MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
The memorial chapel of Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point was brightly lit the morning of June 28. The Chapel’s pews were filled with Marines, most of them military policemen.
No one stood on the stage; and the absence was apparent.
The Marines of 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing’s Military Police Company looked upon the memorial for one of their own; Cpl. Joshua R. Dumaw, an MP who was killed in Afghanistan June 22 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
“In the midst of the darkness of his loss, we must remember, we are here to pay tribute to his life,” said Lt. Cmdr. Tommy Myhand, a chaplain with 2nd MAW, who delivered the invocation.
Dumaw’s pregnant widow, Kailyn, sat nearest the stage, where a display consisting of boots, a helmet, rifle and flak jacket were carefully arranged.
“Your husband loved being a Marine as much as he loved being your husband,” 1st Sgt. Wilbur T. Amaker, MP Co.’s first sergeant, said in his remarks. “Cpl. Dumaw was a teddy bear who walked with a big smile.”
Sgt. Mark A. Edwards, the platoon sergeant for first platoon, deployed to Iraq with Dumaw from 2008-2009 and spoke of playing cards with him during downtime and watching him grin as he dominated their games. “For the rest of my life, the little things that remind me of him will put a smile on my face,” Edwards said.
Speaking of Dumaw’s sacrifice, MP Co.’s Gunnery Sergeant, Don D. Ketcham, reading a passage from Luke 22:27, asked, “For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves?”
Dumaw was deployed as an individual augment to Regimental Combat Team 2. He was serving as a squad leader when he was mortally wounded by an improvised explosive device.
“We sent out an experienced, small-unit leader. That’s something you just can’t replace without time,” Ketcham said. “But that’s from an operational standpoint. You can never replace a Dumaw; he’s just too much of a character.”