Memorial service held for Poplar Bluff Marine, 3 others - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Memorial service held for Poplar Bluff Marine, 3 others

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(Source: Marine Corps Base at Camp Pendleton/Flickr) (Source: Marine Corps Base at Camp Pendleton/Flickr)
(Source: Marine Corps Base at Camp Pendleton/Flickr) (Source: Marine Corps Base at Camp Pendleton/Flickr)
POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) -

A memorial service was held at Camp Pendleton at 10 a.m. on Nov. 21 in honor of Gunnery Sgt. Gregory J. Mullins, Staff Sgt. Mathew R. Marsh, Staff Sgt. Eric W. Summers and Sgt. Miguel Ortiz.

In attendance were families of the Marines, senior base leadership and the Commandant and First Lady of the Marine Corps, General James F. Amos and his wife, Bonnie Amos. Both met with each of the families before the ceremony.

"Today, we pause for a moment to remember our fallen comrades: their lives, service and sacrifice. We, their Marine family, mourn alongside their loved ones. We will always remember their commitment and devotion to duty," said Brig. Gen. John W. Bullard, Commanding General, Marine Corps Installations West - Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

Scripture was read, and taps was also played.

Staff Sgt. Eric Summers, 32, of Poplar Bluff was one of those killed in an explosion

According to the Marine Corps, four Explosive Ordnance Disposal Marines, including Summers, were killed in an explosion around 11 a.m. Wednesday during range maintenance operations to dispose of unexploded ordnance in the Zulu impact area aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

Summers graduated from Poplar Bluff High School in 1999, attended Three Rivers College before enlisting and spent 13 years in the Marines.

He is survived by his wife and two-year-old daughter.

According to Mayor Ed DeGaris, Summers' mother and father are on their way to California now. DeGaris is also a friend of the family.

Summers was an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician assigned to the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Platoon, Airfield Operations Company, Marine Wing Support Squadron 372, Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, stationed aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

He joined the Marine Corps in July 2000, and was promoted to his current rank in October 2010.

Summers' awards include three Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, three Marine Corps Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and NATO Medal-ISAF Afghanistan. He deployed to Kuwait in 2003, Iraq in 2004 and three times to Afghanistan in 2009, 2011 and 2012 as a team leader.

The Marine Corps said the Zulu impact area is used for firing explosive munitions such as grenades, mortars, artillery and rockets and for dropping munitions from aircraft. They say that while live-fire training was ongoing at the adjacent Whiskey impact area, there was no live-fire training being conducted Wednesday in the Zulu area.

"Today, our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the Marines we lost yesterday. Explosive Ordnance Disposal is a small and tight-knit community, not just in the Marine Corps, but in the entire US military. Our focus now is on ensuring these families receive the help and support they need," said Brig. Gen. John W. Bullard, Commanding General, Marine Corps Installations West - Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

The Marin Corps said the cause of the accident is currently under investigation.

According to the Marine Corps, one Navy Hospital Corpsman and two Marines nearby were released after receiving medical treatment at the scene.

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