Fallen Marine Lance Cpl. John Farias shares message with friends and family

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Lance Cpl. John Farias, an infantryman with 3rd Platoon, Company B, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, provides security during a June 26 patrol in Afghanistan's Upper Sangin Valley. He died two days later when his squad came under fire, Marine officials said. (Photo by Cpl. Benjamin Crilly)

The Marine Corps released a combat correspondent story today with an immediate emotional punch: One of the Marines quoted in it died in combat two days after being interviewed.

Lance Cpl. John Farias, of 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, told combat correspondent Cpl. Benjamin Crilly on June 26 that 1/5’s new outpost in the Upper Sangin Valley, Patrol Base Faheem, was allowing them to push to the north more frequently, even as they took fire from insurgents regularly. He was buried last week in Texas.

From the story:

“We were too far south,” said Lance Cpl. John F. Farias, 20, an M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon machine gunner for 3rd Plt. “It was important for us to push north and be right in the enemy’s backyard. This is where they are centrally located, so we are able to be constantly breathing down their necks. The more we show our presence up here, the more we can start swaying the people to our side.”

Four paragraphs later, the story acknowledges another key detail: Farias died in combat two days later.

3rd Platoon really is the tip of the spear as the most northern element in the 1/5 battle space. We are in firefights every day. The minute we pass the first tree line there is a 90 percent chance we are going to get contact, which is good because we are here to draw them into contact,” said Farias, from New Braunfels, Texas, who was killed in action in the Upper Sangin Valley when his squad came under fire. “We are acting as a shield for the guys down south and keep pushing the insurgents north.”

A scan of the Internet shows a seven-minute video he made for family June 2 while downrange. He describes the living conditions, his post-deployment plans and the way Sangin was forcing him to grow up.

Farias was laid to rest in his hometown last week. A letter he wrote before his death was read at the funeral, the San Antonio News-Express reported.

“I don’t want anyone to be sad or cry over me,” he wrote, according to the newspaper. “Tell my nieces and nephews to remember me.”

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About Author

I'm a senior writer with Marine Corps Times, covering ground warfare, manpower, weapons acquisition and other beats. I embedded in Afghanistan in spring 2010, and plan to return at least once in 2011.

26 Comments

  1. Betty W. Amerson on

    To the family I wish to say that I am sorry for your loss. Your son John is a good man, believeing that he is now at God’s right hand as a gaurd to heaven. He showed how much he loved his family with this video. May you treasure it always.thank you for his service and yours. My son is a Marine Semper Fi.

  2. john…..you will forever remain in our hearts! we are all too proud of you……LIVE ON BROTHER, till we meet again!

  3. Robert Lemont on

    Sorry for the loss of your loved one. My son is also in country. If the people of this country would just have a glimpse of the treasures that we are loosing everyday over there we would unite and bring them home. So sorry for your loss.

  4. Cyndie Gallegos-Morales on

    My thoughts and prayers go out to the Farias family in their time of grief. As a Marine sister it is very beautiful to see what Love John had for his family. What a wonderful way for him to let his family know that. May God give you comfort I will keep you in my prayers

  5. Adriana Hemphill on

    My hearts goes out to his family! May the good Lord be by your side in this time of need! Your son sounds like a wonderful guy, brave and very loving to all his family and friends! He is in Heaven with our God almighty! We thank him for all his sacrifices in serving our country for our Freedom! My youngest son is also a Marine and is serving at this time in Afghanistan! God be with you all! Loving your son!

  6. Mike Martinez USMC (Retired) on

    True AMERICAN HERO. You will never be forgotten and You will always be loved.

    Semper Fi, Marine.

  7. Norm Rodriguez USMC on

    Just watched the video. What a wonderful young men. Our hearts and prayers go to all his friends and family.

  8. What a great kid. As a father of boys this age, I can not imagine the family’s sense of loss. I am so sorry. My God keep you.

  9. Cheryl Romano on

    May the Lord welcome him home, not quite the home he was expecting to go too so soon. God please give his family the strength to carry this pain. I am a 3 Marines mom, son, daughter and son in law, I am thankful they are safe. I am one of the lucky parents. What a caring young man, taken to soon before his time. Semper Fi

  10. Allie Farias on

    John we all miss you so much and to this day its hard for me realize that you are gone. I am so proud of everything you did for this country and I am so proud to call you my cousin. You will never be forgotten and you will forever have a place in my heart. Love you

  11. Damn. Knowing that he is no longer with us and hearing him talking about his home and the places he wants to go when he gets back, mentioning his birthday in a month, mentioning so many people from his family, I almost teared up. I’m sorry for his family. This country lost a good kid, but its guys like him that will win this war for us. He is exactly what makes this country so special. He’s dedication and service is appreciated.

  12. Lesley Farias on

    John you will be missed terribly….You will never be forgotten!!!You’ve touched so many peoples lives..You will always be our Hero…love you John Felix Farias

  13. Semper Fi John,

    I’m so glad for the family that he took the time to make and send the video back home.

    I

  14. Thank you John, Semper Fi.

    My heart goes out to all who knew and loved John. I’m glad he took the time to make and send you the video. I know he was a good man as my son was an infantry officer in the USMC. ( Recently discharged)

    John enlisted so he could make a difference as only The Few, The proud, The Marines can. He did!

    John, you will live on in the hearts of us all. You made the world a better place.

  15. Jaquita Mance on

    Let me first start by saying thank you to the family. I am a wife of a marine who is currently with 1/5 also, your sons sacrifice was not in vein, and he will always be apart of a brotherhood that will keep his name living on forever, my prayers are with you and your family at this time, your son is truly home now, because to absent from the body is to be present with lord semper fi and god bless you all

  16. Cheryl Brennan on

    I found your story and watched your video and I shed a few tears this morning. As a Marine mom, I feel a connection and I want you to be remembered with honor and pride. Rest in peace, Marine.

  17. Mike Bodenstein on

    Uncommon valor is a common virtue for Marines. You fought the good fight and we honor you for the ultimate sacrifice that you made for our freedom. I may not have ever met you but we are brothers by the common bond we share as Marines. May God Bless and comfort your family. Please know that this Marine is in heaven enjoying a much better life. For there he awaits your arrival with arms open. Semper Fi! God, Country and Corps!

  18. Penny Farias on

    My dear boy, what a good article. You were a good Marine and a wonderful son. We couldn’t of asked for more. Please know that we love you and miss you. Semper Fi! Mom

  19. Maureen Tuohy on

    More than your nieces and nephews will remember you. Even those of us who never met you care. Your service helped protect us all. Semper Fi!

  20. hello to my friends, that life difficult thing, but courage is the way to continue living in this world and especially the trust pay to my heart …………. bob

  21. Stephen McLellan on

    Mr. and Mrs. Farias: What a humble, unselfish marine and son; obvious much more concerned about others than himself.

    With deepest respect and sympathy,

    Stephen McLellan CPO,USN

  22. To John’s family and friends, may our dear Lord comfort you during this huge loss in your lives. John is a hero, brave and dedicated. My son too is a Marine, just a rookie. Watching this just proves what strength, courage and honor these Marines have. God will send you peace and comfort and John will always live on in your hearts as a hero who died for all of our freedom.

  23. To the Farias family my sincere condolences on the loss of your Son! What a honor to get to meet and just chat with you! Today at work was pretty tough and I just remember reaching down and playing with my bracelet and made me realize it could be worst! I thank you for sharing your angel not only with me but with all the folks out there he has touched! May God continue to hold you all in his loving arms and help you along the way to give you the continued strenghth that you show all of us! Hugs Bea

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