CAMP TAQADDUM, Iraq -- A somber gathering of U.S. service members paid final respects to one of their own in a memorial service here Sept. 13.
Pfc. Vincent M. Frassetto, a fire direction controlman with 2nd Marine Division and augmented to Military Police Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 15, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward) was fatally wounded Sept. 7.
“While we come to this theater knowing it’s a risky business … there’s no way to prepare for this outcome,” said Lt. Col. Joseph P. Granata, commanding officer of CLR-15. “Frassetto will be greatly missed.”
Frassetto, 21, is from Toms River, N.J., and was participating in his second vehicle patrol with the unit.
Capt. Gerardo D. Gaje, commander of Military Police Company, was overcome with emotion as he read Frassetto’s biography and shared his impression of the young Marine.
“I am proud to have known Pfc. Frassetto,” said Gaje. “For the brief time that he crossed our paths and our respective journeys in life, he has certainly had a (profound) impact on us.”
Following the remarks from his command, Marines who lived and worked alongside Frassetto made their way to the podium.
“He had a smile that everybody loved,” said Cpl. Brian P. Trish, a cannoneer with 1st Battalion, 10th Marines. After a long reflective pause, he looked down: “Everybody would smile with him.”
That smile was Frassetto’s trademark. Those who knew him best testified to his all-season, upbeat demeanor, as well as the smile on his military ID.
“Looking back, there isn’t a time I can remember that he wasn’t smiling,” said Lance Cpl. Christopher P. Manuel, cannoneer with 1st Battalion, 10th Marines. “He accepted everyone for who they were.
“Just for the brief time he was here, he had an influence on all of us,” added Manuel. “He picked us up; he helped us.”
Frassetto’s awards include the National Defense Service and Global War on Terrorism medals.