- 25 years old
- Date of birth: May 21, 1983
- Date of passing: Mar 4, 2009
|Let the memory of Justin be with us forever|
A U.S. Marine reservist, working in Iraq for a private defense contractor, died early this month.
Justin Pope, 25, of Commerce Township died March 5 in Irbil in northern Iraq. He was an employee of the Falls Church, Va.-based DynCorp International and was working under the company’s World Wide Protective Services contract with the U.S. State Department. His job involved protecting U.S. diplomats. Justin, 25, was a brother to five siblings, a father to an 8 year-old boy Gabriel, and a husband.
Southfield television station WJBK says Pope had served two tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and was assigned to protect U.S. diplomats in Kirkuk when he was killed by sniper fire.
Friday night, he was remembered as a kind and brave man who wanted to serve his country. A crowd of more than 100 people gathered to celebrate his life. The Riverview police and fire departments also joined the vigil. It was an evening of prayers, candles and crying.
“Ever since he was twelve years old, his dream was to become a Marine and serve his country and he did complete his dream,” said brother Kevin Pope.
“Everybody loved Justin. A lot of people idolized him and we’re going to miss him. He’s a fighter for freedom and a fighter for God. Now, he’s a fighter with God,” Pope said.
At the vigil, family members and friends shared stories about Justin Pope. They called him a spontaneous jokester who could crack up an entire room with laughter. His brother and father shared an emotional moment. Justin told them his group found a special needs child chained to a wall. He said they freed the child and then re-united him with his family.
Justin also told his family many Americans would not believe what terrorists are doing to innocent people in Iraq.
My son Justin since he was a very young boy about 7 years old always
told us he wanted to be in the military and serve his country. We
thought he would out grow that...however as Justin became older his
desire grew stronger. After graduating from high school in 2002 he
enlisted with a strong mind and a servant's heart. Justin loved his
family and friends and loved to help children and people all over the
world and he did. We have heard countless stories till this day of his
love for people in other countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq and all
of the things he would do such as give a family a christmas over
there! Along with the love for family, friends, country and fellow man
Justin loved to play hockey, hike,and throw countless family and
friends get togethers at his home such as halloween parties ...he was
quite the host. He loved most of all to spend special time with his
little boy Gabriel who was the love of his life and you would see it
all over his face! Justin loved to read and was in the midst of writing
a book himself..which we have the pleasure to have and is so very
special to us! There is so very much to say about Justin and his
interests and hobbies....Justin lived to 25 years old however he lived
life to the fullest loving everything and everyone whom he came in
contact with. Some men may live to 100 but Justin did more than most
men his age. He accomplished so vey much and touched so many lives and
what he put his mind too he did and what goals he set forth he did. He
is a constant inspiration to myself, family, and friends...I go on
each day trying to live the way my son did fearless, loving , faith in
our lord, serving our mankind and mostlly standing up and for those
who cannot do it themselves. I know I probably wrote a bit much for
you on here...but when it comes to writing about my son Justin its
never enough and it does not describe enough the wonderful awesome
person and son that he was to me and our family, friends, the world!!!
Thank you, Patricia~ Proud Mother of Cpl Justin P Pope
All Medals Received
1.Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal
2.Navy Unit Commendation
3.Meritourious Unit commendation
4.Good Conduct medal
5.National defense service medal
6.Iraq campaighnmedal w/2 bronze campaighn stars.
7.Global war on terrorism Expeditionary Medal
8.Global war on terrorism Service Medal.
9.Sea Service Deployment Ribbon w/ 2 bronze stars.
All Awards Received
Rifle Expert Badge
Pistol expert Badge
Have a suggestion for us?