EOD Marine sergeant remembered at memorial service
By: Lance Cpl. Joshua Young
Marines and sailors, friends and family members gathered for a memorial service to remember Sgt. John Patrick Huling at the 11 Area Chapel, June 1.
Huling, 25, an explosive ordinance support technician with 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group died while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan, May 6.
“He was always calm, cool and collective,” said WO-1 Eric Beatie, the EOD 1st Platoon commander, in a statement read at the memorial service by CWO-2 Eric Rudis, the EOD Company operations officer with 7th ESB. “He never wasted an opportunity to enhance his skill or technique, or to learn something new or ask questions.”
“He’s the type of Marine that really makes you look forward to getting up and going to work in the morning, just to see what the day will bring,” Beatie said in his statement.
Huling is a graduate of Moeller High School in Cincinnati. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in March 2006 and attended recruit training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. He reported to the School of Infantry at Camp Lejeune and completed Marine Combat Training in 2006.
“I knew he was a special person from the first time I met him,” said WO-1 John Smith, the ordnance officer of 1st Maintenance Battalion, 1st MLG, who is a long-time friend of Huling’s. “He really cared about everything he did.”
Initially, Huling served as an electro-optical ordnance repairman and deployed to Iraq from July 2007 to Feb. 2008. In 2010 he re-enlisted as an explosive ordnance support technician and immediately began on-the-job training with the EOD team. In November 2011 he graduated from the basic explosive ordnance disposal course at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.. In April, Huling deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
It was a pleasure to be around him,” Smith said. “We deployed to Iraq in 2007 and I can’t think of a better Marine to have around me.”
Huling is survived by his wife, Priscilla, and his parents, John and Deborah Huling.
His awards include the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal with one bronze star, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with one bronze star, Global War on Terrorism Medal, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization International Security Assistance Force Medal-Afghanistan.