News>Grissom pays respect to fallen Hoosier Marine
GRISSOM AIR RESERVE BASE, Ind. -- Grissom Marines transfer the remains of Sgt. Bradley Atwell to a nearby hearse as a joint color guard, Capt. Mark Trouerbach and Col. Don Buckley pay their respects by saluting Sept. 28. Atwell, a Hoosier Marine, lost his life Sept. 15 while supporting combat operations at Camp Bastion in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Buckley is the 434th Air Refueling Wing commander. Trouerbach and the Marine honor guard are assigned to Detachment 1 Communications Company, Headquarters and Service Battalion, 4th Marine Logistics Group. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Mark R. W. Orders-Woempner)
GRISSOM AIR RESERVE BASE, Ind. -- Military and civilian personnel from Grissom line the streets and pay their respects to Sgt. Bradley Atwell, a fallen Hoosier Marine, Sept. 28. Atwell, 27, lost his life Sept. 15 while supporting combat operations at Camp Bastion in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Benjamin Mota)
GRISSOM AIR RESERVE BASE, Ind. -- Approximately 300 Patriot Guard Riders and emergency response vehicles lined up outside Grissom Sept. 28 to escort a fallen Hoosier Marine to his final resting place in Kokomo, Ind. Patriot Guard Riders attend funeral services of fallen servicemembers as invited guests of the family to show respect for the fallen and to shield the mourning family and their friends from interruptions created by any protestor or group of protestors. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Benjamin Mota)
by Tech. Sgt. Mark R. W. Orders-Woempner
434th ARW Public Affairs
10/7/2012 - GRISSOM AIR RESERVE BASE, Ind. -- With a massive show of support from both military and civilian communities, a fallen Hoosier Marine returned home during a special ceremony held at Grissom Sept. 28.
Sgt. Bradley Atwell's remains were flown in to Grissom before he was laid to rest in nearby Kokomo, Ind. Atwell's family, Grissom leadership and a military honor guard took part in the special dignified arrival ceremony.
Shortly after, Grissom's streets were lined with military and civilian personnel, who slowly saluted as the fallen Marine and his family passed by. The procession was then joined by over 300 Patriot Guard Riders and emergency response vehicles, who escorted the group to Chapel Hill Church in Kokomo.
Patriot Guard Riders attend funeral services of fallen servicemembers as invited guests of the family to show respect for the fallen and to shield the mourning family and their friends from interruptions created by any protestor or group of protestors.
From Grissom's gate to the doors of the church, those in the procession said Atwell was honored by Hoosiers lining the streets, saluting, waving flags and honoring the Marine's sacrifice.
"There was even a blind gentleman with his seeing eye dog just outside the gate," said Tech. Sgt. Doug Hays, 434th Air Refueling Wing public affairs superintendent. "It seems like everyone showed up for this."
In a letter thanking those who helped support the military honors ceremonies for Atwell, Capt. Mark Trouerbach, Detachment 1 Communications Company, Headquarters and Service Battalion, 4th Marine Logistics Group inspector instructor, said the outpouring of support from both the Grissom and Kokomo communities touched him.
"In my 20 plus years in the Marine Corps, I've attended and organized many memorials (and) funerals," wrote Trouerbach. "Thanks to your efforts, this was, by far, my most memorable experience I've ever encountered.
"I was honored to represent Brad, and after this past weekend, I have gained a new founded respect for the Kokomo community," he added. "Although I am not from this area, I feel like I'm at home here."
Trouerbach and his fellow Detachment 1 Marines took part in both the dignified arrival and military funeral honors.
Atwell, 27, died Sept. 15 while supporting combat operations at Camp Bastion in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 13, Marine Aircraft Group 13, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz.
The Marine sergeant lost his life as nearly 20 insurgents infiltrated the perimeter of Camp Bastion and attacked International Security Assistance Force personnel and facilities using small arms, rocket-propelled grenades and suicide improvised explosive device vests. The attack, which began shortly after 10 p.m., killed two Yuma-based Marines, including Atwell, wounded several others, and caused damage to multiple aircraft and structures along the base's flight line.
ISAF forces reacted to the assault, returned fire and killed all but one of the known insurgents, defeating the attack. ISAF personnel wounded the remaining insurgent attacker, who is in ISAF custody.
"The deaths of Lt. Col. Chris "Otis" Raible and Sgt. Bradley Atwell are a stark reminder of the selfless service and extraordinary sacrifices made by our Marines and Sailors and their families each and every day," said Brig. Gen. Steven Busby, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing commanding general. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families, friends and loved ones of those brave Marines.
"We will honor their memories and continue to support our Marines and Sailors still in the fight and their loved ones here at home," Busby added.
The commanding general and several other Yuma-based Marines arrived at Grissom shortly after the dignified arrival to pay their final respects to their fallen comrade.
Atwell enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2005 and served as an electrical systems technician. His personal awards include two Marine Corps Good Conduct Medals, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal and NATO Service Medal-ISAF.
Grissom is not only home to the Marine Corps Reserve Detachment 1, but also to three Army Reserve Units and the 434th Air Refueling Wing, the largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command.