Special Operations Marines gather at Camp Lejeune in support of fallen brother
The Daily News
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — “You are everything and more than I ever wanted to be,” Richard Hansen said to his late son, Sgt. Justin Hansen of 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion aboard Camp Lejeune in a video uploaded to YouTube.
“They say in that song the good die young. Well, we lost a good one, only had him for 26 years,” Richard Hansen said, while choking back tears. “He’s the type of people why we can get up ... and not have to worry about someone shooting at us, because he kept them at bay. So everybody take a deep breath and thank their lucky stars that we’re born in the USA.”
He concluded the video by requesting to hear chants of “U-S-A” from across the country at his home in Traverse City, Mich., and Justin Hansen’s family away from home, the Marines of the 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion, were determined to give their fallen brother’s father his wish.
More than 70 Marines, spouses and children gathered in front of the 2nd MSOB headquarters building Tuesday to chant “U-S-A” at the top of their lungs for Justin Hansen’s father. Some were friends with Justin Hansen, some had only met him a couple of times, and some spouses, who had never met him, were there to support their husbands who had.
Amber Waldow, whose husband is currently deployed to Afghanistan and was on the same mission as Justin Hansen when he died July 24, was the first in the Lejeune MarSOC family to see the video of Justin Hansen’s father.
“When I saw the video of Sgt. Hansen’s father it just reminded me so much of our own personal experience with this deployment,” Waldow said, with tears in her eyes as she held her toddler close. “So I just thought if there was one thing we could do to make his dad proud and give him that moment ... It could have been any of them, it could have been any of our husbands, and just knowing that the family he left behind, it could have been our family.”
Waldow said after she saw the video she passed the link over to battalion Family Readiness Officer Kasey Timberlake, who organized the chant Tuesday.
“As a family readiness officer, when a request like that comes from a parent, how can you not act?” Timberlake said. “Considering all that (Justin Hansen) gave, this is the least we can do to celebrate his life.”
Timberlake asked the MarSOC public affairs office to film the chant and send it to Hansen’s father so he could see his request being fulfilled. Battalion Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Larry Huggins, who attended Hansen’s funeral Saturday, Aug. 4, in Michigan along with battalion Sgt. Maj. Tracy Linch, said he felt it was important the command leadership be at the event to support Hansen and his family.
“He was just a great man,” Huggins said. “Just going up to Michigan over the weekend, the family is very strong ... they came together so it was kind of nice if we could come together too and support the family.”
Hansen joined the Marine Corps in 2005, and was selected to become of the elite MarSOC Marines in June 2009. He has deployed in support of both Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, and has been awarded a Purple Heart, two Combat Action Ribbons and two Good Conduct Medals; and for the Marines of 2nd MSOB, Hansen will always be remembered.
“He’s one of our guys, he always will be,” Huggins said.