Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

Remembering the servicemembers who died in the service of their country.

Marine Gunnery Sgt. Terry W. Ball, Jr.

36, of East Peoria, Illinois.
Ball died from wounds received as a result of an explosion while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Al Karmah, Iraq, on June 12, 2005. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Died on August 5, 2005.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Marine Gunnery Sgt. Terry W. Ball, Jr..


Contributions to the Families of the Fallen


Leave a message in memory of this servicemember, and/or to the loved ones left behind.

Please report inappropriate messages

"GySgt Ball was my heavy in Platoon 2130 at Parris Island. I was the scribe and spent a lot of time with Sgt Ball - making the DI daily cards, sick call, bed rest, numbers and schedules. He was a leader and what I thought every NCO would be. I remember being in BWT - I had just gotten my butt chewed for something from the Senior. Went back to my tent and I had gotten a letter from my sister with a picture of me and her at my college graduation. I hadn’t really thought about family in 11 weeks. I started to cry. Sgt Ball had come over to check on me after the butt chewing (The butt chewing was about information I had passed to Sgt Ball - but it didn’t get to the Senior). - he saw me crying and dropped the DI and said everyone gets an butt chewing - why the heck was I crying - I told him it was the letter. He pulled me to the side and told me to fix myself. He could have dug into me - chewed me some more - but he let me fix myself so no one else would see. I kept up with him through the years. I went to OCS and reached out to him as a Lt and Capt - we would go back and forth. The Marine Corps sent me to Law School from 03-06. When I got back to the fleet I tried to find him. I couldn’t. I was a defense attorney and was bringing a client back to 3/8 to check back in after going UA and I saw the wall of heroes - there was GySgt Ball’s picture. I then realized why I couldn’t find him. And that the Ball Center was named after him. I soon after deployed with 2/8 to Ramadi. I remember him telling me at boot camp all of us would deploy sooner or later and to stay ready. This man was my first example of what a Marine and NCO was while leading. Not many came close to him in my 20 year career. He made a difference in my life and was a hero."
Jayson Durden of Lakeland, FL

"I was a squad leader in the best dog gone platoon on the island during my time in 1995. I believe this was Sgt (at the time) Balls first platoon. Platoon 2005. We kicked a whole lotta *. I’m from Maine with a Boston accent. Sgt Ball especially lost his baring a few times hearing my accent. I loved him in every way. He truly LEAD BY EXAMPLE. My only problem was swim qual. Where I earned the nickname ROCK because according to the instructors I was the only recruit in history that couldn’t float. Sgt Ball found out and from that very day until today I adopted the name all the way to the All Corps Power Team and the Powerlifting Hall of Fame. Inducted as Sgt Rock. All because Sgt Ball helped a 175lb Recruit turn it into a positive and 14 world titles for the best damn team in the world. Team USA 🇺🇸. I regret not having the chance to thank him. Tears run down my face as I shake as I write because every time I read this list I find another brother. Sgt Ball you ARE what the Oxford dictionary shows under Marine. I owe my entire life to this man I dare call my brother. I just know he’d be proud to know I DID bring The All Corps Power Team back. I DID get rated 5.0/5.0. At 8th and I. And HQMQ. And I DID reach the HOF. He’s a tank. We’d talk lifting discretely. Off record 😉. God I feel like if I stop typing that it’s disrespectful. If ANYONE was in platoon 2005 and knows what happened to Senior DI SGT SCOTT REEEVES please contact me? I’m NOT hijacking this thread. I signed a book deal about the 22 Heroes we lose a day from survivors guilt and I’m submitting a bill for Congress to recognize people like Sgt Ball ad Heroes. National Disabled Heroes Day. Past and present. I will not debate with anyone that we already have Veterans Day and that’s enough. I’ll be thinking about Sgt Ball everyday for the rest of my life as a HERO. He should be remembered as such.
All gave some
Some gave all

It’s better to die on your feet
Then live on your knees

Semper Fidelis
Sgt Rock USMC
Jesus. I pray you hold a special place for my hero. I know heaven is a better place now. Squared away. And better protected. RIP GUNNY BALL

Sgt Brent Rock Howard of Fairbanks, Maine

"I only knew him through stories from my friends in 3/8 but I am eternally grateful for his sacrifice.
Hope of Columbia, MD

"It saddens me to see one of me Drill instructors like this, i was unaware that GYSGT Ball had passed away 10 yrs ago. I was one of his recruits in plt 2036.
RIP Gunny."
J. Clerveaux


"I am the Illinois coordinator for Home of the Brave Quilts. We honor service members who have died in the war on terrorism. I would be honored to present your family with a quilt in memory of Terry. Please contact me if you are interested. There is no cost to you. Please see our website for more information www.homeofthebravequilts.com."
Barbara Urick barbaraurick@prodigy.net of Winfield, IL

"Gunny Ball was my idol and my "father" away from home in the Marine Corps while serving with 3/8 2nd Mar Div during OIF III. He always kept me motivated and squared away. It has been 7 years since he gave his life for his country and for that, on the Corps B-Day today, I want to say SEMPER FI. You have been and always will be missed. Your training, encouragement and pro-active counseling still follows me to this day and I want you to know that I would not be the Marine veteran I am today without a leader-mentor-idol like yourself.

To his family, Gy. Sgt. Ball was a Marine that every junior Marine looked up to and wanted to eventually be. Even outside the Corps, myself and many other Marines wanted to live up to the standards that he set for himself and displayed. Please know that his memory has lived on with almost every Marine that served under him in 3/8.

Every year on the Marine Corps birthday I toast a beer to you and try to hold my head high. This year will not be different. Oorah Gunny. Semper Fidelis."
LCPL - Z of Indianapolis, Indiana

"Wow. I was trying to locate my old D.I.'s and I did not expect this. Sgt Ball is how I knew him with platoon 2036. He was a tough man. I remember him saying, You may not be the smartest but you'll be the strongest recruits. I remember at graduation, he told me this is a small world and I will be seeing you again. Wow. How terrible to hear the news. You were a good man. Thank you for being a part of my adventure of becoming a Marine. Semper Fi. Splawnjb@gmail.com"
Baretta Splawn 2036/ '95 of Taylors, SC

"Terry you are missed and will always be remembered!"
Mike Hughes of Raleigh, NC

"Gunny Ball was my 'heavy' at PI in the summer of 1995. Tomorrow is the 16th anniversary of Platoon 2036 graduating and I was reminiscing with another Marine from that platoon so I thought I would try to find 'Sgt.' Ball. I am numb right now to find out one of the Marines who made me what I am today was KIA 5 years ago. The next time I'm near Arlington I will be making a special trip to see my old DI and say thanks. My absolute best goes out to his family and the Marines who served with him. In boot camp, I admit that I was no fan of the bulldog, but I damn well respected him (and still do today)!"
Cpl Michael Knorr (1995-99) of Rochester, NY

"Rest in peace to one of the greatest marines I know. Truly a marines marine. The first time i heard mortar fire ; you told me it was the sound of freedom.
When we complain your listening ear and guidance was everything positive and motivating.Rest in peace."
Sgt. Ronald E Long Jr of Prince George Va

"I was one of Gysgt cpl at 3/8 I could go on and on about Gysgt Ball what a mentor and leader of marines.Gone but never forgotten!!! Semper Fi Rest Gunny. Does any one have any information on foundations or college funds for Gysgt kids that a contribution can be made?"
Adam O'Neal of Augusta

"Terry, buddy, you were one of the most wonderful friends, man and Marine that I ever knew! I miss your hugs and your smile! Semper Fi, Devil Dog! This MP will never forget you!!"
Swit of MI

"In Kharma I was brand new to the fleet, served under Gunny the whole time as a Mortarman/ Hq/ convoy rear gunner.. the leadership you taught us Marines under you was finer than any other SNCO I ever encountered. You taught me and the rest of us what it meant to be a Marine, and taught us how to fight and be a man. "O'Hara your a goofy S.O.B. you know that?" R.I.P. Gunny I'll never forget you."
Lcpl. Austin "Gusbus" O'Hara of 3/8 I. Co 12-04 thru 5-08

"I remember in Karmah, me being a LCpl and trying to stay invisable. Gunny would talk and ask me how i was. what kind of chew do you want? I don't care, I'd say. Come on what kind do you want? Copenhagen! couple minutes later, Gunny comes out and tosses me a couple of cans. He treated me like someone of a higher rank. He actually cared about everyone. Some Marines even called me little Ball. I was proud to fight for someone like that. The Marines need more people like him. GUNNY you will never be forgotten."
LCpl Curt Smith of USA

"Gunnery Sergeant Terry W Ball, Jr was one of the best mortar men and leaders of Marines I ever served with. Rest in Peace Gunnery Sergeant."
Sergeant James Carl of Richmond, MI, USA

"From the day i was picked up from receiving in 1996 on PI by Sgt Terry Ball, he was the Marine that i tried to be. He was my Senior Drill instructor and will always be remembered as the outstanding leader that he was. RIP"
SSgt Gregory Rogers of MALS-29 MCAS Yuma

"To the Family of Terry Ball, I knew Terry when we were both Sergeants at the School of Infantry. I played a little football with him too. He was definitely a "Marine's Marine". Very squared away and hard as nails. Very saddened by his death. He is not forgotten."
Bob Lasher of Charlotte, NC

"GySgt Ball,it was great talking with you today. SF from Arlington,"
Towles of Quantico, Va.

"Gunny Ball was the epitomy of a Marine. He grunted like a bulldog when he breathed and snarled when he barked orders. In his legacy the younger marines do impersonations of him talking in third person, because he rates it. He sent me on errends to the Px to get him pipe tobacco, and i never did get the right flavor. The look on his face when i brought it back to him was priceless. He mocked old Lance Corporal Thompson when Tommy was laughing at a joke Gunny made, and gunny quipped "what are you laughin at Thompson, your straight out of cash sales". You didnt have to go on that patrol that day, but you did because you hated when your Marines went outside friendly lines without you. You are a true hero and i am honored to have served with you and the rest of the warriors from 3/8 India Co.
30 Sept 09"
Sgt Steven Giannetto of Rochester NY

"I was a young lance corporal when Gunny Ball was 3/8 India's Co.Gunny. He was one hell of a company gunny...firm, but fair...and he brought the company together. i always recall him saying, "you gotta fight the good fight", and always stressed to look out for the marines to your left and to your right. i know ill never do him justice, but i carry with me the leadership he exemplified here at SOI for the young marines.

the fondest memory i have of him in iraq was that he always asked for banana milk, whenever we had a resupply of iraqi milk and water.

i dont drink, so instead, everytime i drink banana milk, ill think of you gunny. we all miss you "poppa bear"."
Sgt. Ahn, George J of Camp Geiger, NC

"”Honor and Remember” - “Project Compassion” We love our Soldiers! We love our country and we cannot express enough love and compassion to the families of our fallen heroes. War does not discriminate – It breaks our hearts to see the faces of the fallen. We want to give this gift to you. We are a 501c3 nonprofit organization! Over 1,550 portraits have been completed and shipped to the parents and or spouse - at no cost as this is a gift from one American to another!
Contact us directly at Projectcompassion@manti.com or go to www.heropaintings.com . If you have already had a portrait completed, we pray that you are enjoying the portrait and God Bless You.
Sincerely and Respectfully,
Kenna/Project Compassion of Manti, Utah USA

Sandra Lee Burdick of Gallatin TN, Sumner county

"GySgt Ball...... One heck hell of a man, One Hell of a Marine. He was my Company Gunyy for 3/8 India Company. I can not express the amount of change this Marine has made in me and many of the Marines I served with. Any time you are on Camp Lejeune, stop by the GySgt Terry Ball Center and drink his favorite beer.. a good old Guinness."
Sgt Brian M Tracey of Lake Forest Ca

"I knew GySgt Ball well. I served with him in 3/8. He was a good man, awesome Marine and is a true American Hero. He will be missed greatly."
Richard Russ of Ocala, FL USA

"i knew Terry as a young lance corporal and corporal while seving in 1st Bn 2nd Mar. alpha company we were in the first gulf war and done an Okinawa pump together .i still have many great memories and photos.He truly was one of the very best Marines i ever served with.My prayers and love to all his family."
richard banks Cpl(ret) of weavervillle,N.C.

"Fellow 3/8 Warriors,
Today I ask that you bow your head and offer a moment of silence on behalf of GySgt Terry W. Ball USMC. Three years ago today, while serving in Al Karmah, Iraq, GySgt Ball made the ultimate sacrifice so that we can continue to live the life that we so dearly love. He was the epitome of a Combat Leader; fearless and dedicated to mission accomplishment; brutal but fair to all of his Marines. He was a mentor to us all, a deciated and loving family man, and a friend. His legacy will live on in all of us for as long as we continue to remember the impact that he has made in our lives.

I was GySgt Ball's Co 1stSgt in Haiti and Al Karmah, Iraq. Many of us are standing here today because of his actions. GySgt Ball we miss you and we will never forget you!!"
SgtMaj Edgardo M. Guzman of 4th AABn, Tampa, Fl

"Fellow 3/8 Warriors,
Today I ask that you bow your head and offer a moment of silence on behalf of GySgt Terry W. Ball USMC. Three years ago today, while serving in Al Karmah, Iraq, GySgt Ball made the ultimate sacrifice so that we can continue to live the life that we so dearly love. He was the epitome of a Combat Leader; fearless and dedicated to mission accomplishment; brutal but fair to all of his Marines. He was a mentor to us all, a deciated and loving family man, and a friend. His legacy will live on in all of us for as long as we continue to remember the impact that he has made in our lives.

I was GySgt Ball's Co 1stSgt in Haiti and Al Karmah, Iraq. Many of us are standing here today because of his actions. GySgt Ball we miss you and we will never forget you!!"
SgtMaj Edgardo M. Guzman of 4th AABn, Tampa, Fl

"Gunnery Sergeant Ball,

GOD BLESS YOU! I was a recruit on PI in 1995, and you were one of the DIs in my series! What a motivator! Gunny, I just found out about your leaving us and our Hallowed Corps but a few hours ago, as I was attending Mess Night at Camp Lejeune. Needless to say, it hits me pretty hard to learn that you have left us...

But then I remembered your motivation when I went through boot camp, esp. when I was struggling to qualify on the rifle range--THANK YOU, Gunny, for helping me make it!!!

We who are left here and still serving in our beloved Corps, wherever and in whatever capacity, will ALWAYS Thank YOU and Thank Our Good and Loving GOD for men and MARINES like YOU!!!

GOD Bless You and Your Loved Ones, Gunnery Sergeant! SEMPER FI!!!"
APF of Dayville, CT

"April 13, 2008
To the family of Gunnery Sgt. Terry W. Ball, Jr.:
Terry gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not let our fallen heroes be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to you. "Some gave all."
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"Rest in Peace Marine
Semper Fi
Kilo 3/8"
OE of Boston, MA

"Sgt Terry Ball: definition of hard core
You were a true grunt. ooh rahh
I'll never forget you.
Kilo 3/8 wpns plt
Cpl C. Judd of Chillicothe, Ohio

"Gunny Ball, I can fill pages with things to say about him. I just came across this website for the first time, and I felt I had to say something about Terry. I was his Company XO in Iraq, and like any XO and Company Gunny we worked very closely together and were constantly around each other. He took care of every Marine in the company. Always putting the needs of the company ahead of his own. Whether you were a brand new private, or the CO, you were one of Terry Ball's Marines. He had a tremendous impact on my life. Teaching me about leadership and what it meant to lead Marines. Beneath the tough exterior was a man who cared very deeply for his brother Marines. I want to relate to anyone who reads this my favorite story about him. While I was in a convoy my vehicle was hit by a particularly nasty IED. Terry wasn't with me at the time, which was rare. He came on scene about twenty minutes later. As soon as he saw me we walked up, gave me a hug, and said, "Sir, I'm so glad you're all right." I was completely shocked. I mean here is toughest Marine I have ever met hugging me. About a week later I brought the subject up with him saying, "Gunny, do you know that you hugged me last week?" He quickly responded with, "no I didn't sir." After going back and forth a bit he finally relented and said, "fine sir, you're right. I did hug you, but don't tell any of the Marines!" That instance is as clear in my mind as if it were yesterday. Whenever I remember him, I think of that day and it makes me smile. It reminds of the dedication he had to his Marines, and how much every single one of us meant to him. He is the finest Marine I have ever had the privilege of serving with, and knowing him professionally and as a friend has made me a better person. He said to me one day, "this is one a hell of life we live, but I wouldn't trade it for the world." That statement right there personifies the type of Marine he was. I miss you Gunny. You will never be forgetten brother."
Capt Vorgang of Quantico, VA

"You are trully missed Gunny Ball, Thanks for your sacrafice Gunny. I knew you as a young recruit and Marine I wish I had a chamce to get to know you better. You trained me and showed me what I needed to know and my heart goes out to you and your family. All these years and I have never forgoten you nor what you taught me. You will be missed God bless the children I hope they can take comfort in knowing you are a great Marine and good man, and probally the best father a kid could want. Take care and see you on the other side.
Semper Fi and thanks

Ventry Plt 2036 Aug 1995 2nd BN"
Ventry of Woodbridge, VA

"Rest in Peace Warrior."
HN(FMF)licona of GROTON C.T.


"Served with then SSGT Ball with 3/8 81's platoon. Terry Ball was the epitome of Marine, it was in his blood from head to toe. He was and still is very respected by everyone who knew and served with him. The country and the Marine Corps would do well to have a million like him. God bless brother, I'm sure your in charge of the Marines guarding those pearly gates.

Semper Fi"
Jeff Wren of Waxhaw, NC

"I was fortunate enough to get to be Terry's girlfriend when we were in grade school. We had great times when we would get together with all of our friends in East Peoria and talk about putting a band together. He was always the greatest friend a person could have. I have never forgotten Terry over the years and am deeply sadden by this countries loss of a good MAN! I wish his family all the Blessings in the World and give my deepest regrets for the loss of this outstanding man! I knew when we were kids he would be a leader and a fighter. Thank you Terry, you touched my life in sixth grade and you touch it now as an adult! Looking forward to seeing you in Heaven!

Sheen Street Days (in East Peoria) are long gone,
Oh but my prayers for you go on,
Your family is so very proud,
Your Marines shout it aloud,
Terry Wayne Ball (Jr.)
YOU fought for us ALL!
Michelle Sharples (Rost) of East Peoria, Illinois (formerly), currently in Billerica, MA

"I served With Gunny Ball in 3/8 in the 81's Platoon. Alot has been said that we did not have the best reputation and that was true. Once we had Gunny Ball that changed almost over night. I can say like alot of guys at the time we did not truly appreciate what he did for us But I can in one quick story about the man. He told us at a formation once don't call a Master Sergeant a top they are not a toy they are master Sergeants. Well sure enough I made that mistake right in front of him even had the master Sergeant correct me right in front of him. Instead of chewing me a new one for making him look bad he laughed and said that happened to him 7 years ago when he was a lance corperal to. Guess what I told my Mortar section when I made Sergeant? Gunny Ball You will be missed."
Sgt James Shabelski of Frederick ,Maryland

"The Gunny was my Squad Advisor in the Sergeant's Course at Camp Hansen, Okinawa during September of 2001. After September 11th he came to class with bloodshot eyes knowing that some of us would be leaving soon. You could tell he wished to get in the fight right then. That hunger for his calling is what made the man, and we are all better for having known him. He did his duty. He was a real Marine.

My heart goes out to his family. When I heard of it, I was crushed. He meant so much to all those that had known him.

Until we meet again Gunny."
Sgt Williams of Batesville, AR

"I met GySgt Ball two months before I got out of the Marines. He was the kind of Marine you would reenlist for just to serve with him learn from him. What a great Marine and great American. True patriot. I saddened me to see that he passed. When a fellow Marine passes we are all effected, we are a band of brothers. My condolences from the deepest part of my heart. You will not be forgotten. Semper Fi"
Russel Oxley III of Morehead City NC

"I served with Gunny Ball in 3/8 India Co, in 2004. He was with us in Haiti. This guy was a Marines, Marine. He will forever be missed."
Cpl Kenneth Jones of Evansville, IN

"I was fortunate enough to have served with GySgt Ball(then SSGt)in 3/8 weapons co. 81's platoon from 97 to 00. GySgt Ball was a fearless leader and a dedicated Marine. His love for this country and the Marine Corps was evident in every aspect of his personality. GySgt Ball truely believed in the Marine Corps Core Values and lived every day of his life according to those high standards. I consider it a great loss for the United States and the Marine Corps to have lost such an honorable and courageous man. HooRa Gunny. Semper Fi."
Jonathan Price of Laurel, Ms

"I did not see Terry much after he went into the Marines. I would see him on occasion when he returned home to East Peoria, but I frequently remember the great times we had throughout high school. Terry was a great friend and would never stand down to a challenge. I want to thank Suzie and Terry Sr. for always making me welcome in their home and sharing the life of a great person, who has become a great hero. God bless Terry's family and peace be with you. We will all missed Terry Jr and will never forget the price he paid and his unselfishness."
Scott Worley of East Peoria, IL

"I loved you always I hope you have peace. Charmin"
Charmin 1991 of wilmington nc

"I worked with Terry Ball when we were Drill Instructors at Parris Island. He was on his first cycle I was Maybe on my fourth. He was an integral part of what was the best team that I worked with during my tour. I have read each of the messages that were left by those that came in contact with Terry, it seems obvious that he has left an indelible mark on each of them. We were both young Sergeants and it was a pleasure to know him and to "dig" recruits together.
Strong J"
GySgt Marvin Johnson of Cherry Point, North Carolina

"To the family of:Terry W. Ball, Jr. I am so sorry for the loss of your love one. My heart cries out for you in your grief and you have my thoughts and prayers. He died a hero defending freedom. May you have the peace and understanding that only comes from God. Prayerfully we will all meet in Heaven one day where we will rest in the arms of Jesus. If you need prayer or need someone to talk to, please call or write my pastor: Rev. John Pearrell 11677 Brown Bridge Rd., Covington, GA 30016. (770)787-1015. Your friend in Jesus Christ, Polly Ballew Covington,Ga"

"I met, then SSGT Ball, in 1998 as a member of 3/8 Weapons 81’s. I was totally unprepared for the experience. A was still new to the “Green Side” at the time and after two solid weeks of “junk on the bunk” and wall locker inspections I thought I was about to loose my mind. It was only much later that I realized what Gunny Ball had done for me. He changed me from a slimy blue-side corpsman into a Doc. He was what I always imagined a Marine Gunny would be. He will be greatly missed by all those he touched. His family can be proud of the fact that the countless Marines and Corpsmen that had the privilege of serving with him are so much better for it.

Thank you Gunny.
Semper Fi"
HM2(FMF) Charles Schaefer of CBIRF, II MEF

"I did not know this fallen Marine, to his father Terry who I have seen at work, I dont know you and couldn't tell you this personally even if I did, probably, but please know that I would like to say may God Bless You and provide comfort to you over the loss of your son."
Dan of IL.

"Today my heart broke again. Finding out that Gunny Ball was killed, was like someone ripping out a piece of me. He was a magnificent leader and a great man. Although I always thought he was picking on me, I had nothing but admiration for him. Having served under him was one of the greatest honors ever bestowed upon me, and my only regret is that I was not there with him when it happened. I cried today because not only did we lose another Marine, but a true leader of Marines. His family and loved ones should know that he was one of the greatest people I have ever met. He made me the Marine I was, and the man I am today. He will always be in my heart and his family will always be in my prayers."
Michael H Seibert of Corpus Christi, Texas

"My name is Cameron Schilling and I have started “Portrait of a Soldier” which donates a portrait sketch of every Illinois soldier who has fallen in Iraq or Afghanistan. All 122 sketches will be on display for a Memorial Day Presentation in Chicago, Illinois on May 26-31 at the James R. Thompson Center in downtown Chicago. After the ceremony the sketches will be given to the immediate families of the Illinois soldiers. I would invite any friends or family members to come and honor these men and women from Illinois who have given their lives to our country. For more information please contact OperationHomeFront.org at 866-417-8889 which is an organization headed by the Lt. Governor Pat Quinn of Illinois who is in charge of the Memorial Day Presentation. Thank You.

Please check out www.portraitofasoldier.org
To contact Cameron email cameronschilling84@hotmail.com
To contact Operation Home Front call 866-417-8889"
Cameron of Charleston, Illinois

"Gunnery Sgt Ball,
What can I say? I enjoyed working with you regardless of all our differences when it came to the care of the Marines. You and the staff thought I babied the Marines, where in there minds I was a tyrant when it came to their care. They had to give me 100% of their time to heal in order for me to do my job well. What will never be understood is that while the Doc's in green side tend to baby their Marines to stay out of the fight, my goal was to get them to a 100% so we could all come home. That was my goal. Maybe I'm backwards compared to the military logic, but this was my mission people first, to accomplish the mission. Mission is priority? How can it be if you don't have Devils at 100% Mentally people can do anything, you gave me that, but when you don't have it physically, i speak farther than your physical fitness, health wise there is no way. I wish you would have come to us earlier than you did. I think that with my help I could have showed you how mission orientened I was. There was one thing that you said that haunts me to this day. "All that experience and you don't wanna go" I did want to go. But I could only imagine getting questioned out in the box. Maybe it was cause you wanted to know how I operated, but you could have asked. I am being so hard on this subject, because regardless of what you thought of your company WE HIGHLY RESPECTED YOU AND YOU MOTIVATED US. The company had gotten severely sucked dry of motivation once Major Fridrikkson and 1stSgt Kitchen left us. We understood the way you had to present yourself as Marine and a leader was different when that pog was around. Self preservation. Why brake your back for people when the will screw you. I understood that, we understood that. You were never the company's reason for hating life, it was the one's above you for which you had no control. I wish I could have told these things face to face. There was never any time. You were always on the go. I remember having to block you from leaving just to get you to stop. You motivated me. That was a hard thing to do after Capt Carbone, and Gysgt Zywicki left. I saw the way SSGT Brumley was getting treated and so on and so forth. I just want to apologize for letting my selfishness get in the way of deploying with you all. I just wanted knowledge of your trust in my decision making. I am so glad I had the opportunity to see a hero and a warrior in real life. That day I saw you in your charlie's I was like damn, what a war dog. Thanks for all the things you brought to the company."
Doc Diaz of Kingsville Tx

"I first saw Gunny Ball when he was Drill Instructor Sgt Ball in boot camp; he had a powerful voice and an intimidating demeanor about him. He was not a DI in my platoon, but I remembered him when I saw him walking around 3/8’s HQ two years later. He stopped me and asked if I went to Boot Camp at PI and if I was in 2nd battalion. When I said yes he smiled and replied “you look like somebody I dug once”. Gunny Ball eventually made it to my Platoon. At the time 81’s platoon did not have the best rep. He turned us around and made us one the best damn platoons in the battalion. He may have only been a section leader but that was his platoon.

William T Rapier 3/8 WPNS Company 81’s PLT 96-00"
William T Rapier of Lex Ky

"I served with Gunny Ball (then SSGT) in 3/8 from 96-98. He was the epitome of what a Marine should be: honorable, strong in spirit and body, and utterly dedicated to his Marines.
I mourn for your loss."
Gavin P. Cribb (Cpl. Cribb) of Annandale, Va

"You were my mentor GySgt Ball. I had looked up to you, everyone says "Iraq must of been terrible." I don't know what the perception must be when I say this. But you made it fun, you'd joke around about how you lived for the fight. I was your driver GySgt. One Lcpl Jensen, and as much as everyone attempts to convince me that it wasn't my fault I can't help feeling that I could of stopped it from happening. We both knew it was unusual for that to be there. The chances of it being an IED were over the top.. If I would of just said for us to call EOD you'd be standing here today. To your family... I'm sorry. I can't fix it.. I'm sorry.
Semper Fidelis
Cpl Jensen/USMC"
Steven Nikolas Jensen of Camp Lejeune, NC

"To Family and Friends of GySgt Terry Ball Jr.
I knew the Gunny quite well from 96 to 98 when I was the 60's section leader for India Company 3/8. I served in Kosovo with him and I will never forget that raspy voice. I pray for his family and I remember that with out some of his guidance I might be someone different today. Love ya Guns and miss ya brother."
Sgt Herndon, Heath 3/8 India, 2/3 Golf, MSG Battalion of Ashgabat, Turkmenistan

"To Terry’s Family and Marines that have had the pleasure of serving with GySgt Ball –

I bumped into my friend named Jonathon Price. He served in the 81’s the same time I did and informed me of what happened to Terry. I had the pleasure of serving in WPNS Co 3/8 81's Platoon with GySgt Ball from 97-98. He was an honorable person, and had integrity running through his veins. SGT Ball was promoted to SSG Ball while transferring to the 81’s Platoon in Camp Fuji – Okinawa back in 1997.

He loved the 81mm mortar platoon, due to the size of it. It had lots more Marines than other platoons in the Battalion. He always told me the possibilities were endless of what we could do with our platoon. He loved to lead, and wanted others to have the same standards that he had. GySgt Ball was a very big asset to our platoon. Everyone in the Platoon was excited to get him. Our 81’s platoon has seen him as a great leader in the platoon that he came from. I remember when a guy got drunk in Camp Fuji, and SSG Ball literally carried picked this guy back to his rack. I remember him walking around our Platoon while Ruck Marching (Humping) and asking the Marines if they were alright. He took the Mortar and other gear from the guys he thought needed a break. I remember the LT asking his question and looking up to his knowledge of the U.S.M.C.

I have returned from Kuwait last year, but not with the Marines, but my local National Guard Unit. Believe me, the Army is full of great people, but I have to tell you this, “The Marine Corps has something to be proud of.” There is no comparison between Marines/Corpsman and any other service that I have served with. The U.S.M.C. has individual’s that have discipline, honor, courage and the commitment, just like the commercials say. People like Terry that have become leaders make sure the individuals are being held accountable to hold these Corps Values.

During this Christmas Season, I pray for our Marines-Troops in Harms way and for our fallen Hero’s families.

With All Sincerity, GySgt Ball would not have wanted to change one thing in his life. Be very proud of him for I will the rest of my life. I am a different and hopefully better man because of him.

SGT Michael, Tom 81's 3/8 96-98 of Hattiesburg, MS - U.S.A

"Gy. Sgt. Ball was my section-leader while I was in the 81 MM mortar platoon of Weapons Co. 3/8. He naturally led from the front, and was one of the best Marines I ever knew. He was as hard on his marines, but was always there for them. Hearing the news of his death brought back many memories, both good and bad. The experiences I had with Gy. Ball (then Staff Sgt.) and the rest of the "Stone Cold" NCO's will be with me always. Semper-Fi."
Matthew Mlay of Brevard, NC

"It has been almost 11 years since I saw Gunny Ball at the School of Infantry, when he was our troop handler. At that time he was known to us as SGT Ball, as I would later learn he was a real NCO and although he was tough in school he was fair and taught me personally a very valuable lesson on keeping my weapon with me at all times. I awoke one morning much to my dismay with no weapon. I found Sgt Ball and he had my weapon and after a few mountain climbers he began to tell me the importance of keeping my weapon secure at all times. A lesson I passed on to my Marines over time. I only wish I could have followed him more and learned what he already knew. Gunny Ball you will be in my prayers and your family as well.

When it is my time I will see you at the gates of heaven because we know who guards the pearly gates.

Semper Fi brother

Jeff Harberts N.N VA"
Jeff Harberts of NN VA

"I served with 3/8 in 96 to 98 and knew
Gunny Ball during my time there. He was an outstanding man as well as a Marine. Sorry for your loss and God Bless you and his memory.
Semper Fidelis,"
Chuck Capelli of Vineland, NJ USA

"GySgt Ball and Jennifer,
Today is the 230th Birthday of the Marine Corps and the Marines at Bethesda are thinking about you. God bless and Semper Fidelis! We miss you and your family and hope that you are doing well."
Capt Tony Licari of Fishkill NY

"I served in L 3/8 (94-97), did not know Gunny Ball but feel tremendous pain for his family and am most greatful for your service. Semper Fi"
Jeff Meyer of Springfield, MO

"To the Family of GySgt Terry W. Ball.
GySgt Ball was my instructor in both Sgt's and Career Course Okinawa Japan. My deepest condolences to family and friends. God Bless."
SSgt Sosa-Marquez of Chicago, Illinois

"My name is Cameron Schilling. I am a college student from central Illinois. I am the first generation of my family not to serve his country. I am extremely grateful for the sacrifice you and your loved one has given for the United States. I am disappointed by the way the news media has covered this war and the deaths of our youth. The media as stopped listing the names of the soldiers killed in Iraq and people only talk about the soldiers when we reach a specific milestone in deaths. If you just started watching the news today you would not even know there is a war going on. Partisan politics have replaced coverage of our young generation who have traveled to a foreign land in the name of the United States. Whether you believe the war in Iraq is wrong, right, justified or not everyone should pay even just a little more attention to what these young men and women are sacrificing. This is what I would like to do. I want to do my part in honoring these soldiers and their memories. Along with being a college student I am also a budding artist. I draw pencil portraits of local people in my community. I want to offer a pencil portrait sketch to the immediate family of every Illinois soldier killed in Iraq. Please contact me at cameronschilling84@hotmail.com."
Cameron Schilling of Illinois

"T is what I called him. We served on the Drill field together, and went to Okinawa togeher. Terry is a true Marine Leader and hero and also a great friend. Terry you will be truly missed and I still have the Marines magazine with you on the cover. God Bless your Family."
SSgt Jeff Waters of Parris Island South Carolina

"To my family & Terry's friends,
I am so proud of Terry Wayne, and I miss him so much. I'm so happy to be able to say that my cousin is a hero, not only is he a hero to a lot of people, but he is my personal hero and will always be."
Chrissy of East Peoria

"To the family of Gysgt. Terry Ball
My truest sympathies go out to friends and family in this time of mourning. I had the honor of serving with Terry in Kosovo and he exemplified the true meaning of a consummate professional. He was a natural leader that motivated all with his presence. He will be greatly missed and forever remembered as a true patriot."
SSgt Marc Tucker of Jacksonville, FL

"Although I knew him briefly, Im honored to say that I had the pleasure of being lead by one of the Marine Corps finest.
Mrs.Ball, I met you briefly in Germany and as I promised then, my prayers are still with you and your family. I give my upmost graditude to GYSgt Ball for his effortless heroism and bravery. I feel all the world needs to know and thank our Lord for having Gunny Ball as a Guardian Angel. I have felt his presence many times during my recovery and I know many others have also. Thank you Gunnery Sgt Terry Ball for your service and sacrifice."
Erin Libby LCpl/USMC of Kinston,NC

"Terry's actions were never a surprise. He was always a leader and took care of the people around him. He will stand out as a true hero to all of us."
John Reynolds of Cincinnati, OH

"To the Marine who was my drill instructor, the Marine who I served in Kosovo with 3/8, the one who pinned on my Sgt. chevrons and I was fortunate enough to see in Fallujah one more time, you will be missed. Thank you for every thing"
Jeff - usmcuva8@aol.com of washington dc

"To the Family of Terry Ball,
I am sorry to hear of your loss. Just know that Terry is in a much better place and he died doing what he believed in. I spent some time with Terry in NC and Okinawa. He was a true professional and was always very passionate about this profession. God bless you."
MSgt Scott Witmer of IRAQ

"To the Family of GySgt. Terry Ball, Jr.:
We have constructed a memorial to the service men and women from Wisconsin and Illinois who have died in Iraq which includes, as of 8/25/05, 119 crosses and Stars of David. We would like your permission to put Terry's name on one of them. We have called our display "Arlington MidWest." It is our expression of mourning for the indescribable loss you have suffered for our country.

If you would like us to do this, please email me at arlingtonmidwest@yahoo.com.

We invite you to come to visit Arlington MidWest if you can. I can send you directions and some pictures by email.

"As long as we live, they too will live;
for they are now a part of us, as we remember them."
Marty Preston of Wisconsin Dells, WI

"To Susie, Terry, Melissa, Jennifer, Gavin, Riley, & BIG boy Ethan

I am very lucky to have had Terry as my cousin. Not everybody can say that they actually knew a HERO. I am very proud of Terry and he will be missed greatly, not only by immediate family members, but by everyone who knew him.
Descanse en paz
Love, yolanda"
Yolanda of East Peoria

"To the Family of Terry W. Ball Jr., My family sends our prayers that you may be granted th strength to endure what none of us should have to endure. My son knew Gunny Ball -- he was a mentor -- you should know a true hero -- my son was devestated when he could not attend the memorial @ Arlington -- but know that his prayers and thoughts - as well as ours are with all of you -- we do not know the roads traveled or where they lead - but we do know that Gunny Ball's memory and legacy is forever woven into the Liberties and Freedoms'which we all benefit from. To give the ultimate sacrifice for others is the mark of heroism -- he will not be forgotten and his love and visions will live on in the lives he helped to save while making the world a better place. Semper Fi. WE will forever be faithful."
Cathy Brown of Iowa

""To the family of Marine Gunnery Sgt. Terry Ball: My heart goes out to you. I lost my son, LCpl Chad Maynard in June. It has been 2 months now, but sometimes it feels like it was yesterday. On my son's marker is the phrase "Not In Vain". That is what Chad believed, and it is what we have to believe in order for any of this to make sense. I'm proud of you, Gunnery Sgt. Ball, and I thank you for your service to our country and all of us.""
Cindy Maynard, mother of Marine LCpl Chad Maynard and Marine Cpl Jacob Maynard of Kennewick, Washington

"To the family and friends of Gunnery Sgt. Terry W. Ball, Jr.,

Those we hold most dear, never truly leave us. May you find comfort in love's everlasting connection.

In the Support section of this web site you will find links to many groups that support you at this crucial time. The Marine Comfort Quilt group would be honored to send a quilt to the next of kin. There are many, loving and caring Americans from all over the United States that will never forget the sacrifice that your loved one has made for our Freedom. Please use our link and register so we can send you our "Love Stitched Together."

Proud Marine Mom and Proud Member of Marine Comfort Quilts "
Sandra Moudy of Placentia, Ca USA

""To the family and friends of Sgt Terry Ball"
We are so sorry for the loss of your loved one. Terry is a true American hero and he will always be in our thoughts and prayers.
Terry thank you for serving our country.
God bless Terry and his family."
Hess family of Indiana

"Rest in Peace Marine. J/T NC USMC"

"I'm so thankful to have went to grade school with Terry, he turned out to be such a wonderful son, husband, father, and SOLDIER. I'm broken today, as I reflect back on us as kids, at Lincoln School, who would have known, Terry Ball, the cutest boy in Mr. Resutko's 5th grade class . . . . you will be missed."
Mary of East Peoria IL

"to the ball family from the wahl family. our heart and prays are with terry and your family. terry you have not given your life in vain. we are thankful to you TERRY! for serving our country and especially being a military brother to our son. we lost Gregory a year ago in BALAD. without special given men like yourselve's. AMERICA WOULD NOT BE ALL IT IS TODAY! AMERICA IS ALOT SAFER THEN EVER SINCE 911. NOTHING IS SECURED FROM EVERYTHING. BUT, WITH EACH SITUATION WE CORRECT THOSE ERROR'S. TERRY YOU HAVE TOUCHED THE HEARTS OF SO MANY. TO ALL THOSE HEARTS YOU TOUCHED. ALL HAVE THE FONDEST MEMORIES THAT YOU SHARED TOGETHER. GOD BLESS!"

Please KNOW so many people share your sadness, and we are remembering your family in your loss and your deep grief. Our nations HERO, Terry will be remembered by name.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
God Bless you ALWAYS.
Pat & Sandi Breckenridge from Montana "

"Rest in Peace Marine

J and T

You are an American Hero whose ultimate sacrifice will not be forgotten by a grateful nation. Rest in peace Marine. You will be remembered for always being faithful to God, Country, Family and the Corps.
My deepest condolences to the family and friends of Terry and may memories comfort you during this most difficult time and always. I am very sorry for your lose.

"We are deeply sorry for your loss. The Courage, Honor, and Valor that your
Hero showed will always be remembered.
We are grateful for the loyal service and sacrifice that was made and
Our cousin LCPL Michael Smith Jr. gave his life on 4-17-04 fighting for freedom.
Please know that this was not in vain and these American Heros will FOREVER be honored.
God Bless your family and please know that you are not alone.
All of our prayers are with you."
Jennifer and SSGT Larry Mays of Massillon, Ohio

"To the Ball Family, I am so sorry for your loss. I can't imagine the hell that Terry and you all went through. You are all in our thoughts and prayers. Terry is a true American Hero. Terry will always be remembered and honored. May God Bless you all and God Bless Terry."
Mary Ghaney of Brooklyn, New York

"Thank you Terry Ball, Jr., you will not be forgotten. Your bravery goes beyond words. I want to express my deepest gratitude for your sacrifice. To the family and friends, my prayers and deep condolences in your loss. May God strengthen you from knowing that fellow Americans and people around the world care about you and grieve with you in your loss. God bless you all. A very appreciative fellow American,"
Leo Titus of Grayslake, Illinios

"To the family and friends of Gunnery Sgt. Terry Ball, Jr.:
May God's grace be with you during your time of grief. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and we feel your loss and share in your sorrow. Bless Terry for the sacrifice he has made to make a better life for the rest of us."
The Ford Family of Wells, Nevada

"To the family and friends of Gunnery Sgt. Terry Ball, Jr.:
I am saddened by the loss of your loved one. He will always be remembered as a hero for fighting for freedom. I hope that this website will be a source of comfort and encouragement for you during this difficult time, and in the future as you recall the memories of Terry, who continues to live on in your heart."
Tim Rivera of Powder Springs, Georgia

Honor them by remembering... Freedom - is their gift to us But his soul goes marching on