MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO–A local Marine was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal posthumously at a memorial service on Wednesday at Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego.
Hundreds of Marines, friends and family members gathered to remember 33-year-old Sergeant Gary Wilson of Fairfield, Connecticut, who died in a motorcycle accident while traveling
northbound on Interstate 15 last month.
Wilson’s son Ian was presented with the award his father earned during the memorial service. Wilson received the award for heroically rescuing two women from burning vehicles following a fiery multi-vehicle accident in September. The Navy and Marine Corps Medal is the highest non-combat decoration awarded for heroism by the United States Department of the Navy
to the members of the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps.
“Former president Ronald Reagan once said that some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in this world. Marines don’t have that problem, and Sergeant Wilson doesn’t have that problem,” said Lieutenant Colonel David Becker, Commanding Officer of 3rd Recruit Training Battalion. “He positively affected thousands of lives.”
The West Coast Drill Instructors Association has donated a brick displaying Wilson’s name, which will be added to the Drill Instructor Monument aboard the Depot to honor the fallen Marine.
“We extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Sgt. Wilson,” said Brig. Gen. Ryan Heritage, commanding general of MCRD San Diego. “Our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult period. This is truly the loss of a fine Marine, and he will be missed greatly.”
Wilson enlisted in the Marine Corps in March 2010. He was assigned to the depot as a Drill Instructor in March of 2016 after service overseas in Okinawa, Japan, and stateside at Camp Pendleton. Wilson’s personal awards include two Good Conduct Medals, three Sea Service Deployment Ribbons, National Defense Service Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism