Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Marine 2nd Lt. Donald "Ryan" McGlothlin

Remember Our Heroes

Marine 2nd Lt. Donald R. McGlothlin, 26, of Lebanon, Virginia.

Lt McGlothlin died from small arms fire while conducting combat operations against enemy forces during Operation Steel Curtain in Ubaydi, Iraq. His unit was attached to 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward). He was assigned to Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California.

A memorial featuring photographs of Donald Ryan McGlothlin was displayed in the hallway. Students who were too young to know the young man when he roamed the halls, raced around the track, wrestled and cracked the books there eight years ago could see the face of a former student who died in a small-arms fire exchange as he fought in Operation Steel Curtain in Ubaydi in western Iraq.

McGlothlin's death was particularly tough for students and staff because his mother, Ruth McGlothlin, is a guidance counselor at Lebanon High. His father, Donald McGlothlin Jr., is a former Circuit Court judge who practices law in Lebanon. His grandfather, the late Donald McGlothlin Sr., served as a delegate in the Virginia General Assembly for many years.

Mayor Tony Dodi, who is the principal at the high school, said the school and community will stand with the McGlothlin family as they try to cope with the Marine's death. Dodi said he was not principal when McGlothlin was a student, but he often saw the young man when he was honored by the School Board for his many accomplishments. They also attended the same church.

"He was a very pleasant, goal-oriented young man," Dodi said. "He exceeded at all levels of the academic world."

Sean McGlothlin said Thursday that the family wants to gather and talk about his younger brother's life and accomplishments before publicly discussing his life and death. Friends and neighbors were dropping by the family home with food and condolences, he said.

"We appreciate all the support we have received," he said.

McGlothlin, the valedictorian for the class of 1997, racked up a number of honors, was a respected athlete and active in his church and community. He achieved the rank of Eagle Scout before graduating Phi Beta Kappa from The College of William and Mary. He did post graduate work at Stanford University.

McGlothlin would later set his sights on the Marine Corps. He graduated from officer candidate school at the top of his class. He reached the rank of 2nd lieutenant and asked to be assigned to the infantry division.

Family friend Larry Fuller said McGlothlin had the potential to reach the top in any career or task he chose.

"He was an outstanding young man," Fuller said. "I've known him from the time he was real small. I've never known anyone more disciplined and focused."

Marine 2nd Lt. Donald R. McGlothlin was killed in action on 11/16/05.

No comments: