MOSCOW, PA, US
U.S. Marine Corps
SSGT, 2D MARINE SPECIAL OPERATIONS BN, CAMP LEJEUNE, NC
07/31/2011, HERAT, AFGHANISTAN
Mr. Tom Dolphin, Staff Sergeant Dolphin’s dad who served in the Navy from 1966 to 1970, explained that, “(He) Staff Sergeant Dolphin was a Marine from 8 years old because he declared it.”
“When he found out at 8 years old that he couldn’t be a fighter pilot” because his vision wasn’t 20/20, he shot back with a solution: “I’ll be a Marine.”
“He went to Space Camp at 9 years-old. He was a Civil Air Patrol member at 13. At the time, he was small, so they couldn’t find uniforms to fit him,” explained Mr. Dolphin, laughing through his tears.
“He had every possible piece of equipment that a civilian can get from the military: chemical suit, night vision glasses. He saved $210 to buy these things and it took a couple years.”
“He wore fatigues to school all the time. When the school was discussing the possibility of uniforms, they said, ‘Well, wait a minute. What are we going to do with Patrick Dolphin, because he already has his.”
And at 17, Staff Sergeant Dolphin signed up to be a Marine. Having graduated from North Pocono High School in 2000, Patrick knew exactly where he was headed.
Staff Sergeant Dolphin came from a long line of Navy men. And Mr. Dolphin couldn’t resist needling his son. “With a name like Dolphin” Patrick was destined to be a sailor.
“I told him: If it wasn’t for the Navy, the Marines wouldn’t be able to get anywhere. But he told me: If the Martz bus line could float, we wouldn’t need the Navy.”
“He was a 6 foot 3 1⁄2 inch, square jawed, blonde haired, blue eyed Marine that loved his job.”
Staff Sergeant Dolphin trained and completed Basic Reconnaissance School, Ranger Jump School, Sniper School, Scuba School, Deep Sea Dive School, Survival School, Crane Armament Course, and other programs. Patrick would have served 12 years in the Marines in October, 2011, Mr. Dolphin added. This was to have been Staff Sergeant Dolphin’s last tour overseas.
“He wanted to be stateside training our boys.” And he wanted to be home with his wife Lindsey to start a family. Mr. Dolphin worries about Lindsey and how she will get through her grief, “What I told her was: He’s not gone. He’s still with us. He is.”
Patrick and Lindsey married in 2003. “She’s just as much a Marine as Patrick was,” Mr. Dolphin said. All of 4’9’’ compared to Patrick’s 6’ 3’’, Mr. Dolphin knew she was “the perfect match” for his son.
Mr. Dolphin feels now that his mission “is to make a statement about how we forget that we’re at war. We have kids over there dying for us that we don’t give it a second though because of our daily lives. The sacrifices that they go through are unmatched. And Patrick always wanted something more for his men. The biggest thing that we can give them is our thoughts on a daily basis and support.”