Thursday, September 06, 2007

Marine Cpl. Bryan J. Scripsick

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Cpl. Bryan J. Scripsick, 22, of Wayne, Okla.

Cpl. Scripsick was assigned to 3rd Assault amphibian Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.; died Sept. 6, 2007 while conducting combat operations in Anbar province, Iraq. Also killed were Cpl. Christopher L. Poole Jr., Staff Sgt. John C. Stock and Sgt. Michael J. Yarbrough.

Pauls Valley Marine killed in Iraq
The Associated Press

TULSA, Okla. — Friends and family members of an Oklahoma Marine are remembering him following his death in a suicide bomb attack north of Baghdad.

Cpl. Bryan Scripsick was among several casualties in the attack in Anbar province on Sept. 6, authorities said.

Family members said Scripsick was just three weeks away from coming home from Iraq. Friends of the family said he called his parents last month on his 22nd birthday and told them he would be coming home from the war sometime in September.

His brother, Brett Scripsick, said while his brother could be tough when he had to be, he also was the “nicest and sweetest” person you could ever hope to meet.

Seven years older than his brother, Brett said he would let Bryan in on neighborhood football games, though he would “bend the rules” a little bit for his younger sibling.

While the family home is in Wayne, Bryan Scripsick graduated in 2004 from Pauls Valley High School, where he played safety and wide receiver on the football team.

Brett Scripsick said his brother wanted to play college football. Bryan probably would have graduated from college and gone on to coach football or baseball, his brother said.

As it turned out, Bryan chose to join the Marine Corps, which he did right after his 19th birthday in August 2004.

Brett said his brother lived with him for a few months after graduating from high school and the two talked about Bryan’s decision to join the Corps. Brett recalled Sept. 8 that they talked about how Bryan would be far from home and from family and friends.

They also talked about the structure that being a Marine would require, about someone always telling you what to do and where to be.

However, they did not talk about the worst-case scenario, Brett said Sept. 8.

He added that his brother was determined to serve his country and no one would have been able to talk him out of it, anyway.

“It was always a possibility in my mind that this could happen,” Brett said.

Bryan apparently didn’t let himself dwell on such thoughts. His page, last updated Aug. 26, featured the mantra, “Have Fun, Stay Young.”

The site also prominently displays the Superman logo. Brett said Sept. 8 that, to his knowledge, his brother wasn’t inordinately interested in the famed superhero. Instead, Brett said perhaps it indicated his brother’s spirit and youthful bravado.

Still, it is obvious from his page that Bryan was not oblivious to the hazards of Iraq. On the site, he listed his heroes as “falling brothers.”

There was a moment of silence Sept. 7 before the Pauls Valley High School football game. It was homecoming.

Funeral services had not yet been set Sept. 8.

Hundreds attend Marine’s funeral
The Associated Press

PAULS VALLEY, Okla. — Hundreds packed a Pauls Valley church on Sept. 13 to remember a fallen Marine who joined the military because he wanted to help others.

Cpl. Bryan J. Scripsick was one of four Marines who were killed by a suicide bomber in Anbar province in Iraq on Sept. 6. The Marines were assigned to 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, based in Camp Pendleton, Calif.

The 22-year-old Scripsick joined the Marines just a few months after he graduated from Pauls Valley High School in 2004. He was serving the last few months of his second tour in Iraq when he died.

“I always wondered how Bryan could be a Marine,” the Rev. Michael Vaught, of St. Catherine of Siena Church, said. “But I think he joined the Marines because he wanted to help people. I believe the circumstances of his death prevented the deaths of a whole bunch of people in the marketplace where the bomber was trying to get to. A whole lot of woman and children are alive today because of what Bryan did.”

Vaught encouraged people at the funeral to show compassion and work to improve the world around them.

“We need to apologize to Bryan,” Vaught said. “Part of the reason he died is because we are too lazy. We’ve created a world where this could happen.”

Outside the First United Methodist Church of Pauls Valley where the funeral was held, hundreds of residents, including school children and their teachers, lined the streets with red, white and blue balloons or flags as the funeral procession traveled through town.

At Mount Olivet Cemetery, members of the Marine Corps honor guard carried the casket to the gravesite, then two folded up the American flag over the casket and presented it to Scripsick’s parents, John and Jan, and his brother, Brett.

Scripsick was honored with a gun salute and the playing of “Taps.”

His family received a Purple Heart and Certificate of Honorable Service from the secretary of the Navy awarded to Bryan Scripsick after his death.

Marine Cpl. Bryan J. Scripsick was killed in action on 9/6/07.

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