MOUNT PLEASANT, MI, USA U.S. Marines LCPL, 7TH ESB, (CSSB-1, CSSG-11), 1ST FSSG, CAMP PENDLETON, CA SOUTHEAST OF FALLUJAH, IRAQ 11/13/2004
“Sit tall in the saddle, hold your head up high, keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky, Live like you ain’t afraid to die, don’t be scared, just enjoy the ride”. Words from a pop song describe well Lance Corporal Justin Ellsworth. Justin had multiple nicknames. He’d answer to “Little Buddy” or “Boomer” so named by his father. He was known as “Tweeder” to many of his Marine friends. Justin Ellsworth grew up in Wixom, Grand Rapids and Mount Pleasant, Michigan where he has relatives. He was a fun-filled and adventurous personality and was not afraid to try something to see if he could do it. He was a caring and appreciative son and brother. Justin wanted to take his family down the Chippewa River for a getaway outing and fun with family and friends included for Justin having Ruffles potato chips and French Onion dip on Friday or Saturday nights watching the traffic go by.
Justin Ellsworth had always wanted to be a Marine and joined the Marine Corps before he graduated from Mount Pleasant High School in June 2003. Shortly after graduation he enlisted. Lance Corporal Ellsworth, who was trained in handling explosives, was part of a reconnaissance force that helped to evacuate civilians from Fallujah.
Besides his father, the Marine is survived by mother Tracy; who lives in Colorado, his step-mother Deborah and three brothers and a sister. Lance Corporal Ellsworth died November 13, 2004 as a result of enemy action in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He was assigned to Combat Service Support Battalion 1, Combat Service Support Group 11, 1st Force Service Support Group, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California. Eleven Marines were lost and more would have perished were it not for Justin’s actions. He was awarded the Bronze Star for valor.
A monument to honor Justin was built in September of 2005 and funded by citizens of Mt. Pleasant, MI. He will be a hero to the thousands of lives he touched on this earth.