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Above: Father, S. Nirmal Singh, is handed the ceremonial American flag by a U.S. Marine.

Our Heroes

Hundreds Celebrate Hero Marine Corporal Gurpreet Singh

by ADALTO NASCIMENTO

 

 

Hundreds mourned the death of U.S. Marine Cpl. Gurpreet Singh at Mount Vernon Memorial Home in Fair Oaks, California, on Saturday, July 2, 2011 morning.

The Oakmont High School alumnus and former Antelope resident died from wounds received in combat June 22, 2011 in the Helmand province of Afghanistan.

"This doesn’t feel real," said Roman Dhanda, Singh's cousin. "When he told me he was joining the Marines I didn't think of the danger - that we'd be here today."

Gurpreet Singh, who migrated at the age of 11 from Punjab to the United States with his family in 2000, died on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan. Family members said he didn't have to go on the second tour, but decided to go in a friend and fellow Marine's place, instead.

"He was a great guy - always happy and always making the best of every situation the best way he could," said former high school classmate and U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Steinman.  

"He was one of the most respectful," said U.S. Marine Staff Sgt. Joseph Giardino. "[Cpl. Gurpreet Singh] never complained, he just did what was asked of him."

Gurpreet Singh decided to join the Marines when he was 17 years old. Family members said it was important to him that he served in Afghanistan, where he could help protect both his country and the innocent Afghan people.

The entrance to the Mount Vernon chapel, where the funeral service took place, was lined with scores of Patriot Guard Riders -- a collective of motorcycle clubs and supporters who attend funerals of service members killed in combat.

A hall of riders bearing the American flag greeted those who attended the funeral service.

Shortly after the service, military honors included the firing of three volleys each by seven service members.

The body was then cremated according to Sikh rites.

Gurpreet Singh is survived by his parents, Sardar Nirmal Singh and Sardarni Satnam Kaur, his sister, Manpreet Kaur; his grandmother, Nasib Kaur, and grandfather, Ajit Singh.

 
Did you know Marine Cpl. Gurpreet Singh? Tell us in the comments.
[Courtesy: White Oaks Patch]
July 4, 2011

Conversation about this article

1: Harpreet (Jalandhar, Punjab), July 04, 2011, 6:36 AM.

Waheguru ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru ji ki fateh!

2: Sukhindarpal SIngh (Penang, Malaysia), July 04, 2011, 9:49 PM.

Shubh kermen tay kab-hoo(n) naa turro(n)! GuruRakha.

3: Jaskanwarbir Singh Randhawa (La Verne, California, U.S.A.), February 06, 2012, 9:58 PM.

Surbir ne saada sir fakhar nal uccha keeta hai. Eho jahe surbir bar bar surbir ban ke janam lainde ne. Fakhar hai ma-baap uppar.

4: Ravi Singh (Sacramento, California, USA ), June 24, 2013, 2:35 AM.

Cpl Gurpreet Singh was a great son, great brother, and a great friend! I am honored to have been his friend. He is a true hero for me, for the Marines, and also for this world. God bless him! You will always be missed, bro! R.I.P.

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