1st Lt. Hugh McDowell

After They Are Gone

When someone we love passes away,
We ache, but we go on;
Our dear departed would want us to heal,
After they are gone.

Grief is a normal way to mend
The anguish and pain in our hearts;
We need time to remember and time to mourn,
Before the recovery starts.

Let's draw together to recuperate,
As we go through this period of sorrow;
Let's help each other, with tender care
To find a brighter tomorrow.

By Joanna Fuchs

Guest Book

A man is not dead until he is forgotten. Go in peace and remember you are not forgotten while I am still on patrol.


A man is not dead until he is forgotten.

Go in peace Hugh and remember you are not forgotten while I am still on patrol.

Marine Killed in Light Armored

Vehicle Rollover Identified

By: Gidget Fuentes
May 10, 2019



U.S. Marines with 1st, 3rd and 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance (LAR) Battalions participate in the Bushmaster Challenge at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., on March 23, 2019. US Marine Corps
This post has been updated with the identity of the Marine who was killed in the rollover.

The Marine Corps is looking into what caused the fatal rollover of a light armored vehicle on Thursday at Camp Pendleton, Calif., that left one Marine dead and injured six others.

The Marines, who belong to 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, were doing training at the time when the rollover happened at about 9 a.m. Thursday, according to the 1st Marine Division.

Officials said 1st Lt. Hugh McDowell, 24, a platoon commander with 1st LAR Battalion, died as a result of his injuries, officials announced Friday.

“We recognize that military operations are inherently dangerous and we take extreme precautions to ensure the safety and welfare of our Marines. This is a tragic accident and we are heartbroken at the loss of a member of our Marine Corps family,” division officials said in a news release. “We will do all we can to comfort the family, friends and colleagues of Lt McDowell.”

McDowell, of Washington, D.C., was commissioned on May 5, 2017. His awards include the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

The six other Marines, none who was seriously injured, were evacuated to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, officials said. “At least three” of the injured Marines were released from the hospital as of last night, Edinburgh said. An update on their condition and status and the name of the deceased Marine would be released later today, he added.

The death is the second involving a tactical vehicle mishap at the large training base, north of San Diego, in the past month.

1st Lt. Hugh McDowell

A Marine Raider, Staff Sgt. Joshua Braica, 29, was seriously wounded on April 13 when the MRZR tactical vehicle he was driving rolled over and died of his injuries the following day, Marine Corps Special Operations Command officials announced.

Braica, of Sacramento, Calif., was a critical skills operator with Camp Pendleton-based 1st Marine Raider Battalion. He was married and had a son, according to MARSOC.

The Marine is the eighth to die on duty this year, following Braica, three Marine reservists who were killed in a roadside bomb in April, two who died in an AH-1Z Viper helicopter crash in March and a Marine who was shot while on guard duty in Washington, D.C., in January.

1st Lt. Hugh McDowell

First Lt. Hugh C. McDowell, 24, died in 2019 during a vehicle accident at Camp Pendleton, Calif. McDowell was a platoon commander with 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion. (Marine Corps)

Conor McDowell (1995-2019)

A tribute from Conor’s father, Michael H C McDowell, is reposted here:


Hugh Conor McDowell (March 11, 1995-May 9, 2019. 1st. Lieutenant United States Marine Corps, Light Armored Reconnaissance, Camp Pendleton, California.

Our beloved and only child was killed yesterday in a bizarre accident on maneuvers, leading his new platoon. The light armored tank which contains 6 enlisted Marines and one officer, toppled over, and Conor was crushed underneath. He died en route to hospital.

Conor was due to announce his engagement and marriage to the love of his life, Kathleen Bourque, a beautiful, tall, slender, accomplished psychology graduate headed for a Ph D. They were deeply in love after a whirlwind romance which began in North Carolina in July of last year, and settled in an apartment near the ocean outside San Diego, with their dog Ruthie and cats Missy and Max.

Susan, my wife and I, loved Kathleen, having hosted her during Thanksgiving and over Christmas. She is a wonderful warm steady person and adored our son, equally.Conor was a warrior, like my father in the Royal Ulster Rifles in the Western Desert, Sicily and Italy in World War Two. Sadly, they never met but Conor felt as if he knew him.

Conor, since he was a small boy, wanted to be a soldier, and later, a Marine. He excelled. He read broadly and was intellectually curious, and was physically outstanding — slim, fit, six feet plus, and sunny and passionate in personality. He was above all a LEADER and majored in history, minoring in French, at The Citadel, the historic military college in Charleston, South Carolina. Junior cadets, while I served on the college Advisory Board would come up to me and tell me how much Conor had helped them and encouraged them, while holding them to a high standard. He helped and looked out for young women, minorities, etc. There was not a bigoted bone in his body. Conor graduated from The Citadel in May 2017 and was Provost Marshal of 1st Battalion and in Al[ha Company.

He grew up on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, until he was 3 and then we moved to Chevy Chase, on the DC side, where he went to Lafayette Elementary, and later Deal Junior High, both public schools. He chose St. John’s College High School, near us, the historic Catholic French Christian Brothers school, which had a crack Army ROTC unit. Conor in his senior year became Command Sergeant Major of the unit. He chose The Citadel because it graduated a huge number of Marine officers and had a rigorous physical and academic regime.

There is a massive hole in our hearts and there will be for the rest of our lives. He was our only beloved child, in whom we were well pleased. We hope to meet again with our son in some way at some time as we pass on, as he has, at so young an age, and with so much of life ahead of him.

Peter Sweetser says
May 12, 2019 at 5:09 PM
A Marine died this week. The world is a lesser place for his passing.

Maybe God’s plan in taking this young man from his mother and father, from his fiancee, from his brother Marines, was to remind us that when we lose the best of us, those who put them selves out front, those who set the standards and the pace, it is up to those who remain to reset the balance.

As we prepare to celebrate Memorial Day, lets think not of the beginning of summer but of the loss we have and will endure as long as their is a need for young men and women to leave the safety of civilian life and put on the Cloth to protect and serve. Thank God for Conor and all of them, past, present and future.

Semper Fidelis

Retha Arrabal says
May 12, 2019 at 9:33 AM
What a wonderful tribute to your son. Thank you for sharing, and my thoughts and prayers go out to year. You have every right to be proud of your son. It’s seems his life was well lived, but far too short. My sympathies for your terrible loss.

Louise Obrien says
May 12, 2019 at 5:13 PM
No parent should have to bury a child. Thank you to the McDowells for this message about your son. There are no words which adequately describe the profound sorrow surrounding this tragedy.

Conor McDowell

March 11 1995 May 9 2019



Marines with 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, prepare to move after conducting a “hot check” of their light armored vehicles at Camp Pendleton, California, March 29. (Cpl. Dylan Chagnon/ Marine Corps)

24-year-old Marine platoon commander killed in LAV rollover identified by Corps