Captain John W. Maloney USMC

Capt. John W. Maloney USMC

Capt. John W. Maloney USMC, Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, Iraq CAMP PENDLETON —- Minutes after a Bronze Star Medal with Valor was pinned on the shirt of the young son of a Marine captain and company commander killed last year in Ramadi, Iraq, 1st Sgt. Michael Brookman stooped and delivered a message to the boy.

“Your father is a hero,” Brookman told 6-year-old Nathaniel Maloney, son of Capt. John W. Maloney. “Don’t ever forget it.”

Brookman’s message was delivered during an award ceremony Friday afternoon at the base’s Camp San Mateo, the home of Marines from the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment.

The fallen Marine died in Ramadi on June 16, 2005. He was leading a patrol when his truck was blown up by a roadside bomb.

For Brookman and members of his unit known as the 1/5s Charlie Company, Maloney’s death hit hard because of the respect he had earned through what several said were his caring ways and leadership.

“Marines know that people like him are special,” Brookman said after the outdoor ceremony at San Mateo Memorial Park. “We respected Capt. Maloney and losing him was a big loss for the entire company.”

Maloney, 36, had been featured last spring in a Marine Corps-written story that told of how he and his troops had taken extra steps to keep a Ramadi hospital stocked with medications and supplies.

In a quote from that story, the native of Chicopee, Mass., said the hospital effort “shows the Iraqi people that the Marines mean well.”

One month later, Maloney died.

Lt. Col. Eric Smith said Friday’s event was intended as a celebration of Maloney’s life and his heroism in leading numerous patrols and directing his Marines during several firefights in Ramadi. Earlier memorials took place in Iraq, at Camp Pendleton and at Arlington National Cemetery.

“This is an award which he earned,” Smith said. “John Maloney did valorous things in Ramadi and this is an opportunity to remember those acts. Ramadi is a tough place and it’s even tougher to be a platoon commander out there.”

In a citation accompanying the Bronze Star, Maloney was recognized for “heroic achievement as the commanding officer of Charlie Company.”

He had led the company while in Iraq from March until his death. On March 18, he had a close call when another roadside bomb was detonated while on patrol.

About a dozen family members attended Friday’s ceremony at the memorial park, which is surrounded by markers of legendary Marine battles around the world. The most recent addition includes an arrow pointing east and reads “Baghdad 2003, 7701 miles.”

Maloney’s widow, Michelle, did not speak to reporters at the ceremony. But some of the dozen other family members did, including his brother-in-law, Mike Keil of Simi Valley.

“I don’t know if there will ever be closure,” he said. “But it’s an honor for his son to know that his dad did not die in vain.”

One of the Marines he had led, Lance Cpl. Brandon Phillips, said Maloney stood out as a commander.

“He was an officer who really looked out for all the young guys like me,” said Phillips, who returned to Camp Pendleton in October. “He helped us out, and in Ramadi, he always showed how much he cared about us.”

Brookman, who called Maloney his best friend, said he will carry his memory with him for the rest of his life.

“Because of what he did there, I was able to bring 150 Marines home.”

Maloney is survived by his wife and son, as well as a young daughter, McKenna.

As the ceremony was taking place, about 250 members of the 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment were preparing to say goodbye to their loved ones as they headed for the Anbar province of Iraq for a seven-month deployment.

Source: http://www.850koa.com/pages/shows_gunny-heroes.html

This story was especially difficult for me. Same place, different award, and more than forty years ago. I feel for that young man in a way that I simply cannot describe.

5 Responses to “Captain John W. Maloney USMC”

  1. patricksperry Says:

    I’m not sure what you mean by that. Care to explain? My father was killed in Korea. My mother received posthumous awards when I was a child at Camp Pendleton.

    Further, the story is cited and sourced.

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  2. Missala Says:

    Do explain. You were there with my brother, Cpt. Maloney to you, and yet you have never replied to any of my correspondence. If you were half the man he was you would reply to a family member of those that have protected your right to speak. Until that day, Semper Fi.

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  3. Patrick Sperry Says:

    Ma’am; Same place, as in Camp Pendleton, not in Iraq, and many years apart. My mother received posthumous awards, on my fathers behalf. That is where I was, and how this struck me so deeply. I honor your Brother, as in posting his story under the heading “Valhalla.” I don’t see an actual email address for you, just the link to “Fallen Heroes.”

    Being the son of a dead Marine is a tough thing to grow up with. There is pride, as well as sorrow. I truly hope and pray that you can understand my motivations for posting the story’s of those that have given all that is possible on our behalf.

    To the best of my knowledge I have never had an email from you on any of my accounts.

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  4. JOHN MALONEY Says:

    I ONLY RECENTLY FOUND THIS SITE. MY CHILDREN AND GRAND CHILDREN ARE GOING THROUGH GRIEF AS YOU DID. I NEVER KNEW YOUR FATHER AND I AM VERY SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS. THANK YOU AND YOUR FAMILY FOR YOUR FATHERS SERVICE. MY SON WAS A GOOD MARINE AS WAS YOUR FATHER. SEMPER FI SIR

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  5. Patrick Sperry Says:

    Thank you so very much John. Semper Fi Sir!

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