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Fallen Marine receives hero’s memorial

By Marti Gatlin, Public Affairs Specialist | | October 21, 2010

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Marines, families, residents and government officials paid tribute to fallen Marine, Cpl. Stephen Coty Sockalosky, during memorial and gravesite services Saturday in Cordele, Ga.

Sockalosky, a machine gunner with 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, N.C., was wounded during combat operations in Afghanistan Oct. 3. He died Oct. 6 at a hospital near Frankfurt, Germany.

The 21-year-old Marine received a Purple Heart posthumously, according to 1st Sgt. James Watson, first sergeant, Inspector - Instructor staff, Detachment 2, Supply Company, 4th Supply Battalion, 4th Marine Logistics Group, Marine Forces Reserve Albany. His unit has been serving there during Operation Enduring Freedom since July.

Sockalosky had been named Marine of the Quarter.

During his short Marine Corps career, he also served during Operation Iraqi Freedom from September 2008 to April 2009.

Born in Bartow, Fla., Sockalosky completed basic training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C., in 2007. A Crisp County High School graduate, Sockalosky participated in Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, and was a member of the Baptist faith.

Marines from Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany and the I & I Staff provided military honors during

the services at Crisp County Middle School Auditorium and Tremont Cemetery. Several Marines from 2/9 attended to remember their fellow Marine.

Sgt. Maj. Stephen Thomas, sergeant major, MCLB Albany, was among the roughly 20 installation Marines who honored Sockalosky.

“(In my opinion), unless you’re on the front lines, there aren’t (many) things more important than taking care of family members,” he said. “When we lose someone on the front lines, families are left behind and sometimes we lose sight of that. It’s a tragedy to lose any service member, and I came from 2nd Marine Division so I have an idea of the risks the Marines from 2nd Marine Division encounter.”

Gunnery Sgt. Kenneth Starkey, supply chief, I & I Staff, described the services he and 11 other Marines from his unit participated in Saturday as “an honor to pay tribute to our fallen comrade who died serving his country as well as provide support for the family in their time of need.”

Following the services, Sockalosky’s mother, Carolyn Adsit, of Cordele, talked about how her son felt about Cordele and the state of Georgia.

“He loved this town, this state,” she said. “You can’t imagine how he felt about this town. This place was everything to him.”

Sockalosky is survived by his wife, Brittany Barton Sockalosky, of Vienna; his mother, his stepfather, Mark Adsit, of Cordele; his father, William Stephen Sockalosky, and stepmother, Traci Sockalosky, of Wauchula, Fla., two brothers, three sisters and numerous other family members.


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