Paying tribute to the Marine Corps

235 years ago this week, the United States Marine Corps was founded as an infantry unit aboard naval vessels.  Widely regarded as an effective and fierce fighting force, the Marines are known for their pride in the Corps.  And is proud to honor them through our Marines Legacies – a special tribute site with obituaries and Guest Books for more than 11,000 Marines.

I spent some time reviewing’s Marines tribute site, and was touched by the tales of service I found there.  Here is a small sample of the many profiles available:

L.E. Fletcher

L.E. Fletcher's obituary published in Carlsbad Current-Argus

On Aug. 20, 1943, at the age of 17, L.E. Fletcher enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He was sent to Camp Pendleton, San Diego, Calif., for basic training. After boot camp, he was selected to be a member of the elite Sea-Going Marines. These Marines were trained for duty at the White House, Foreign Embassy and aboard warships (as military police, guards, gunners and orderlies for captains and admiral. From 1943-1945, he was a Sea-Going Marine, assigned to the heavy cruiser USS Minneapolis. He participated in many major campaigns in the Pacific, including: Marshall Islands, Truk, Palau, Marianas, Saipan, Philippine Sea, Guam, Caroline Islands, Battle of Leyte Gulf, Lingayen Gulf, Bataan Corregidor and Okinawa. By the end of his tour of duty, Mr. Fletcher had achieved the rank of Corporal in the USMC and received his Expert Rifle Qualification. He was very proud to have been a Marine and to have served his country during World War II.

Franklin George Pilkenton

Franklin George Pilkenton's obituary published in The Herald (Everett)

 Franklin George “Pinkie” Pilkenton of Everett, WA, graduated from Everett High School in 1956 and then served in the U.S. Marine Corps until 1959. He, like his brothers, Brad and Paul, lived by the words, “Semper Fi” and “Once a Marine, always a Marine. Pinkie was a brick layer for 20 years. Over the years he worked at Scott Paper Mill, Snohomish County Jail, Private Security Firms and various other companies. An avid outdoorsman, he enjoyed boating, camping, hunting and all types of fishing. He was a loyal member of the Northwest Steelhead and Salmon Council, North-Shore Chapter for 35 years and served as President for several years. Pinkie was a huge NASCAR and Dale Earnhardt fan. He loved watching westerns, listening to country music and going to live concerts and shows.

Wendel Schuetz

Wendel R. Schuetz's obituary published in Times Leader

 Wendel R. Schuetz was a graduate of Coughlin High School, Class of 1948, where he was on the football and track teams. He was a veteran with the United States Navy. Immediately following he joined the Marine Corps and was promoted to Staff Sergeant, serving during the Korean War. He was a member of All Saints Parish, Plymouth. Prior to retirement, he was employed by the Wilkes-Barre Area School District and was the owner and operator of the Octagon Bar and Restaurant in Plymouth, for many years. Throughout his life, he greatly enjoyed spending time with his children and grandchildren, who meant the world to him. He had a great sense of humor and was an enthusiastic storyteller.

Major Delbert Marshall Hutson

Delbert Hutson's obituary published in Las Vegas Review-Journal

 Major Delbert Marshall Hutson attended the Columbia Military Academy and distinguished himself as a scholar and a leader and he was elected cadet commander in his senior year.  Major Hutson joined the Marine Corps as an officer in 1962. He served two tours in Vietnam and earned a Purple Heart and additional medals for distinguished service. He earned a master’s degree from Pepperdine University. Major Hutson retired from military service in 1983. Following his military career, Major Hutson continued to serve by teaching Marine Corps JROTC in Covington, Ky. for over 10 years. Major Hutson’s JROTC drill team won multiple awards including national titles. Following his retirement, Major Hutson enjoyed playing poker, golf and sharing his wonderful sense of humor and enjoyment of life with family and friends

Jason Burroughs

Jason Burroughs' obituary published by McHugh Funeral Home

 Jason S. Burroughs enlisted in the US Marine Corps and attended Recruit training in Parris Island, SC. After graduation from recruit training, Jason reported to follow on schools at Camp Lejeune, NC and NAS Millington, TN for training as a CH-53D helicopter mechanic. Jason’s most recent duty station was MCB Hawaii where he was attached to MAG-24, and attached to the “Ugly Angels” of HMH-362. Jason proudly served the Marine Corps for eighteen years and deployed numerous times to the Middle East and Asia. Jason was on his second deployment to Iraq when he was diagnosed eighteen months ago with a Glioblastoma (brain tumor).

To view more profiles and pay tribute, visit’s Marines Legacies.

About Katie

I joined in 2002 as a part-time content screener and now serve as Director of Operations, overseeing Legacy’s day-to-day operations (Guest Book screening, obituary processing, customer service, and client service). I grew up in California, the daughter of a psychologist and a minister. My parents instilled in me the importance of listening to and caring about others. One of the things I appreciate most about working at is that I am able to have a small part in easing people's pain during one of the most difficult times in their lives. In my life outside of Legacy, I enjoy baking treats (and bringing them to the office to share), playing the piano, reading, taking pictures, tending to our vegetable & herb gardens, trying out new restaurants and foods, spending time with my husband, Chuck (whom I met at Legacy) and our kids, Brett Jr. & Josie.
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