Lance Cpl. Luke Yepsen, Texas Warrior
We are United States Marines,
And for two and a quarter centuries
We have defined the standards of courage,
And military prowess.
By USMC General James L. Jones
Describes the elitism of those chosen few
Who wear the title of
United States Marine.
Luke was a young man whose life made a difference.
He personified the core values of the United States Marine Corps
From Kingwood, Texas,
A close-knit community near Houston
Luke was a graduate of Kingwood High School. He known for his big heart
And his ability to live life to the fullest.
He enjoyed traveling
And was proud to have visited 20 countries
In his short lifetime.
Luke deeply cared
About his family back home
And his military family.
His fellow soldiers say that he was more than a friend
He was a brother
Someone everyone wanted to know.
Like many Texans especially those Texans who go to war
Luke chose to enroll in Texas A&M after high school.
During his freshman year,
He made a decision to leave school.
Gary Yepsen - Lukes father
Asked him why he didnt want to graduate from college
And enter the Marine Corps as an officer.
I dont want to go into the Marines to tell people what to do
I want to go into the Marines so they can tell me what to do.
Heres what President Ronald Reagan said about the Marines:
Some people spend an entire lifetime
Wondering if they made a difference in the world.
But, the Marines dont have that problem.
With faith in God and country
Luke enrolled in the United States Marine Corps
He was an assaultman
Later a mechanic,
Which came easy to him because of his love of cars.
He had so much courage and pride, you cant even imagine.
You could hear it in his voice how proud he was, Lukes brother Kyle remembers.
In October of 2006,
Luke was deployed to Iraq
With the 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force.
Amid the violence and anarchy of Iraq
Lukes thoughts never waned
From the security of home and American freedom.
When told by his college roommate that he was praying for him
Luke responded Im praying for you.
On December 14, 2006,
At the age of 20
While fighting the forces of evil
Was killed by enemy action.
For his military service,
Luke was awarded the Purple Heart,
Combat Action Ribbon,
National Defense Service Medal,
Iraq Campaign Medal,
Global War on Terrorism Medal,
And the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
On the morning of December 22, 2006,
Hundreds of Kingwood residents
Lined the streets of this community
Paying tribute to the family of this patriot.
Many carried flags
Others held banners saying Proud to be an American
And Thank You.
As the funeral procession made its way to the church
The residents of Kingwood
With tearful eyes and grateful hearts
Saluted the Yepsen family.
I want to tell you that patriotism
Is alive and well in the United States.
As the Kingwood, TX community
Mourns the loss of Americas son, Luke Yepsen and all those who came before
And will come after him
We know that freedom
Is not free.
We thank this fearless Marine for dedicating his life to America.
Will be etched in the catalog of history
As another Marine who was always faithful.
A sacrifice made for his parents, Shelia and Gary
Fiance Sandra Bruman
The Kingwood community.
And this great Nation.
As we honor the life of Luke Yepsen
Reflect on these timeless words
From the Marine Corps Hymn:
In many a strife
Weve fought for life
And never lost our nerve.
If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heavens scenes,
They will find the streets are guarded
By United States Marines.
I suspect that LCpl Luke Yepsen
Is patrolling the streets of Heaven tonight
And guarding the Pearly Gates
So Semper Fi.
Lance Cpl. Luke Yepsen
Thats Just the Way It Is.