SUGERLAND, TX, USA
LCPL, G CO, 2D BN 2D MAR, (RCT-7, MEB-A FWD) 2D MAR DIV, CAMP LEJEUNE, NC
HELMAND PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN 03/11/2010
Garrett W. Gamble, a U.S. Marine known for his big personality and sense of adventure, died Thursday in Afghanistan. He was 20.
“He was a cool guy,” said friend Bryce Ritzen, 20, who enlisted alongside Gamble in June 2007. “Everyone liked Garrett.”
Ritzen said Gamble’s death was especially jolting because he was the kind of infantryman who seemed marked to outpace danger, destined for greatness.
“I always felt Garrett was going to be fine,” said Ritzen, who is on leave but will return to Afghanistan in a few months. “To lose him . I felt like I lost my entire family at once.”
Lance Corporal Gamble, a 2008 graduate of Stephen F. Austin High in Sugar Land, died after stepping on a mine-type device while patrolling during combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. Gamble was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Gamble, a sportsman and hockey player, first explored joining the U.S. Marines while a junior in high school, Ritzen said.
“This was something he wanted to do, even before he got out of high school,” family friend Mary Williams of Fort Bend Marine Moms said. “He was anxious to go.”
Gamble and Ritzen – both 17 when they met at a recruitment gathering - immediately clicked as friends and competed often.
“He beat me running; I beat him in sit-ups,” Ritzen said. “Garrett was always competing.”
The two young men planned to attend boot camp together, but a family wedding forced Ritzen to change dates.
They arrived in Afghanistan months apart and in different divisions. Gamble was deployed in October 2009 as a SAW gunman on combat duty near the front lines.
Gamble is survived by his mother, Michelle Greer; father, Troy Gamble; step-father, Brad Greer; and younger brothers Cody Gamble and Gunner Greer.
Garrett’s portrait is also on Poster 8