Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Juan M Garcia-Schill

Grants Pass, Oregon

July 2, 2007

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
20 Marine L/Cpl

2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force

Twentynine Palms, California

 Killed while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq.

For Memorial Snapshots, Click Photo Below

July 15, 2007

From Klamath Falls OR Herald and News 07/16/07:

Local family and friends remember Marine killed in Iraq

July 16, 2007

A standing room only crowd gathered Sunday to celebrate and honor the life of Lance Cpl. Juan Manuel Garcia-Schill, a 20-year-old Marine who was killed in action July 1 in Fallujah, Iraq.

The crowd was too big for the chapel at Eternal Hills, and some had to sit in chairs under the trees outside.

Fellow Marine and good friend for eight years, Lance Cpl. Richard Bowen, told the crowd that Garcia-Schill “was like a brother to me. He had a lot of pride in who he was. We said we would do for each other and watch out for each other. One of the last things he said to me was, ‘If anything happens to me, I want to be remembered for being me.’ ”

Gov. Ted Kulongoski called Garcia-Schill “a young American hero of Oregon.”

Kulongoski, a former Marine, traveled to Klamath Falls after attending services in Coos Bay Saturday for Lance Cpl. Steven Stacy. Garcia-Schill was the third Marine with connections to Klamath Falls who died in Iraq, the governor said, quoting Abraham Lincoln’s “how it must feel to lay down such a costly sacrifice at the altar of freedom.”

“He was an Oregonian of overwhelming promise. His short life was filled with meaning, grace and honor,” Kulongoski said. Turning to the family, he said, “He was the best Oregon had to give.”

Congressman Greg Walden emphasized Garcia-Schill’s work with children.

“Manuel cared about children - those in Iraq and those where he grew up. He helped kids in Grants Pass learn soccer and Spanish. He wanted to teach elementary school when his service in the Marine Corps was completed.”

Quoting an observation President Ronald Reagan made, Walden said, “Some people spend their entire lives wondering if they made a difference in the world. The Marines don’t have that problem.”

Sharing a bond

Family friends and fellow corpsmen, Quentin and Ciecal Bettles of Chiloquin, and other family members, gave a Native American tribute, performing a traditional honoring song with drumming, punctuated by the Marine battle cry “Huah!” from the Marines who accompanied the casket.

The reading of the awarding of the Purple Heart to Garcia-Schill for wounds received resulting in his death was given.

Rod Schill, a great uncle, gave the concluding remarks by reading, at his mother’s request, what Garcia-Schill had said when he deployed.

He told his family he was going for “the honor and protection of my country and my family.”

After serving in Iraq, he changed his reason to “the honor and protection of my country, my family and the children here.”

He closed with “Semper Fi!”

Schill said could identify with how Garcia-Schill felt. He was a Marine who served in Vietnam, and he said, “I remember how sorry I felt for the children in that war.”

Memories shared

As well as honoring his service and helping shoulder the grief of the family, those in attendance shared memories of Garcia-Schill, during and after the service.

They remembered him as a person who was proud of his Mexican heritage, proud to be an American and who had a desire from a young age to help children.

Bev Schill, wife of his grandfather Rick Schill, most remembered his sense of humor, particularly a time when his sister, Sandra, who never smiled, wanted to be a nurse.

“He told her ‘I can just see you going in to a patient and saying, ‘Roll over.’ ” Recalling that still brought laughter to those gathered nearby outside the chapel.

As the white hearse carried the flag-draped coffin from Eternal Hills Chapel to the site of the interment, two young girls walked behind, carrying a Mexican flag.

Marines and other military members, then family and friends followed.

A cadre of about 40 Patriot Guard Riders from Bend, Redmond, La Pine and Roseburg, men and women veterans who had stood with military flags along the drive to the chapel, brought up the rear.

At the site in the Garden of the Apostles, full military honors were accorded to Garcia-Schill, including a three-gun salute, taps and presentations to the family.

- By Lee Beach

From The Oregonian oregonlive.com 07/15/07:

Ore. Marine wanted to help children
7/15/2007, 9:34 p.m. PT
The Associated Press 

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (AP) An overflow crowd gathered at Eternal Hills Memorial Gardens outside Klamath Falls to honor Lance Cpl. Juan Manuel Garcia-Schill, a 20-year-old who wanted to teach elementary school when his time in the Marines ended.

Garcia-Schill died July 1 during combat operations in Fallujah.

"We said we would do for each other and watch out for each other," Lance Cpl. Richard Bowen, a friend of Garcia-Schill's for eight years, said Sunday, according to the Herald and News newspaper of Klamath Falls. "One of the last things he said to me was, 'If anything happens to me, I want to be remembered for being me.'"

Garcia-Schill was remembered as a young man who had a good sense of humor and liked to laugh. But, it was noted, he was serious about his Mexican heritage and his desire to serve the United States. His great-grandfather and two uncles had been in the Marines.

Many classmates and friends came from Grants Pass, where the Marine who was known as Juan Manuel Garcia graduated from high school in 2005.

Family members came from all over Oregon and California. Mourners filled the chapel at the cemetery, and dozens had to sit outside and watch the service on a TV monitor. They said their goodbyes during a three-hour service that included full military honors.

Vince Aguilera, a campus security officer at Grants Pass High School, said Garcia-Schill impressed him as someone who was "interested in everything," including the way some people seemed to treat him badly solely because he was of Mexican descent.

"There are many Mexican-American boys dying for this country," Aguilera told the Mail-Tribune newspaper of Medford. "We talked a lot about diversity and the problems we had in our community.

Aguilera added: "I see here we have people from all different races. What a price to pay to bring everyone together."

Gov. Ted Kulongoski eulogized Garcia-Schill as "Oregonian of overwhelming promise" and a Marine who no doubt found much of his strength and courage in the love of his family.

"I have searched my soul trying to understand who God would demand such a terrible sacrifice," Kulongoski said. "I do not know the answer. No one does."

U.S. Rep. Greg Walden spoke of Garcia-Schill's desire to help children, saying that he taught soccer and Spanish to kids in Grants Pass. Rod Schill, a great uncle, gave concluding remarks by reading, at the request of the Marine's mother, what Garcia-Schill had said when he deployed.

Garcia-Schill told his family that he was going to Iraq for the honor and protection of his country and family. But after serving in Iraq, he altered that to the "honor and protection of my country, my family and the children here."

Schill said could identify with how Garcia-Schill felt. As a former Marine in Vietnam: "I remember how sorry I felt for the children in that war."

After mourners paid their final respects, the honor guard carried the casket to a hearse, which carried Garcia-Schill's body about 200 yards to the grave site. After the casket was lowered, family members dropped flowers into the grave and then tossed soil atop the casket.

Garcia-Schill, who was born in Klamath Falls, was buried next to his great-grandmother and great-grandfather.

California Governor Schwarzenegger Issues Statement on Death of Twentynine Palms Marine: Lance Cpl. Juan M. Garcia Schill
Tue, 07/10/2007 - 08:17 admin

07/09/2007 -- California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today released the following statement regarding the death of Lance Cpl. Juan M. Garcia Schill of Grants Pass, OR:

With respect and gratitude, Maria and I express our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Lance Corporal Juan Garcia Schill. Juan fought courageously to protect the freedom and democracy of our nation. His honorable sacrifice will not be forgotten.

Schill, 20, died July 2 as a result of wounds suffered while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq. Schill was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, United States Marine Corps, Twentynine Palms, CA.

In honor of Lance Cpl. Schill, Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff.

Source: California Governor

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