Friday, November 19, 2010

Full Honors for Cpl. Kimo Abraham, Delta 3LAR, died in his sleep

David Reynolds, right, the economic/consular officer with the U.S. Embassy Kolonia, delivers a condolence message from the embassy to the family of Cpl. Kimo Abraham during a full military honors ceremony Nov. 3. Abraham was serving as an infantryman with Company D, 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion. He died weeks before he was scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan. photo credit: Cpl. Rebekka S. Heite

Marine returns home with full honors 11/19/2010 By Cpl. Rebekka S. Heite , Marine Corps Bases Japan KOSRAE, Federated States of Micronesia —

Members of Headquarters and Service Battalion, Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler, rendered full military honors at Cpl Kimo Abraham's funeral Nov. 3, 2010. Cpl Kimo Abraham died in his sleep while serving on active duty as an infantryman with Company D, 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion.

The day before the funeral, the pall bearers, Casualty Assistance Call Officer, Assistant CACO, Abraham's mother and sister had met the plane at the only airport on Kosrae, Federated States of Micronesia, where Abraham was born and grew up. Hundreds of Kosraens had also met the flight by lining up along the fence line of the airport. After seeing Abraham safely off the airplane and into the ambulance that would take him to his mother's home and his final resting place, the pall bearers and the escort, Abraham's second-cousin Lance Cpl. Claude Phillips, met with the rifle squad and moved into position in front of Abraham's mother's home. On the way to his mother's home, hundreds of locals lined the streets of Kosrae to pay their respects and even more were at the actual site of Abraham's wake and funeral. When the ambulance arrived at the home, the rifle squad and its commander were lining either side of the scarlet and gold carpet. The pall bearers were in position to carry Abraham from the ambulance to his place of honor in front of his mother's home. "Anytime we lay a Marine to rest, and pay honors, it's obviously a sad occasion," said Gunnery Sgt. Roberto Barba, one of the pall bearers. "But in this case it's an even sadder occasion when we lay someone to rest who is still on active duty. It's hard to see a fallen comrade laid to rest. It's unfortunate, but we're here to do the best job we can." During the funeral, a member of the III Marine Expeditionary Force Band played taps on his trumpet. The trumpeter, Cpl. Joseph Foster, also played the Marines Hymn after the flag from Abraham's casket had been folded and handed to his mother. A second flag, which had been placed in the casket with him before he was placed on the plane, was given to his sister. Abraham would have turned 25 years old on the day he was buried. He was originally scheduled to leave the Marine Corps this month, but instead he extended his contract 10 months, said Phillips, a switch operator with Combat Logistics Regiment 37, 1st Marine Logistics Group, 1st Marine Division, 1st MEF. "He extended his contract so he could deploy with his buddies," said Phillips, just one year older than Abraham. "He cared about them." Abraham deployed twice to Iraq during his first contract, he added. "Kimo's thing was in the field," said Phillips. "That is where he really shined. He always had a clean haircut and shave. He just liked the field better.

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