COLUMBUS, IN, US
U.S. Marine Corps
CPL, 2D BN, 9TH MAR, (RCT-7, I MEF FWD), 2D MAR DIV, CAMP LEJEUNE, NC
09/08/2010, HELMAND PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN
An Indiana service member died this week in fighting in the Middle East. Marine Corporal John C. Bishop, 25, of Columbus was shot in the chest Sept. 8 while in combat in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was on his first tour to Afghanistan after serving twice in Iraq.
Bishop’s mother, Sarah Thomas, learned of her son’s death Sept. 8 just hours after receiving a letter from him. On Sept. 9, she and her older son, Tyson Bishop, 35, of Indianapolis packed into a car and headed to Delaware, where Bishop’s flag-draped coffin was due to arrive at Dover Air Force Base.
Bishop shipped off to Afghanistan not long after the Fourth of July, when he and his family spent time fishing along the Ohio River in Madison. He expected to be home in February.
He had reservations about another tour in the battle zone, his mother said.
“It was the Marine in him,” she said of his ability to keep going.
Bishop had known since he was a youngster that he was going to be a Marine. The bug bit him when Tyson headed off to the Marines in 1993. Bishop graduated from Southwestern Shelby High School in 2003 and went straight into the Corps. He and his older brother would banter about who was the tougher Marine.
“They had such a good time,” their mother said. “When they grew up, they were the best of buds — it was just so awesome.”
It was in the Marines, too, that Bishop met his wife, Crystle. He was a weapons instructor at Camp Lejeune, N.C., and she was an ammunition clerk. The couple married less than a year ago and was awaiting the birth of a daughter next month. Bishop also has a 4-year-old son, K’sean (drawn in the other portrait leaving his father’s funeral.)
His tour in Afghanistan was to be his last, as Bishop planned on leaving the military and going to college to be a conservation officer. For a young man who rarely took life seriously, he was looking forward to starting another chapter, his mother said.
“He was just so ecstatic about it all,” she said.