Anthony C. Garcia—January 2010 Shipment Honoree
Email from Carol Lindsey–Hello I am Anthony’s mother, I am glad to hear that these PKG’s are being sent in Anthony’s name. Thank you
‘He was protecting his Marines’
Haney graduate’s friends remember sailor killed in AfghanistanAugust 08, 2009 12:39:00 AM
By ROBBYN BROOKS / Florida Freedom Newspapers
PANAMA CITY — Anthony Garcia knew what he wanted to do before he graduated from high school.
He was Navy-bound.
“He was very passionate about it,” said Nicholas Cooper, who went to Haney Technical Center with Garcia. “He wanted to be a SEAL, but being a corpsman was the next best thing at the time. Turned out to be even better.”
Garcia and Cooper joined the Navy together in July 2006, and Petty Officer 3rd Class Garcia reported to Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, in February 2009. Garcia, 21, was a hospital corpsman assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, and he deployed to Afghanistan with a unit of about 1,000 Marines in May, Marine officials reported.
He died Wednesday “while supporting combat operations in Farah Province, Afghanistan,” according to a Department of Defense news release. “Tyndall, Fla.” was listed as his hometown.
“There are two things a Marine will ask for in the field: God and the doc,” Cooper said. “He died for his country. He was protecting his Marines.”
Garcia last logged on to his MySpace account Aug. 4. His headline reads, “Turn that frown upside down” and his status is “chill.” Garcia recently married his wife, Jewell, and Cooper said his friend was excited to be deploying when they spoke in May.
“That’s what we joined for. That’s what we were here for and trained so hard for,” Cooper said. “We’re combat medics. We take care of Marines. They protect us, and when they need us, we go in.”
“I think everyone was looking forward to deployment so they could do what we do,” said Patrick Horgan, who worked with Garcia in Hawaii.
HM1 (FMF/CAC) Horgan was an independent duty corpsman with Garcia’s Hawaii-based unit. He recently returned from Afghanistan, so he didn’t deploy with the rest of the group.
“He had a great sense of humor. He liked to joke around,” Horgan said of Garcia. “He had a tight bond with his friends, definitely. He really liked where he was at and had a wonderful camaraderie with the Marines.”
On his MySpace page, Garcia wrote he was born in Denver but “grew up an Air Force brat and moved around a lot,” joining the Navy right after graduating from Haney, where he had majored in the school’s residential electrician program.
“Things would have been rough for me in school,” Cooper said about his high school days with Garcia. “He was the first person that befriended me. He took the time to show me around and helped me out.
“He was a great friend. He was on your side and would back you up no matter what.”
Garcia will be awarded the Purple Heart, the National Defense Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Afghanistan Campaign Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
Cooper said he has not been able to reach his friend’s father, who is active-duty airman at Eglin Air Force Base, but he hopes to attend Garcia’s funeral.
Attempts to reach Garcia’s family Friday were unsuccessful. Funeral arrangements have not been announced.
“You hear about the deaths over there,” Cooper said. “As a corpsman, you know that happens. But it is unbelievable that he is one of the fallen heroes of this war. He was a hero among heroes. He was defending his country and was taking care of his Marines.”
The members of Landstuhl Hospital Care Project were honored to remember Anthony during the month of January 2010 with our shipments to the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, and U.S. military hospitals in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our thoughts and prayers remain with Anthony’s family and friends today and in the years to come.