YONKERS, NY, U.S.A. U.S. MARINE CORPS LCPL,E CO,2DBN,3DMAR,(RCT-3, 2D MEB FWD),3DMARDIV, MCB KANEOHE BAY, HI 09/24/2009, DELARAM, AFGHANISTAN
LCPL John Joel Malone was a man with a bright smile whose favorite phrase was “don’t worry”.
“He really wanted to join the military because he wanted a career and to help his mother and siblings,” his grandmother, Maria Suarez said. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 impelled him to join the Marines Corps, to defend his country.
LCPL Malone was a Gorton High School graduate “would light up the room,” family and friends said. John grew up in Mahopac, moved to Yonkers to attend high school. LCPL Malone loved music and often wore a smile on his face. He was committed to his family and serving his country. He had a special way about him that earned him many friends.
“John is a great guy,” said Zahara Majeed, a friend. “You would never have a bad day because he would always make you smile.”
LCPL Malone was proud of his military service and the opportunities that came with being in the Marines, friends said. “He loved it,” Zahara Majeed said. “It changed him. He got to see the world, something that he was never going to do if he never got into the military.”
But most of all, Malone, who last year served in Iraq, wanted to help protect his country and family.
“He had family in the Marines, so what he said was, ‘Basically, they’re trying to kill my family,’ and he wanted to go and protect people he loved — the country and everything,” said Josh Blumenstetter a friend who knew John growing up.
“He was one of the most popular guys in town. Everybody loved him,” Charles Blumenstetter added.
Marco Kilcawley, served in the same company as John in Afghanistan,“We went to Iraq together. We went to Afghanistan together. He was an all-around good Marine. He made everyone happy, even when we were around the field cold and miserable.”.
Maria Suarez and John’s mother, Maria Esther Pacheco, remember his sense of humor, his artistic talents, his love of baking and the rap music he wrote and produced. The women tell his nieces and nephews about the caring man he was. They explain that some of them have his smile, his eyes and his fondness for singing and dancing.
John wrote to his grandmother on Mother’s Day 1977: “You lifted me up when I was little.”