Marines mourn the loss of a light-hearted friend

8 Apr 2006 | Lance Cpl. Stephen Holt 1st Marine Logistics Group

“He could take the worst job in the world and make it ok,” said Sgt. Nicholas Cunningham with a somber look and grief in his eyes.

Cunningham is just one of the many Marines mourning the loss of Cpl. David A. Bass who was killed April 2, 2006, when the vehicle he was riding in rolled over during a flash flood in western Iraq near Al-Asad Air Base.

A memorial service for Bass, complete with a 21-gun salute, was held here April 8, 2006, in the main chapel of Camp Taqaddum.

Bass, a disbursing pay agent who paid military contracts and servicemembers in Iraq, is remembered as the guy with a big heart, even though he only stood around 5 feet, 3 inches.

“He was the guy who would bring a smile to your face and could turn anything into a joke. He also made sure no one was left out of the group,” said Cpl. Charles Lovern, who has served with Bass every step of his Marine Corps career, from boot camp to this deployment in Iraq.

A native of Nashville, Tenn., Bass used the Marine Corps to gain life experience, travel, and blend in with the natives of southern California.

“When we first got to Camp Pendleton (Calif.), he wouldn’t stop talking about surfing so he bought a $500 surfboard. Only after he strutted down the beach and jumped in the water, did he think of buying a training board. The first time he surfed he couldn’t even get his knee onto the surfboard and kept wiping out. My wife never let him live that down,” said Lovern.

Bass’ character touched everyone, not just his friends. The commanders he worked for appreciated his demeanor and professionalism on the job. 

He always wore a genuine smile and was known for having a positive attitude, along with a quick-witted sense of humor. He was a true professional and was quick to help anyone regardless of rank, said Bass’ commanding officer, Capt. Lisa Doring.

Not only was Bass good at his job, but handling large sums of money seemed to be the right job for the Marine.

“He always talked about how he wanted to be a millionaire and have a huge house just like Hugh Heffner. I guess disbursing was the perfect job for him” added Lovern, budding a smile on his face.

Just as the Marine Corps trusted him with thousands of dollars, his friends trusted him with their closest treasures.

“He never had any bad intentions, I’d trust him to watch after my 19-month-old daughter Alyssa,” said Lovern.

Bass is a graduate of John Overton Comprehensive High School in Nashville, Tenn.  He joined the Marines in 2003 and graduated boot camp at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island in November that year.

After attending the Marine Corps’ financial management school he was assigned to Camp Pendleton’s disbursing office, was promoted to the rank of corporal on January 1, 2006, and deployed less than two months later to Al Asad Air Base where he provided disbursing support to Marines in the Hadithah area.

He is survived by his mother, Tammy Delle, father, John Bass, and brother.

Unit News Archive
1st Marine Logistics Group