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8th Marine Corps District

Photo by Lance Cpl. Michael S. Cifuentes

3/4 mourns loss of new Marine at Combat Center

24 Feb 2006 | Lance Cpl. Michael S. Cifuentes

Saddened Marines and Sailors aboard the Combat Center gathered at the Protestant Chapel Feb. 24 for a memorial service mourning the loss of a Marine with 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment. Pfc. Richard Keith Weaver II, who was an infantryman with India Company, 3/4, died Feb. 22 during a morning physical training run with his platoon. The 19-year-old Muskegon, Mich., native joined the battalion Feb. 17, enjoyed the 72-hour President’s Day liberty period, and began his occupation in the fleet Feb. 21.The Protestant Chapel was filled with service members who came to celebrate the life of Weaver and share sorrows of his loss. Pfc. Thomas H. Bertram, another infantryman who joined the battalion from the School of Infantry, Camp Pendleton, Calif., with Weaver, spoke of him during the service.“Pfc. Weaver was my best friend – I knew him from SOI,” said Bertram. “He was a good person. He was very easygoing and a fun person to hang out with. I have a few memories with him, one of which when we spent a few days in San Diego. He was talking about going to Sea World one day, and I mentioned there was going to be a hockey game in town. Immediately he said ‘Cool, let’s go to the game.’ And that’s what kind of person he is. He’d just rather spend time with a good friend, doing something that would just be a good time. He was always around to help other people and always there to talk. “It’s going to take a while to face that my best friend will no longer be here training alongside me anymore,” he added.Lt. Matthew Weems, the battalion chaplain, spoke during the memorial service as well. He spoke to Weaver’s mother before the service to comfort her and explain the incident. Weems said his mother was at first confused how a Marine could die when they’re not in combat or deployed. She still understood why it could happen, said Weems. “She [Weaver’s mother] told me he died doing what he wanted to do since 10th grade,” said Weems. “We think these things are only supposed to happen in the battlefield, but it doesn’t. Weaver was just following the plan of the day. He was doing his job and trying to achieve the goal of his unit. We don’t know why these things happen. It’s unfortunate. “He was known to be a shy, young man, yet steadfast,” continued Weems. “If he was here today, he would tell us to keep going. He would ask us to not look back and focus on our future.”The ceremony concluded with the playing of “Taps.”
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