honor both Marines.

McKenna was commissioned into the Marine Corps Reserves June 13, 1998. After completing The Basic School where he was selected to become an air defense control officer, McKenna reported to the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing in June 1999, and served as both an air defense control officer and as operations officer. In August 2005, he began his assignment as platoon commander for F Company, 2nd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment. Four months later McKenna volunteered for duty with B Company, 1st Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

His awards and decorations include the Purple Heart Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with bronze star in lieu of second award and Armed Forces Reserve Medal.

“I lost two brothers that I love very much, and it will always be a dark day in my heart,” said B Company Commander Maj. Brian T. Hofmann, 38, from Maricopa, Ariz.

Glover graduated basic training from Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C., in 2004 and later graduated from the Infantry Training Battalion with the military occupational specialty of machine gunner. In 2005, Glover reported to F Company, 2nd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, where he served as a gunner and a team leader. In December, he volunteered to deploy with 1st Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

His awards and decorations include the Purple Heart Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon and Armed Forces Reserve Medal.

“Everything that I did from Aug. 16 until today and for the rest of my life will be for Mike,” Greene said.  “Mike showed me how to be a true friend and how to do great things.  I miss you brother.”