Memorial Service For Seabee - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

06/12/03

Memorial Service For Seabee

Thursday in Gulfport the Seabee's said goodbye to Doyle Bollinger with their own memorial service. The 21-year-old died in Iraq, one week ago when an ordnance exploded underneath his vehicle in the town of Al Kut, Iraq; that's about 100 miles southeast of Baghdad.

Bollinger was part of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133's Air detachment, a group of about 150 Seabees assigned to do construction and humanitarian work.

About 150 Seabee's, from different battalions and units, came to remember Doyle Bollinger at Thursday memorial service at the Battalion Center Chapel.

"I'm never going to see him again, and you guys aren't going to see him again but he's going to live on because I knew him, he's going to live on because you guys knew him," Equipment Operator Crystal Dieu of NMCB 133 said.

"Today Petty Officer Bollinger reminds us of the price of freedom, for that I salute him, I salute his family, and I certainly mourn with him, but I celebrate the fact that he is one of us who went and did very good things," Seabee Capt. W.C. McKerall said.

Bollinger's job as a builder kept him doing a lot of different things like building camps or helping out the marines. His job was to make life easier for other troops in the field.  

"You know, when we all put on our pack, and get on the plane and go do these things that we do, we're all very certain that we'll come back, and occasionally that doesn't happen," Seabee Capt. W.C. McKerall said.

Most of the Seabee's attending the service never met Doyle, but came anyway to pay honor to his sacrifice.

"He did give his life in defense of our nation and our ideals of freedom and liberty, and Doyle died doing what he loved doing, being a Seabee, building and fighting," CBC Chaplin G.D. Seely said.

Fighting for freedom, Bollinger is the first Seabee to be killed in a combat zone since the Vietnam War.

By Nathan Mihelich

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