Staff Sergeant Marcus Golczynski

Flag being awardedThis amazing picture has drawn a lot of comments from readers of the Nashville paper, The Tennessean.

See Jay’s letter below.

Dear Tennessean:

     The Tennessean’s April 5 photograph of young Christian Golczynski accepting the American flag from Marine Lt. Col. Ric Thompson is one of the most moving and emotion provoking images I have ever seen.

     My wife and I attended funeral services for Christian’s father, Staff Sergeant Marcus Golczynski, on April 4, along with our six year-old son, dozens of Marines, and several hundred others who came to pay tribute to this fallen hero.

     As one would expect, many of your readers were touched by this incredible picture. Staff Sergeant Golczynski had previously served one full tour in Iraq . Shortly before his death on March 27 he wrote to his family that he had volunteered to do this a second time due to our deep desire to finish the job we started.  In his letter he said, “We fight and sometimes die so that our families don’t have to.” Tragically, Staff Sergeant Golczynski had only two weeks remaining on his second tour.  We look at the photograph of Christian every day. It is displayed prominently in our home.  Our hearts ache for Christian and for all those who have lost loved ones in this controversial conflict.

     Our nation is at a historical crossroads.  Do we call an end to the struggle in Iraq or press on? Staff Sergeant Golczynski eloquently told his son how he felt about not giving up.  Perhaps there is a lesson for all of us in this man’s life and the choices he made. He was undeniably a man of tremendous courage and conviction.  America must now choose whether to complete the job.

     When looking at the face of Christian Golczynski I am reminded that doing what is right is not always easy and doing what is easy is not always right.  Christian’s dad knew that too.


Franklin, TN

Pain and pride. That is what this story reminds me of. In 1959 I was a child and received a flag and medals that my father died for after the Marine Corps finalized the determination that he had died in Korea. Godspeed to you Christian, your father now stands with mine guarding the gates of heaven.

3 Responses to “Staff Sergeant Marcus Golczynski”

  1. patricksperry Says:

    Wow! Talk about a quick hit! Ali from Pakistan asked what it is that I am talking about when I say “Guarding the gates of heaven.”
    Here ya go Ali.

    From the Halls of Montezuma
    To the shores of Tripoli
    We fight our country’s battles
    In the air, on land and sea
    First to fight for right and freedom
    And to keep our honor clean;
    We are proud to claim the title
    Of United States Marine.

    Our flag’s unfurled to every breeze
    From dawn to setting sun;
    We have fought in every clime and place
    Where we could take a gun.
    In the snow of far-off Northern lands
    And in sunny tropic scenes;
    You will find us always on the job —
    The United States Marines.

    Here’s health to you and to our Corps
    Which we are proud to serve;
    In many a strife we’ve fought for life
    And never lost our nerve.
    If the Army and the Navy
    Ever look on Heaven’s scenes,
    They will find the streets are guarded
    By United States Marines.


  2. patricksperry Says:

    I have to ask; why this story gets so many views, and so few comments…


  3. jeff Says:

    Thank you Staff Sgt. Golczynski, your sacrifice and that of your family are in my heart- and will not be in vain. Semper Fi.


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