CINCINNATI, OH, USA U.S. Marines SSGT, WPNS CO, 2D BN, 2D MAR, (RCT 8), 2D MAR DIV, CAMP LEJEUNE, NC NASSER WA SALAAM, IRAQ 10/20/2005
Richard was from Cincinnati, Ohio. His full name was Richard Thomas Pummill. Richard was survived by his wife, Chantel, and 3-year-old son, Donald. “He was a fantastic father. He’s dedicated and adores his son. His son looks just like him,” said Linda Pummill, Richard’s mom.
When Richard was 5 years old, he caught a dolphin bigger than he was during a fishing trip in the Caribbean. When he was 9, Pummill fired a shotgun for the first time. “He told me, ‘I want to do it again, Uncle Paul!'” said his uncle, Paul Boland. “He was a tough kid, and he was a tough adult,” said his uncle. “I used to bounce him off the walls when he was a baby. He’d throw up and come back for more.”
Richard, who was based at Camp Lejeune, joined the Marines from Anderson High School in suburban Anderson Township in 1996. He gave up his recruiting job for a combat assignment because he wanted to get involved in the fighting. Maj. David Slack said, “Sgt. Pummill is truly a hero because he’s one of those who put on the uniform.”
His childhood friend, John Morgan Jr., carries Rick’s spare dog tag on his key chain. They met when they were 4 and had been friends ever since. “He was fearless,” Morgan said. “That’s a good word for Rick.” In high school, Richard wrestled, played football and soccer; and Morgan remembers him running up and down stairs to train. “He was so determined,” Morgan said.
Friends thought very highly of Richard. Often times he smiled and told jokes. One friend said, “He was a wonderful person to be around, he could make anyone smile when they had a bad day.” Another said, “Richard is truly a hero to me, I grew up down the road from him and I remember helping him work on his car once and when I heard he died in action I cried. He was a great man and friend.”
Richard received a rifle volley, and his wife, Chantal, accepted his Purple Heart medal and certificate as well as the American flag that had draped his coffin. In addition, Richard’s mother, Lynn Pummill of Anderson Township, also received an American flag.
Richard’s mother Linda said, “My son loved our country. He loved the Marine Corps. He lived to be a Marine.” Richard loved his mother and grandparents who guided him growing up. “He was an awesome person. He loved life. He adored his grandparents,” Linda said. She says she’ll cherish the last phone message he left at home. “Hey Mom, I guess you’re over at Grandma’s or Susan’s. Just wanted to call and say hello. I love you. Bye,” Richard said in the message.