Sunday, August 10, 2008

Marine Sgt. Michael H. Ferschke Jr.

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Sgt. Michael H. Ferschke Jr., 22, of Maryville, Tenn.

Sgt. Ferschke was assigned to the 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Okinawa, Japan; died Aug. 10, 2008 while supporting combat operations in Salah ad Din province, Iraq.

Maryville Marine killed in Iraq
The Associated Press

MARYVILLE, Tenn. — A Marine who had married about a month ago and just found out his wife was going to have a baby was shot to death in Iraq during a house search, his family said Tuesday.

Sgt. Michael Ferschke Jr. died Sunday, his father said. Ferschke, 22, of Maryville, was assigned to the 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division and stationed in Okinawa, Japan.

Ferschke’s father, Michael said his son had been in Iraq since March. The son and his wife had just found out they were going to have a baby, due in January.

Ferschke said his son was born in Rhode Island, but grew up and went to high school in Maryville, about 16 miles south of Knoxville.

The younger Ferschke joined the Marines because he was looking for a challenge after high school, his father said.

“He looked at all the other forces, but that didn’t look like a challenge for him,” Ferschke said. “He loved his job and he loved what he was doing.”

Ferschke, who was a radio operator, completed a diving school while in the Marines and hoped to become a diving instructor.

He had the option of finishing his service in the Marines in October, but he felt an obligation to stay and serve a tour in Iraq, like many of his fellow Marines, his father said.

His mother, Robin, said Ferschke was an energetic and adventurous teenager who liked riding BMX bikes and skiing. They talked a lot by phone even while he was in Japan and he was always giving advice or trying to help his friends and family, she said.

“He was like a male ‘Dear Abby,”’ Robin Ferschke said. “He helped me through things and I helped him. He always used to say his dad was his hero, but he’s our hero.”

Ferschke said her son was excited about becoming a father and talked a lot about the things he wanted to share with his child.

“He had lots of dreams, but the only one he wanted was to make sure that child grew up to be the best,” she said.

In a Father’s Day message aired on WBIR-TV in Knoxville in June, Ferschke greeted his father and brother from Camp Fallujah, Iraq, and said, “Hopefully next year, I’ll be down there with you guys. Have a couple of beers, celebrate. Love you guys.”

Ferschke is also survived by his brother, Raymond Lambert, and his sister, Alissa Bridgman. Funeral services are planned for Monday in Maryville.

Marine Sgt. Michael H. Ferschke Jr. was killed in action on 8/10/08.

No comments: