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Two Marines are gone but not forgotten

19 Sep 2004 | Lance Cpl. Graham Paulsgrove

"They gave the ultimate sacrifice so others may live a better life," said Lt. Col. Randoll Newman.

Riflemen, Lance Cpl. Gregory Howman and Pfc. Jason Poindexter, with Company E, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, were killed in action while in contact with enemy insurgents.

"We come together to honor two of our fellow warriors who did their duty to the utmost and paid the ultimate sacrifice for it," said Newman, battalion commander, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division.  "There's probably no greater honor we can give than to forever remember that and conduct ourselves in a manner that reflects respect for that."

Howman, a Mecklenburg, N.C., native was killed Sept. 16. He is survived by his father, Gary Howman and nine siblings and was known as a fearless leader.

"He was fearless, unhesitant, willing and professional, and he died doing his job as well as any Marine has or ever will," said Cpl. Eugene Harper, a team leader with 1st Platoon, Company E, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division.  "He will be with us and watching over us while we are on patrol, on post, in trucks or on rooftops.  He will be missed by all."

"As a leader, he was the perfect Marine," said 2nd Lt. Nathan Kurland, 1st Platoon commander with Company E, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division. "He never complained about anything and he always did what he was told, even with a big goofy smile on his face. More importantly, members of 1st Platoon knew him as a friend."

Poindexter, a Green Tom, Texas, native was killed Sept. 12. He is survived by his parents, Sharon Westbrooke and Samuel Poindexter, and was known as a good man.

"I will always remember Poindexter because he had the biggest heart out of anybody I have ever known," said Lance Cpl. Brian Marren, a rifleman with Company E, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine regiment, 1st Marine Division. 

"I once asked him why he joined the Marine Corps, and his answered surprised me.  He didn't join for God and country, it wasn't because of 9/11, he did it simply to set a good example for his brother," said 2nd Lt. Ryan Schramel, 2nd Platoon commander with Company E, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division.  "That was simply the type of man Pfc. Poindexter was.  He was a good man, and a damn fine Marine."

They did their job honorably, paving the way for a future of stability and freedom in Iraq, their sacrifice will not be forgotten.

"The enemy has struck our heart but has only strengthened our will to fight," said Harper.  "Let us go on now, with our heads up and do our jobs because that is what they would want us to do.  We owe them our best efforts to honor their sacrifice."