Two fallen Marines will never be forgotten, Marines, sailors and members of the community came together May 12 aboard Camp Foster for the Cpl. Medina and Lance Cpl. Hug 2nd Annual Memorial run.
On May 12, 2015, Cpl. Sara A. Medina, 23, a combat photographer and Lance Cpl. Jacob A. Hug, 22, a combat videographer assigned to Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Installations Pacific-Marine Corps Base Camp Butler, Japan, died while providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to remote villages in Nepal during operation Sahayogi Haat.
“It’s good that we take the time to remember Marines who made the ultimate sacrifice doing what we all do, what we committed our lives to do,” said Col. William L. Depue, the commanding officer of H&S Bn., MCIPAC. “It allows us to remember and reflect on how important that is.”
This is the second year that this memorial run was held aboard Camp Foster and many other locations within the Marine Corps.
Medina and Hug were vital assets to the combat camera shop they were assigned to, according to Sgt. Scott Smolinski, combat videographer with the battalion. Medina held not only the roles assigned to her but also acted as a mentor to all Marines in the shop. Hug was a Marine who always took what he was taught to a new level and was referred to as a subject matter expert in some circumstances.
“Medina was extremely talented, a very solid Marine,” said Chief Warrant Officer Clinton Runyon, deputy director of combat camera. “Everybody knew her, loved her and trusted her. She was probably one of our absolute best noncommissioned officers that we have had in this unit during the four years I’ve been here. As a corporal, she ran the entire photo section which consisted of 10 to 15 Marines at any given time. She really was extremely well respected, the Marines listened to her. She was a very driven leader.”
While Medina led Marines, being at her second duty station, Hug was at his first, discovering himself as a Marine, self-teaching and working to get better in every aspect a Marine combat videographer could.
“By the time Hug was getting toward the end of his tour, he was extremely efficient,” said Runyon. “He went from this very shy and quiet kid who stood in the corner to being one of the guys we trusted and had with us all of the time. He too was a very solid Marine.”
As all of the Marines, sailors and members of the community gathered for the memorial run, there was a sense of comradery. Marines laughed together, reminisced and helped set up the event.
“I believe the memorial run is a good morale booster and a reminder that we can all be here one day and gone the next,” said Sgt. Suzanne Dickson, a combat photographer with the battalion. “Also, to honor them every year, not just for combat camera, but for Marines all around the Marine Corps.”
Story by Lance Cpl. Danielle Prentice