Sergeant Merlin German (USMC)

merlinvsSergeant Merlin German (USMC) was born in Manhattan, New York on Nov. 15, 1985. He enlisted in the Marine Corps 08 September 2003 and received a meritorious promotion to Private First Class out of boot camp. in April 2004, Sergeant German transferred to his first permanent duty station, 5th Battalion, 11th Marines, 1st Marine Division where he served as a Field Artillery Cannoneer.

Shortly after, Sergeant German was assigned to his unit, he was sent to Machine gunner’s Course. Among the Corporals and Sergeants, he was the only Private First Class to attend the course. Sergeant German’s outstanding leadership skills helped him to graduate second in his class.

In September 2004, Sergeant German’s unit was attached to 2nd Battalion, 11th Marines and became part of Weapons Platoon for convoy security. His unit was charged with safely transporting prisoners and cargo, and Sgt. German participated in over 150 successful missions. Sergeant German’s Platoon Sergeant and Company Commander applauded him for his keen sense of spotting improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

In the first six months of deployment, Sergeant German found 8 IEDs without anyone sustaining injuries. On 21 February 2005, Sergeant German’s squad was on a mission to recon an unknown route from Jordan to Baghdad. While en route to Camp Ramadi, Sergeant German spotted an IED while standing in the turret at his Mk-19 machine gun. With no time to alert the driver, their HUMVEE was hit on a left side by a gas-fed shape charge explosive. Sergeant German was blown clear of the vehicle, and his fellow Marines helped extinguish the flames that had quickly burned 97% of his total body surface area.

Sergeant German was immediately transported to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany where doctors stated Sergeant German had NO chance of living. He had a quick turn-around flight to the burn unit at Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio and he arrived on 25 February 2005. He was cared for as an inpatient for 17 months, and then resided as a guest of the Fisher House before purchasing his own home in San Antonio.

He fought bravely for more than three years but died in the hospital on Friday, while recovering from his most recent operation.

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