Monday, June 06, 2011

Marine Sgt. Joseph M. Garrison

Remember Our Heroes

Marine Sgt. Joseph M. Garrison, 27, of New Bethlehem, Pa.

Sgt Garrison was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died June 6, 2011 in Helmand province, Afghanistan, while conducting combat operations.

Sgt Garrison, known as Joey to friends and family, graduated from Redbank Valley High School in 2001, where he was on the wrestling team.

He joined the Marine Corps in August, 2002. He was promoted to sergeant Oct. 1, 2007. At the time of his promotion, he had been deployed to Afghanistan twice. His third deployment was in 2009 and he served as a squad leader. He deployed to Afghanistan for the fourth time this past January.

"Joey was on his fourth tour of combat duty. He had no problem putting his life on the line for his country," said the assistant varsity wrestling coach at Redbank Valley. "But maybe in the back of his mind, he had a premonition. Before he went back the last time, he told he, 'If anything happens to me, don't let them forget about me.'"

He loved to be a Marine," said sister, Kimberly Knoll. "You couldn't ask for a better person to be out there protecting our country. He had such passion for the Marine Corps." Adding that her brother "was invincible to all of us', she said, "That's what's so hard about it. I'm trying to be the strong one in the family. I'm proud to be his sister."

Sgt. Garrison's favorite saying was a quote from Ronald Reagan: "Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem."

“He was just adored by so many people,” Stacy Kelp, a lifelong friend, said. “You would never think that one person could touch so many lives.”

Sgt Garrison's awards and decorations include:

Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals (2)
Good Conduct Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medals (3)
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
NATO Medal – ISAF Afghanistan

Sgt Garrison's funeral was held at 11 am today, June 16, at the Oakland Church of God, Distant, PA.

Sgt Garrison is survived by his mother, Natalie; father, Joseph; two sisters, Kimberly and Judy; brother Jake and fiancee, Brittney.

Marine Sgt. Joseph M. Garrison was killed in action on 6/6/11.

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