By Lex, on Wed – June 1, 2005
The power of the internet amazes me.
I wrote over the weekend , in part about a man named Major Ricardo A. Crocker, U.S. Marine Corps, killed in action in Iraq. I wondered aloud what his friends called him, postulating that we’d never know.
I was wrong.
His friends called him “Rick.”
Got an email today, from one of his friends:
Thanks for the article-excellent job. And thanks for your service–it is much appreciated. God bless.
Following is a cut and paste of the obituary for Rick Crocker (mentioned in your blog) that ran in the Los Angeles Times. Services will be held on Thursday, and will be attended by a huge number of local law enforcement as well as military personnel. He touched a great many lives.
We must remember those who have sacrificed.
Online guestbook for Rick Crocker:
And got a picture, too:
Santa Monica Police Det. Gregg Kapp pauses in memory of his colleague, whose life-size cutout photograph in combat gear was kept at the station.
(Ken Hively / LAT)
And here’s the obituary:
May 29, 2005
Marine Corps Reserve Maj. Ricardo Crocker, 39, Redondo Beach; Dies in Grenade Attack
By Jocelyn Y. Stewart, Times Staff Writer
In the style of a war correspondent, Marine Corps Reserve Maj. Ricardo A. Crocker sent regular dispatches to his colleagues at the Santa Monica Police Department, e-mails and photographs of life on the battlefield in Iraq.
“Two Marines killed, several wounded,” he wrote Aug. 21. “I was hesitant to write about this, however, it’s the reality of this place. Everyone in the battalion is getting through this.”
In the style of true friends, Santa Monica officers e-mailed encouraging messages, sent care packages to Crocker’s division and kept a spot for him in the station where he worked: A life-size cutout photograph of Crocker in his combat gear stands in the detective squad bureau.
“It was like he was still here,” Police Chief James T. Butts Jr. said Saturday. “We’d see his image every day. We’d read the e-mails.”
On Thursday morning, Crocker, 39, a nearly 10-year veteran of the Santa Monica Police Department, was killed in a rocket-propelled grenade attack in Iraq’s Al Anbar province — a vast desert region that stretches west from the cities of Fallouja and Ramadi to the Syrian border. It is now the epicenter of the nation’s insurgency.
Crocker’s death has been a tough blow for members of the department, Butts said.
It was Crocker’s second tour of duty, “and the expectation was he’d be back, just like he was before,” Butts said.
Family members declined to be interviewed.
Crocker, who was known as “Rick,” was the son of a Navy veteran, Butts said. He spent part of his youth at the El Toro Marine base, graduated from high school in Maryland and then enlisted in the Navy. Later he joined the Marine Corps.
According to the Department of Defense, Crocker was most recently assigned to the 3rd Civil Affairs Group, Marine Corps Reserve at Camp Pendleton. As part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, his unit was attached to the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward).
That was one name – one pulled at random from the Sunday paper. One of over one thousand, six hundred and fifty.