Salute to Service - LCpl Michael Geary
United States Marine Corps
August 6, 1990 – December 10, 2010
Represented by Cole Croston, Cordarrelle Patterson, and Chad O'Shea
United States Marine Corps Lance Corporal Michael E. Geary was born in Massachusetts on August 6, 1990. He moved to Derry, New Hampshire, after losing his father at a young age. Growing up without a father, Michael was raised by his extended family and developed a protective instinct for others. He was deeply impacted by the events of 9/11 and became interested in joining the armed forces to defend his country. Michael knew that he wanted to join the Marines and worked diligently through high school to get into peak shape. He ran and exercised before and after school, even challenging his recruiters to keep up. Michael encouraged many fellow students to better themselves, motivating several to go on to successful careers in the military.
LCpl Geary was deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan, with the 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force, based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina in the summer of 2010, experiencing daily attacks while on patrol. Through the daily grind and appalling conditions, Michael uplifted the spirits his fellow Marines through his sense of humor and loyalty. He consistently volunteered for point duty, leading to a sniper taking Michael's life during an ambush on December 10, 2010. His awards include the Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
Michael's New England roots were a source of personal pride. An avid fan of both the Bruins and Patriots, Michael fostered sports rivalries with his fellow Marines from across the US as a way to relieve the stress of combat and maintain their connection to home. The friendly competition these rivalries fostered continue to be some of the fondest memories retained by these Marines as they think back to the hardships endured in Afghanistan. Those who knew him will never be the same.
At Michael's visitation and funeral, so many stories emerged about how Michael reached into the lives of those around him in the Marines and at school where he encouraged them and gave them vision for their lives. Michael's empathy and love for others are the underpinnings of the life choices he made, choices which eventually led to the loss of his own life for the sake of others. Michael's loss forever leaves a hole in the hearts of those who had the blessing of knowing him the few short years he lived on this earth.