November 18, 2013

Tragic Accident at Camp Pendleton - California

Angels of God, pray for Miguel, Mathew, Greg and Eric
Four U.S. Marines died by accident at Camp Pendleton, California, on November 13, 2013.

Tragically deceased in the line of duty are:

Sgt. Miguel Ortiz, age 27, of Vista, California;
Staff Sgt. Mathew R. Marsh, age 28, of Long Beach, California;
Gunnery Sgt. Gregory J. Mullins, age 31, of Bayou L’Ourse, Louisiana;
Staff Sgt. Eric W. Summers, age 32, of Poplar Bluff, Missouri

The men were Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians. The Marines were killed in an explosion in the Zulu impact area, a live-fire artillery range in the middle of Camp Pendleton. They were trying to dispose of unexploded ordnance. There was no live firing on the Zulu range at the time of the accident.

EOD technician is one of the few positions in which the Marine Corps allows team members to quit at any time. That’s because their mental focus could mean the difference between life or death, either for themselves or their fellow troops. The bomb disposal community is a small, tight-knit one like no other within the Marine Corps. They are bonded by their fearlessness, mental strength and deep ties from losing so many members over the years.

Sgt. Miguel Ortiz of Vista was an EOD technician stationed at Camp Pendleton. He joined the Marine Corps in March 2006 and was promoted to sergeant in Nov. 2009. During his career, Miguel earned numerous awards and decorations. He had been deployed to Iraq in 2007, the Western Pacific in 2008 and, most recently, Afghanistan in 2012.

Staff Sgt. Mathew Marsh was an EOD technician. He joined the Marine Corps in 2003, became a staff sergeant in 2009 and has also earned many awards during his military career. He has deployed twice to both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Gunnery Sgt. Gregory Mullins was an EOD Staff Non-commissioned Officer-in-Charge. He joined the Marines in 2003 and was promoted to his current rank this year. He has received multiple awards, including during his two tours in Afghanistan.

Staff Sgt. Eric W. Summers was an EOD technician assigned to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. During his 13 years in the Marine Corps, he was highly decorated and deployed to the Middle East five times.

These men are survived by many loving relatives and friends, who will forever mourn them.

Thank you for serving your country, Miguel, Mathew, Greg and Eric. 

Pray for all who die by misadventure.  They are with us one moment and gone the next.  Amen.

Pray that Miguel, Mathew, Greg and Eric are in heaven. Pray that they are at peace and are with God. Amen.

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