I Thessalonians 4: 13-But we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning them that fall asleep; that ye sorrow not, even as the rest, who have no hope. 14-For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also that are fallen asleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15-For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we that are alive, that are left unto the coming of the Lord, shall in no wise precede them that are fallen asleep. 16-For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first; 17-then we that are alive, that are left, shall together with them be caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  (Eulogy text - Rev. Cook)


He laid so peacefully in the dapper gray double-breasted suit, crisp white shirt, fancy red tie, white carnation and manicured beard;  the mouth on his handsome face reminding me of  his countless humorous tales...

According to Gary, he and I first met in Vietnam aboard a Marine CH-46 helicopter.  He would introduce me to his family and friends as the guy who "pushed me off the helicopter before it landed".  Most called him Gary, Rev. Cook called Gary "Big", he called Cook "Bigger" and he called me "Stump".  Gary and I  often talked about Vietnam and other common trying situations.  In the Marine Corp he was a machine gunner; in Vietnam he named his machine gun "Why".  He'd ask "Why" many question: "Why am I over here?, Why are they shooting at me? Why can't I bath today? Why - why - why".  It was his unique way of dealing with that most trying situation.  We all know that Gary did not lack for courage.  So it was most fitting that his eulogy be delivered in a most courageous fashion by his confidant and close friend Rev. Reginald "Bigger" Cook.

I will always remember his genius automotive trouble-shooting ability, his master welding exploits and the grand sense of humor.

As the Marine Corps seven man Honor Guard fired its 21-gun salute, and the distant Navy bugler sweetly sounded taps, I thanked God for -- and bid farewell to -- a very special friend  and a brave fellow Marine.

~Semper Fi~

Ralph "Stump" Herbin