A wreath laying memorial ceremony was held to honor the lives of seven United States Navy Seabees from the Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Fourteen at Camp Lemonier, Djibouti, May 2, 2017.
The fallen were honored first by a joint service honor guard who posted the colors. Master of Ceremonies for the event, CMCA Luke Swyers, opened by saying, “Our ceremony today is to stop, pause and honor our Seabees who lost their lives so that we could live in a country with the freedom we cherish.”
“Today we remember Seabees who lived by our core values of honor, courage and commitment,” said Swyers. “We stop today for a few moments so we always remember the enormous price our brothers and sisters and their families have paid so we, and all Americans, can enjoy the freedom we have been given.”
Naval Mobile Construction Battalion One, Detachment-Horn of Africa Officer in Charge, Lt. Commander Jason Ward took the podium to give his remarks. “Aside from loosing seven of our shipmates in the line of duty between April 30 and May 2, 2004, thirty three others were also injured and awarded the Purple Heart.”
One of those injured in the events was Petty Officer 1st Class Peter Reid from Palm Bay, Florida.
Ward introduced a special speaker, “Ladies and Gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to introduce to you our honored guest speaker, his son, Mr. Peter Reid.”
“My father taught me a lot of things. He groomed me to have the skills to become a Seabee.” Reid said, “But it was tough being the son of a Seabee, he held high standards and expectations…my father wasn’t happy when I decided to join the Army instead.”
Following the remarks by Mr. Reid, a wreath was placed near a memorial stand.
The bell tolled twice and paused as each name was read between subsequent rings.
Petty Officer 1st Class Elmer Finch, December 10, 1942, Guadalcanal.
Capt. James Carney, December 16, 1942, Guadalcanal.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Boaz Blosser, May 19, 1945, Okinawa.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Jason Dwelley, April 30, 2004, Iraq.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Christopher Dickerson, April 30, 2004, Iraq.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Anderson, May 2, 2004, Iraq.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Ronald Ginther, May 2, 2004, Iraq.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Robert Jenkins, May 2, 2004, Iraq.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Scott McHugh, May 2, 2004, Iraq.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Trace Dossett, May 2, 2004, Iraq.
Petty Officer 1st Class James Geiger then played “Taps” on the bugle followed by the benediction from Chaplain Lt. Francis Okali, concluding the memorial service, but not the memory.