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The Final Duty Station This forum is presented by Retired GySgt Bill Conroy. It is a listing of those that have received orders for their final duty station. These Marines have given their all. We now give our honor.

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Old 01-27-2005, 10:51 AM
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L/Cpl Jonathan Williams Bowling USMC (Iraq)

Local Marine killed in Iraq
Bulletin Staff Writer

A Martinsville police officer was killed early Wednesday after his convoy in Iraq was hit by a rocket grenade.

Lance Cpl. Jonathan Williams Bowling, 23, of Patrick County, a Marine reservist assigned to Company C, 4th U.S. Marine Division in Lynchburg, was one of four Marines killed during an ambush, according to a press release from the Martinsville Police Department and Mike Rogers, police chief.

The Department of Defense declined to confirm Bowling's death, saying only that it could not release information until 24 hours after family members were notified.

Bowling's parents confirmed the death, according to Matt Hankins, public information officer for Martinsville. Bowling's convoy, Rogers said, was hit about 3 a.m. Wednesday by a grenade, mortar rounds and rifle shots.

Bowling "was hit by shrapnel (and) also suffered a gunshot wound to the shoulder," Rogers said.

Rogers learned about Bowling's injuries from Patrick County Sheriff David Hubbard. Marines contacted the Patrick sheriff's office to get directions to the family's home.

"They were coming from Greensboro," Hubbard said. "His dad's a trooper in our county. I knew (Jonathan Bowling) prior to him becoming an officer in Martinsville."

Hubbard said he knew about Bowling's injuries because he was present when Marines informed Bowling's family.

Jonathan Bowling was the son of Darrell Bowling, a senior Virginia State Trooper assigned to Patrick County, and Robin Bowling Feron.

Bowling's stepmother and stepfather are Rita Bowling and Greg Feron. He has twin sisters, Ashley Blair and Brooke Elizabeth Bowling.

All are from Patrick County.

Rogers knew through regular e-mails from Bowling that he was assigned to "one of the worst places. It was obvious his personal safety was at risk from day one."

"Officer Bowling was fulfilling his obligation to his country," said Dan Collins, city manager. "Our thoughts, condolences and prayers go to his family in this difficult time."

Hubbard said Bowling's death is "definitely a tragedy. It hits really hard when it's this close to home."

One of Hubbard's sons is serving in Afghanistan.

"I hope I never have to experience what Jonathan's family is going through right now. That's one of the saddest things about war. It takes away some of the best and brightest young men and women," Hubbard said.

Rogers recalled that Darrell Bowling made a lasting impression on his son, with Jonathan Bowling planning to follow in his father's footsteps.

"He's the only officer I've ever hired knowing up front that he wouldn't stay long," Rogers said of Bowling, who joined the police department on Dec. 15, 2002.

During an interview, Rogers said he asked Bowling "if he was willing to make a long-term commitment and how long he planned to stay."

Rogers said Bowling responded honestly, even though it could have cost him the job, and said, "You know I eventually want to be a trooper. But if you hire me, I'll work real hard for you for at least three years.'"

Because of Rogers' past relationship with the state police and "because I appreciated Jonathan's honesty so much, I decided to do the state police a favor by giving three years of training to someone who would be one of their best ain the future, and I hired him, hoping he would change his mind in the meantime and stay with us."

Often, Rogers said, he joked with Bowling about his plans.

"Hey, Jonathan, have you decided yet whether you're going to stay?" Rogers said he would ask.

Bowling would "smile that sly grin and say, "Well, I'm thinking about it," Rogers said. "That's all I'd get out of him."

"We are deeply saddened to lose an officer of Jonathan's quality, character and integrity," Rogers said. "His loss will leave a void not only on our police force, but also in our hearts. He was a great person. He had a great sense of humor and he got along with everybody."

Bowling also was disciplined, took pride in his work "and was as sharp as anybody I've ever seen in his uniform. He was, without question, one of the most clean-cut young men I have ever met," Rogers said.

Jonathan Bowling graduated from Patrick County High School in 2000 and from Patrick Henry Community College in 2002, earning an associate's degree in Administration of Justice.

Bowling was called up for service to Iraq and reported to Lynchburg for a two-week stint on June 1. Two weeks later, he was deployed to Iraq, Rogers said.

According to a military spokesman in Lynchburg, Company C was detached from the 4th Division and deployed to Al Anbar province in Iraq as part of the 1st Division.

"We'll miss him a lot," Rogers said. "It's people like Jonathan Bowling, willing to put on a uniform and risk their lives, that make you appreciate and respect law enforcement officers and members of our military so much."

Another city employee, police officer Robert Smith, is serving his second tour of duty in Iraq with the Marines.

GyBill U.S.M.C.
Webmaster, Obituary NCOIC
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