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Delta Co. remembers fallen hero

By Lance Cpl. Regina N. Ortiz | | April 27, 2006

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Friends and family gathered for a memorial service in honor of Cpl. Solomon David Wingert of Delta Company, 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, at the Combat Center’s Protestant Chapel April 27.Wingert sacrificed his life protecting a friend from an oncoming speeding vehicle on a street in Los Angeles the evening of March 31.

Wingert was with his fiancée and a friend, when a vehicle came speeding towards his friend. He pushed his friend out of harm’s way and was struck by the vehicle, according to police reports.

A funeral service was held at his hometown, where many of his fellow Marines were unable to attend.

“We wanted to have a memorial service here to provide closure for the Marines who weren’t able to make it to his funeral,” said Gunnery Sgt. Marcos Enriquez, who was in a leadership position over Wingert for more than two years.

Some Marines who worked closely with Wingert spoke to family and friends at the memorial service, including two of his closet friends, Sgt. Ben Trujillo and Cpl. Derrick Rolfo.

Trujillo recalled the first time he met Wingert the first day at basic training, how he met up with him at military occupational specialty school, and then, became roommates after they both became part of Delta Co.

He was good people,” said Trujillo during his speech. “He was a true hero to everybody, and especially me. I looked up to him, even though he was younger than me.”

Rolfo became instant friends with Wingert when they met shortly after Rolfo joined the unit, he said.

He’s one of the greatest guys I’ve ever met,” Rolfo said. “He would give anyone the shirt off of his back. He was just the life of the party.”

Rolfo was only one of a few people who knew about the charities he donated to every pay day.

“He donated to these charities because he truly cared,” said Rolfo. “That’s the type of person he was.”

Wingert’s time in the Marine Corps was coming close to an end before his untimely death. He had been speaking with his leaders about his plans after leaving the Corps.

“He looked at me and said he had done his time and he wanted to go to college,” said Maj. Michael Smith, Delta Co. commander. “He was a fine young man. His family and improving his education were the most important things to him.”

First Lt. Sean Thompson witnessed Wingert grow from a quiet, reserved junior Marine, to a leader he could trust, he said.

He was one hell of a man, one hell of a Marine,” said Thompson. “We believe he is on guard at the gates of heaven. He will always be with us.”

Wingert was born Nov. 4, 1984, in Victorville, Calif., and grew up in Moraga, Calif., where he attended Jubilee Christian Academy and graduated in 2002. In August 2002, Wingert enlisted into the Marine Corps and began training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego.

After completing basic training, Wingert began his training for his primary military occupational specialty, assault amphibian vehicle crewman, at Camp Pendleton, Calif. After finishing MOS school, he reported to 3rd AABN, D Co., in March 2003.

While serving with Delta Co., Wingert participated in two unit deployments to Okinawa, Japan.

Wingert’s personal awards include a Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal and a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, posthumously, for his heroic actions resulting in his death.

Wingert is survived by his mother, Mary Krueger, step-father Jim Krueger, and three siblings, Rick Wilkins, Jerome Wingert and Christy Penix.

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