Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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

Marine Staff Sgt. Marvin Best

33, of Prosser, Washington.
Best died due to hostile action in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Twentynine Palms, California. Died on June 20, 2004.

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"One of the most honorable leaders/Marine ive ever know. A very strong and positive person. Miss you always brother. Wpns co. 2/7. Semper Fidelis"
Luis Ramos jr. of Adrian, Mi

"SSgt (then Sgt) Best was the Class Commander for our Sniper School class, and damn if he didn't come in the with the biggest hill to climb but through sheer determination, guts and skill he made it through with flying colors. He was always good for a laugh and kept all of us in high spirits through one of the toughest schools the Corps has to offer. Remembering you brother on this Memorial Day 2014; you are truly missed. Semper Fidelis. SSBC 3-95, Stone Bay/2d MARDIV"
Dan Day of A dirty sandbox

"20 JUN 2013
Another year without you here my friend, my brother.....
You are missed."
Mike DeWitt of Missouri- originally from Prosser, WA

"Ssgt Best,

I remember being attached to your platoon in Korea. Thanks for all the deep advice even tough I wasn't one of your platoon guys. I still remember everything you've told me about your experience and it helped me with many things throughout my enlistment. You're the Best. Semper Fi..."
So

"I told you I would never forget you, I remember meeting your mother years ago. I pray for your family. You are one of our special heros."
Deborah Majchrzak of Kawkawlin,Michigan

"Ssgt. Best,
I remember the last time I saw you in the chow hall at camp k.v. You still had that memorable smile and great spirit about you. I still remember the times you were at the e club in oki, trying to keep all of the 2/7 guys from fighting the 3rd recon guys. Since I've left the Marines I've been in Law Enforcement for the last 7 years, and no one has come close to being as good of a leader as you were. I truly feel this world is lesser of a place without you. Rest in peace Ssgt."
Danny Martinez of San Antonio, TX

"Marvin,..I cannot believe its been 8yrs...I miss you and hope you are resting in peace...please watch over all of our warriors. Semper Fi brother,

Mark M Geletko
Sgt Maj/USMC (ret)"
Mark M Geletko of MCAGCC 29 Palms

"I miss you brother"
Kendall Gilbert of Seattle, WA

"SSGT BEST...YOUR LAST NAME SAYS IT ALL...EVENTHOUGH WE WERE IN A COMBAT SITUATION, EVERYTIME I SAW YOU, U HAD A SMILE ON YOUR FACE...YOU TREATED EVERYONE THE SAME, NO MATTER THEIR RANK...I LOOKED UP TO YOU...I WILL NEVER FORGET THE CONVERSATION WE HAD OUTSIDE OF THE LATRINE BEFORE YOU WENT ON THAT MISSION THAT NIGHT...AFTER IT, U SAID "SEE U LATER...." I KNOW I WILL SEE LATER... SALUTE"
CPL WIGGINS of EVERYWHERE IN THE WORLD

"To the family of:Marvin Best
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"2-3-11"

"Its been 6 years since you were taken from us. You are never far from my thoughts. I lift a glass for you everytime brother. I fly my flag for you and Chance and all the others everyday. 6 years my friend, seem like yesterday."
D.J. of Aurora, CO

"SGT Best was my recruiter. He did this and that to get me into the Corps. With out his help I would not be were I am in my life. I was headed down a bad road and he showed me the way to a better life. To his family I am sorry for your loss. Please know that I am forever in his debt for what he did for me. He gave me my life..."
H Shelden of Walla Walla WA

"”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 the hero’s Mother, Father and/or spouse. We are a 501c3 nonprofit organization! Almost 2,000 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!
This is a gift! We have some wonderful sponsors who help with the costs, and only want you know that we care.
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

"A fellow student at Prosser High. My time was brief but my memories of Marvin still very fresh in my mind. It's been so long yet still very raw. RIP, you are missed."
Lisa Kuhlmann (Thomas) of Redmond Oregon

"Marv, I can't believe it's been five years since we lost you. I remember when we first met. I remember every 4-H club meeting, every boyscout outing, every fair where we showed pigs and chased after girls neither one of us stood a chance to meet. I remember every birthday party and every hunting trip. I remember hiking and climbing trees and playing army out your dad's pasture. I remember going to the movies and having BBQs at each other's homes. Marv it's been 20 years now since you packed your bags and headed off to the Marines and me off to the Army. I think about you every day. I'm so proud to explain who the photo of the young man on my desk is. It's you brother - I miss you so much. My young son, Scotty Jr. is five now. That's how old we were when we met. I hope for him that he finds a best friend as strong, honorable and patriotic as you to be there for him, like you were for me. I'm still with the Army and head up the Army's intelligence training center. Every soldier that graduates my course hears the story of a young Marine that served their country and paid the ultimate price for their freedom. I charge them with collecting and disciminating solid intelligence for field commanders to make the best tactical decisions. I pray they serve your legacy well. I miss you Marv! You are my HERO."
Scotty Hunt of Fort Huachuca, AZ

"I will always remember you Marvin..how happy you made Shelly, how dedicated you were to the Marines, how helpful you were with my daughter trying to set her straight and keep her on track. I will remember your smile, your laugh and the love you had for others. Your parents turned out a great man Marvin... YOU!
See you when I see you,
Lynne Roach Verros (former Prosserite)"
Lynne Verros of Richland, Washington

"I was so shocked to see this. I haven't seen Marvin in almost 20 years. We met in Keflavik, Iceland. I still remember what kind of person he was and the Marine he was. I still have pictures of him and the gang back then and I can't believe how young we all were. I have to laugh at some of the things we did. Seeing this brings back so much. I still have a picture of us all in my wallet. Some of the people I met while there I still consider them the best people I have known or will ever know. Marvin was one I will always remember. My heart goes out to his family and friends"
Erin Carroll of woodstown, NJ

"SSGT. Best,
I was scared and not knowing what to do with my life, until the day I seen you in your dress blues. You were the picture perfect Marine. The person that I wanted to be, the MAN I wanted to be. You took me and my two buddies under your arm and like the Marine Corps says "We don't promise you a rose garden" and ain't that the truth, and helped us not only to become men, but honor the fallen before us. I miss the men I have met along my travels, but most of all I miss the man that has led me to find who I am. You were someone who never told me a lie, and never made me doubt what I could do for my country.
My two boys Jake and Ayden will know who you are, because you will be the good night story that they hear, to let them know that they are safe because of you. I owe my life that I live freely, and my two sons to the sacrifice that you and Shelly have given them. You will never be forgotten. And when I finally do go to heaven, I know you will be standing guard. My friend, my brother, Devil Dog...SSGT. Best.
I miss you brother and not a day goes bye that I don't think of you.

SGT. Webley
USMC"
SGT. Webley of Richland, Wa, USA

"Just to let you know you have not been forgotten, Our prayers are with you."
Deborah Majchrzak of Kawkawlin, Michigan/USA

"SSgt Best. I will never forget you! you took me in with open arms when i first got to Iraq. You showed me the ropes and would give me the shirt off your back. I rember when you talked to me the night before you died and said that you sometimes wonder if you will make it out of here alive, and yet still had the guts to get out there and do your job. Thanks for everything you gave for your country, and your Corps. I will see you there my brother. Fred Parker."
Sgt Parker of Tucson Arizona

"Marv
As an uncle you taught me so many great things. You were my hero! Ive maded it four years without you and let me tell you those were hard. I never dreamed going through high school without by my side. I hope ive made you proud by going to college to further my edcuuation. Your always in my thoughts and prayers. Love you so much"
Riley James Frazier of Formerly from Prosser Wa

"Hello, My name is Joaquin Torres Cpl USMC 92-96 3/6 Sta plt. I had the privlage to be Marvin's sniper partner in sniper school. Marvin was so excited to be there being he was in a LAV unit and didn't get many chances for that. It was something he took very serious, but still had fun. We had some great times in school that I'll never forget. RIP Sniper!"
Joaquin Torres of Phoenix, Az

"Four years ago my friend, you on one side of Al Anbar and I on the other not even knowing each other was there...four years, I miss you so much Marvin. As I sit here yet on another Iraq tour, I am so glad to have known you, grown up with you, and shared the memories we hold."
Mike Dewitt of Iraq- originally from Prosser

"April 23, 2008
To the family of Staff Sgt. Marvin Best:
Marvin 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"
www.IraqWarHeroes.org"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"i wentthrough sniper school with marvin and I was the platoon sgt for 1/7's sniper platoon when he passed. I will never forget the day it happened. I was serving in 29 palms when it happened. i went and talked to him a few days before he left for iraq. to this day 11/12/07 I can't believe that he is gone. i will never forget him and his good humor."
Jason Farrand of gouverneur, ny

"I hope his family still reads this from time to time. I finally found a way to say something about how much Marvin impacted my life. He was my recruiter in 1997. I was struggling to get out a undesirable lifestyle and he helped me continue to not lose hope for the seven months I was in the DEP. I was a horrible runner, slow but with stamina. He would drive to Hermiston just to run with me and encourage me. Not only did I find him attractive, as any young 17 year old girl would, but what I respected the most about him was his unjudgemental way. I never felt stupid or less around him. I remember giving him a coffee mug before I left with something funny on it. Yes he was funny, loved a good cup of coffee and was inspiring. When I learned of his passing, I was working as a vet rep while attending college after my four years. It was a horrible day and I still think of him from time to time. I too believe with all my heart that he loved what he did and remembered how much he loved being a sniper and couldnt wait to get back to the fleet. I never knew if he married or had children, I am so sorry for the entire family for your loss. I pray that he knew the Lord Jesus so He could take him home and we all could see him again. I hope that you find comfort in knowing how much he accomplished and how he touched so many lives in such a short time. Gob bless you. Thank you "Sgt"Best"
Vanessa of Oregon

"I live in Prosser, the town that Mr. Best grew up in. My dad is a teacher and was teaching while Mr. Best was a student. Every year in Prosser, we have our Best Run. It is a 1 mile, 5k or 10 k that people can run in honor of Marvin. It is a great cause. My dad and I both participate. My dad does a Veteran's Day Assembly every year and Mrs. Best has come and also one of Marvin's best friends, Matt Grey. In fact, the Best Run is this Saturday. I wish I could have personally known him. In our town, he is a hero."
Anna of Prosser, WA

"Funny, tough, fair and could run all day. Now, as a soft civilian, whenever I am running and I want to walk, I push my chest out, throw my elbows up high and think of Marv. He never quit."
Kevin J of Reading, PA

"I served with Marv in D Co 2nd LAR and got out of the Corps while Marv was recruiting our country's finest we kept in touch over the years and planned on linking up many times, still plan too much later down the road.

When I first checked into the unit he was the first Marine to bring over a chair and a cold beer and we would sit out watching Marines, sipping a few and swapping stories of home, past units we were assigned to.

I remember sitting with him in a LAV late at night joking during a Med float shooting the breeze, smoking those nasty swisher sweets and having a dose of ancient age with coffee,...for medicinal purposes of course.

His sense of humor was contagious and he could always see the funny side of anything. I emailed him him during his last tour and his main concern was his Marines and their safety, plus getting a good cup of coffee.

My children are now of an age that they ask questions when they look through my scrap book of my Jarhead days and ask who this was or where was this, what was I doing and many times my son would see Marv's pictures and ask why is he always smiling. I tell him because he was doing something he loved.

Someday I'll make it to your AO and share a drop and a cigar.

Over but not out Marv

SF

RW"
RW of overseas

"Marvin, you are were an exceptional man.
From Cub Scouts to Deacons Quorum and Boy Scouts thru High School and both of us serving not only our nation but our hometown of Prosser, you have taught me a lot and set a great example in my life.
I miss our chats while we both were on leave or thru letters as we served overseas.
Thank you for all you have done and I will see you when my time has come, my Brother In Arms.

Sergeant First Class Michael DeWitt, U.S Army"
Mike DeWitt of Prosser, WA

"My deepest condolences to those who lost a loved one in Marvin Best. I served in the navy 4 years and my enlistment ended before the war in Iraq began. I can see by reading people's accounts of this man that he was truly a remarkable person, the type of person whose unselfish and altruistic actions leave lasting impressions on all he encounters. I wish I was half the man that he is, as well as all of his fellow fallen comrades. I can only say that i will strive to be a better man somewhat in the fashion of Marvin Best as it would be desirable to have people write about me after i'm gone as they have him. I wish I could have served with him. People always talk bad about marines and soldiers in general, but if they'd ever read about SSG Best maybe they'd bite their tongues. What an exemplary human being.
May god bless your family."
Christopher L Robinson of Salisbury, NC

"He was an upstanding man with unfailing values. I was honored to have know him.

Marvin, we are lucky to have you looking out for us still today."
Misty of Florida

"Hay Brother,
It's been two years that I got the news that you passed on and not a day goes by that I don't think about you. I miss all the adventures that we shared together. I miss the jokes that you and me would play on each other and stuff that we got away with. Words could never be enough to describe the type of man that you are. I look forward to the day we can meet again. Untill that day I won't shiste I'll stay in the race and I will not fall back."
GySgt Dunham of Parris Island

"Marvin was one of my best friends when we were just kids in Mount Vernon, Washington. He lived on a farm, and we used to play in his barn and around in the fields and land behind it. The thing I remember best about Marvin is that he was fearless. Nothing fazed him. He also had a great sense of humor. He had nicknames for everything (I still remember he called underwear "crundies"), and we used to tease his sister. I remember going over for sleepovers, and reading comic books and goofing around all night. I lost track of him when he moved away, probably when we were about 10. I always wondered what became of him, and although I cried the day I learned of his death, I was not surprised that Marvin gave his life for his country. All of my love to his mom, dad, and sister (and sorry about the teasing). May the Lord bless you for your supreme sacrifice."
Richard Morrell of Charlotte, NC

"I am very happy that people had the restect to make a run for him. I will go every year for the rest of my life."
PFC Hahn of Prosser, WA

"I knew SSGT Best as my recruiter. I was with A 1/5 during the invasion. He was a dedicated Marine and loved his job. I'll never forget the way he was.

Semper Fi"
Todd Espinoza of Pasco, WA

"SSGT Best was a well known SSGT in 2/7 where I used to be. After 2/7 got stuck 10 months in Okinawa, I got transferred to 7th Marines Regiment. One of my corpsmans on his way to Vegas had a car accident wherein his car cartwheeled more than 5 times in the middle of nowhere, he told me he would not be able to live without the help of marines who were riding on a van behind him mainly of a guy name Marvin Best a SSGT of 2/7. Coming, from 2/7 myself I know him and after a few weeks before 2/7 and my unit deployed to Iraq, I managed to stop and approached SSGT Best. I introduced myself and thanked him for what he did to one of my fellow corpsmans. With a smile, he shooked my hand and warmly accepted my thanks and even stopped by in my work place just to check up on my corpsman. A great heart indeed. His kindness, sincerity and professionalism are way above standards not only in his line of work as a Marine, as a citizen of this country and also as a fellow human being. He is indeed one of the greatest person I've known. He will be missed but yet his memories will be always remembered."
HM3 Andiano, David A. of San Diego, CA

"SSGT Best was a good man, Marine and leader to us all. It didn't matter if you were in his platoon or a different platoon, if you had a question or a problem he would devoted his time for you until it was resolved. His sense of humor was first rate. He could always make you laugh no matter the situation. You will trully be missed SSGT. Semper Fi"
Cpl. Steven Melick of Metamora, Michigan

"Ssgt. Best (Marv) :) was my recruiter, and I waited a long time to write anything to his family and friends. I'm sorry for that. From the swimming trips at the dam in Pendleton to the letters he sent while I was in boot camp, Marvin NEVER stopped making good Marines. My husband's roommate in Afghanistan (who I also went to high school with, along with his wife) was also a recruit of Marvin's, and we've all talked about him, and remembered how much he loved to joke. I will always remember the day my Dad told me he had died. He made us all want to be the best Marine ever seen, and made us all proud to say that he was our recruiter. He made me try harder to be a better Marine than I ever would have tried to be without him. Coming from a Marine Corps family (both mom and dad), that says a lot. My husband is coming home from Afghanistan tonight (along with his roommate -- my high-school friend), after almost 15 months and we lost 5 amazing men during this deployment. It doesn't matter what branch they were all in -- they all sacrificed more than we ever dreamed we'd ask of them, and I just wanted to finally say to his wife (who he spoke of in incredible terms), and family and friends that I for one will never forget him. I am more sorry than you will ever know for your loss, and I think of you often, along with Marvin. He was an incredible man. I will never forget him. I have pictures of him chowing down on a HUGE bbq burger and throwing a football around at my going-away bbq before boot. If you would like copies of those, please write me, and I will get them in the mail as soon as I hear from you. God Bless you. Know that he hasn't been, nor will he ever be, forgotten. All the best, Mel
barker_mel@yahoo.com"
Mel of Pendleton

"Marvin was a great friend, not only to me but also to our home town. He will alway be remembered. It was always great to talk about our military service as I was Army Infantry. Prosser now has a annual "Marvin Best run" on the 4th of July in honor of Marvin. You will always be rememberd.

"AIRBORNE""
Cip of Prosser, WA

"Staff Sergeant Best was the best platoon sergeant that I had during my entire enlistment in the Marine Corps. He was the embodiment of what a staff nco should be. He was exactly the type of man that I envisioned serving under when I swore in. He was firm, but fair; authorative yet aproachable. Staff Seargent Best was always looking out for his Marines, and always had our backs. He was the best Marine I ever knew, and our Republic has lost one of its greatest servants.

May he rest in peace."
Mike Probst of Gilbert, Arizona

"I will never forget you SSGT.
SEMPER FI"
CPL. ACE of chicago IL.

"Marvin was always an inspiration. I remember his smile the most. We went thru recruiting school together in the same class. Even in the intense training that we were going thru. He found the time to do mini triathlons and the like. We found each other while on recruiting duty here and there, to keep each other going. We called each other brother, the bonding that Marines do. Marvin you will always be my BROTHER.

Marvin you are truly missed.
SSgt. D.J. Betz U.S.M.C."
D.J. BETZ of Aurora, Colorado U.S.A.

"I miss you buddy! I'll always remember CAX with the LAR guys in the beer tent. Rest easy devil dog! You are truly missed!"
Sgt Charlene Ruiz (Anderson) of St. Petersburg, FL

"Marvin was the son of my wifes best friend in school in the State of NM.
We took his mother with us to NM in 2004. We had a great time on the trip."
James Nelson of Buckley, WA. USA

"I served with SSgt Best for 3 years in 2nd Battalion,7th Marines. He was the first Staff NCO I came in contact with when I was just a green 2ndLt checking into the unit. When I started talking with him, his sense of humor put me at ease and immediately made me feel better. It seemed like we always served together from F Company to Weapons Company. I remember we talk about the cartoons we watched and he told me all the funny stories on recruiting duty. Those good times and laughter carried me through one tough deployment after another, cheering me up when I was feeling down. I wish you're still here, back home laying back with a fishing pole, having a cold one just enjoy yourself. God bless you brother! One day we'll meet again! Semper Fi!"
Capt J. Sun of Fallujah, Iraq

"I cant believe i stumbled upon this page, it truly hurt me to know that Ssgt.Best had passed away. Nobody ever told me, I had to find out for myself about 3 weeks later in the hospital. I was the driver that night and when i woke up i knew that something went wrong I knew someone died and no staff could tell me. When I realized who it was I was deeply hurt and i cried, I felt as if it were my fault and that somehow I could have done something else. Ssgt was an awesome Marine and he took good care of us. I'm sorry for his family and I know I should have contacted you but it was just too hard for me to be able to face you. I just want to say that he will always be remebered and it will be very hard to forget you Ssgt. If any family members or friends wish to contact me my email is tico82@verizon.net Sincerely Cpl.Encarn"
Estefan Encarnacion of San Bernardino, Ca

"I just recently found this site while doing a search on google. It has been almost a year since Marvin's death and not a day goes by that I don't think about him. Marvin and I became friends in 6th Grade when we met in band. I remember his smile and his attitude but more than anything I remember his friendship. After graduation in 1989 we lost contact for awhile while I went to college and he went where the Marines needed him, during the first Desert Storm in 1990-1991 I contacted his mom and Marvin and I got back in touch briefly while he was stationed in Iceland. We saw each other face to face again in 1998 when I was bringing my dad home from the airport. He recognized me right away and after listening to the voice and seeing that smile again I knew it was Marvin. Our friendship continued during the next few years until he reported to 29 Palms and we lost touch again. When my husband was sent to Iraq/Kuwait to serve in the Army I wandered if Marvin would be there as well. I will never forget the day I got the call in Germany from a close friend that Marvin had died, my heart lost a piece of itself that day. I called his family and made arrangements to fly home for the funeral. I knew in my heart that was where I was needed. I spent about 4 hours with Marvin's family the day before the funeral and it will be a time I will never forget. Your son/brother/uncle/nephew was a true Hero and a wonderful friend. Marvin will always be in my thoughts and prayers and his memory will never fade. I stay in touch to this day with his family, his mom/dad and sister. It is a friendship and bond that will never be broken. Marvin and I had a special friendship and unique connection, I still feel him with me today. I love you and miss you very much Marvin, but I know you are looking down on me and just smiling and laughing. Always in my heart!"
Tara Swanson (Shearer) of Tampa, FL/USA (formerly of Prosser, WA)

"I recruited with SSgt Best ( I was in Spokane) You are missed!
Sorrow knocked at the door
Faith answered and found no one there
Semper FI Brother"
Brett Guenther of San Diego

"Being originally from the Sunnyside Washington area, it hit really hard when I heard the tragic news of the loss of Marvin Best. My own fiance (now husband) had just been deployed to Iraq himself, and had been gone four days. I recall meeting Marvin Best's wonderful mother while I was working as a cashier at a local store. We began talking about the troops serving in Iraq when she told me that her son had lost his life. I don't know if she noticed, but I started crying. I can only imagine what a great family Marvin left behind. God bless the troops"
B. Rodriguez bnr8503@comcast.net of Ft Lewis, WA

"SSgt Best will always be remembered by those who knew him. While serving with 3rd LAR he proved to be the perfect example of a SNCO, Marine and a Man. Semper Fi"
Joseph B of San Fernando Valley, CA

"SSGT Best was what all of us young NCOS wanted to be. A great Marine who truly cared about his Marines. Though he was never in charge of me, his men only had good things to say about him. You will be missed. Semper Fi"
Stephen Lewis Sgt 2/7 Wpns of Bellevue, WA

"My prayers and thoughts go out to Marvin's family and friends. I met Marvin at Camp Pendleton. We met at one of the clubs on base. We were friends and he wrote to me from Iceland. I have
a few pics from Iceland and a pic of us together at San Clemente pier on Christmas. God bless all our troops."
Michele of (formerly Orange County, now AZ)

"Ssgt. Best, what could be said about such a great marine. He was the one that motivated me to join in the first place. He wasn't my recruiter, but I enlisted out of the same office(Ssgt. Lloyd). I meet up with him a couple of times in 29 Palms and again in Okinawa, where he was mad that he was stuck not rotating back to the states. He wanted to get back so he could go to Iraq. He was the bravest man I have ever known. I was shocked the day my parents in Othello told me that they saw an article in the Tri-City Herald about Marvin. I was there in the gym in Prosser for the funeral. I just couldn't stop from crying during the ceremony. Seeing all the pictures and remembering my time spent with Marvin and Gunny Tavares. I will never forget my first impression of the two of them. They scared the heck out of me, and yet gave me the determination and willpower to join the Marines and join their family, as they would put it. Marvin will always be for me a shining example of bravy and courage. He will always be in my heart. Semper Fidelis and NEVER FORGET."
Andrew Lyon (lyon_adusmc@hotmail.com of Pullman, WA

"Marvin, you are miss truly and will never be forgotten. We sat up late nights in Iraq just talking and laughing. You are not only a true Marine but a good friend that I will miss."
SSgt LM Garcia 2/7 Wpns Co. of Sun City, Ca USA

"I spent over 3 years with you in charge of me, and to this day I have never had a better leader. You were a great Marine and a good friend and I will always miss the times we shared laughing and joking together about life... I will miss you..."
Sgt Aaron Mahoney of 29 Palms, Ca

"We fly our 60' high American Flag in proud memory and honor of your son and all our Veterans. Our sincere sympathy to your family."
Kay Langevin of Richland, WA

"SSgt. Best recruited my sister into the Marine Corps. In the times that they worked together, I became close with Marvin. I would always enjoy going to the recruiting station and looking at all of his pictures of his days as a sniper, and he always made me laugh with his MADD ribbon-Marvin Against Drunk Driving. He was such a giving man with a huge heart, and he showed me a lot about what life was. He always gave the best advice. He always supported me in my decision to join the Columbia River Young Marines, which was suggested by Gunnery Sgt. Armando Tavares, who was also at the recruiting station with Marvin. It made me feel so good to have them to look up to. SSgt. Best was a good man with a great, HUGE heart, who never looked down upon anybody. He was a man who truly loved doing what he did-defending the USA. I will never forget him and the lessons I learned from him-including the fact that "females can't be snipers, Jenna...I'm sorry" is what he said to me once. I loved him like a brother...and I will always love him like a HERO...because he is MY HERO!! LOVE YOU ALWAYS MARVIN!!!"
Jenna Forsythe of Kennewick, WA

"Marvin and I met in Iceland while we were both stationed there from 1990 to 1992. We married in 1991, but later decided to pursue our individual military careers which eventually took us to different places. Although our marriage did not survive, our friendship did, and we remained friends, as well as maintained contact with one another for many more years. Marvin was always a gentle spirit, kind and willing to help anyone who needed a hand. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife and family. May God bless you and bring you comfort always."
Somer C. Koester of Mesa, AZ/USA

"Thank you brave soldier for sacrificing your today for my children's safer tomorrow. You have our utmost respect and gratitude. May God provide your family with comfort in their time of sorrow. May you forever rest in Heavenly peace. Neither you nor your sacrifice will be forgotten. For the family/friends: May time provide loving memories in place of present sorrows. God bless you and thank you."
a grateful family in arizona

"I was stationed with SSGT Best in Iceland MCSF Keflavik, He was a great Marine."
Paul S. of Kuwait

"To our fallen Marine Son: We are most pleased to have Marvin for our Son. Although it's tough to lose him at such a young age, we know that he was born to be a Marine. A warrior such as Marvin belongs to all of us as he and others before & after him fought for our freedom. May we have a deeper appreciation for our Country & freedom. I'm super saddened by the loss of his leadership to the Marine Corp. I am deeply impressed by all of your tremendous support...Thank You..........Marvin's Dad"
Bill Best Prosser of Washington

"He was a Great Uncle to me he was a Great hero to fallow! I loved so much I what to thank every one that has help are family! Thank You And God Bless You !"
Kendall Frazier of Prosser,WA,US

"I am very proud of my little brother Marvin! He will always be my Hero! Thank-you to everyone for all the Love and support you've shown! His Big Sister, Lornna"
Lornna of Prosser, Wa/USA

"Sergeant Best, goodbye soldier and thank you. You are my hero."
Bill of Houston, Texas

"To the family of SSGT Marvin Best. We are saddened by the loss of SSGT Best and prayer for God's comfort at this time of loss. He will be remembered and honored by the residents of Twentynine Palms."
Judy Bartzatt of Twentynine Palms, Ca

"RIP STAFF SARGEANT BEST... MISSING YOU DEARLY... FROM YOUR DOC AT 3RD LAR CHARLIE COMPANY."
HM3 OCAMPO DAN R of PEARL HARBOR, HAWAII

"RIP Marine"
Petty Officer Cawthon of RTC Great Lakes, IL

"To Marvin's Family:
There are no words to express the sorrow we feel for your loss. May God bless you and help you through this time."
Dan and Meg Manninen of San Antonio, Texas

"Ecclesiasties 3:1-12

There is a time for everything.
And a season for every activity under heaven:
A time to be born and a time to die,
A time to plant and a time to heal,
A time to tear down and a time to build,
A time to weep and a time to laugh,
A tie to mourn and a time to dance,
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather them together,
A time to embrace and a time to refrain,
A time to search and a time to give up,
A time to keep and a time to throw away,
A time to tear and a time to mend,
A time to be silent and a time to speak,
A time to love and a time to hate,
A time for war and a time for peace.

What does the worker gain from his toil?
I have seen the trials God has laid on men.
He has made everything appropriate to its time.
He has set eternity in the hearts of men;
Yet they cannot fathom what God has done
From beginning to end.
I know that there is nothing than for men
To be happy and do good while they live.

John 15: 12-13

“My command is this:
Love each other as I have loved you.
There is no other Greater love than this,
That a man lay his life down for his friends.”
I never thought that I would see the day that the man that I called my best friend and the brother that I never had would be gone. I can't believe that day is here. I wanted to say to Marv's family and especialy his wife (you were his only... he talked about it all of the time)... thank you for such an outstanding person. He is the one that kept me sane from 1997 to recently and he was the one that kept me focused on me as a person, a mother and a Marine. Marv was not only an amazing person, but the kind of Marine that you wanted to be and I worked for that for 6 years... and I don't think with all of that work and his help that I have or anyone else has one ounce of the passion that this man had. He truely was someone you can look up to and I continue to... He was my best friend... he promoted me to Corporal and that was the day that defined our friendship, as I was the first Marine he had pinned that he had also been a recruiter for... Mrs. Best...and to the rest of the family... God bless American heros like this man and God bless America... I will keep you all in my prayers always."
Sergeant Kimberlee Anne Nelson of Kennewick, Washington

"SSgt Best,
I remember when I was a new recruiter in Pendleton OR and you would try and help me out even thought you did not have too because you now worked in Washington. I want to thank you. One thing I can say is all the young men and women whom you helped join the Marine Corps respected you and had great admiration for you. All they would do is tell me how great SSgt Best was and that they wanted to be like you. The world is now a sadder place. You are gone, but you will never be forgotten.
Godspeed"
MSgt Femat of Iwakuni Japan

"I can't explain the pain I feel for your family. My son may have been with Marvin that day. I pray for you and please pray for us too. They are our heroes. I will always remember Marvin."
D. M of Kawkawlin,MI

"To Marvin's Family and Friends:

On behalf of the Blanco-Caldas family, we send our sincerest condolences. We share the same loss ... the same pain. Our prayers are with you in this most difficult time and we thank you for his bravery and sacrifice.

Sincerely,

The Family of Capt. Ernesto M. Blanco-Caldas, 82nd Airborne
KIA Iraq 12/28/2003.
Gloria Caldas (Ernie's mom) of San Antonio, TX
gloria.caldas@banksterling.com"

"Marvin was a wonderful true man and marine. I knew him from when he was recruiting out of Pendleton. May God be with you all. We love you Marvin."
Sandy Arrants of Whidbey Island

"To the family and friends of Staff Sgt. Marvin Best,

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 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

"We Will NEVER FORGET !"
Please KNOW so many people share your sadness, and we are remembering your family in your loss and your deep grief. Your HERO, Marvin, will be remembered by name. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless you. Pat & Sandi Breckenridge from Montana "

"Thank you Marvin Best, 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 Staff Sgt. Marvin Best:
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 Marvin 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 Staff Sgt. Marvin Best:
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 Marvin, 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