"Taps" is a bugle call T- a signal, not a song. As such, there is no associated lyric. Many bugle calls had words associated with them as a mnemonic device but these are not lyrics.

Horace Lorenzo Trim wrote a set of words intended to accompany the music:

Day is done, gone the sun,
 From the lake, from the hills, from the sky;
 All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.

Fading light, dims the sight,
 And a star gems the sky, gleaming bright.
 From afar, drawing nigh, falls the night.

Thanks and praise, for our days,
 'Neath the sun, 'neath the stars, 'neath the sky;
 As we go, this we know, God is nigh.

Sun has set, shadows come,
 Time has fled, Scouts must go to their beds
 Always true to the promise that they made.

While the light fades from sight,
 And the stars gleaming rays softly send,
 To thy hands we our souls, Lord, commend.

Part (5)

Taps part 4


They came this way but once. Yet, they touched our lives in many ways while they were here. We shall remain eternally grateful for their friendship and for the influence each bestowed upon us.

From: Owen West
Subject: A Ghost Is Born

Every infantry unit has ghosts. They are conduits to the heartbreak of war, reminders of the brutal individual sacrifice often required so that others might live. The infantry is a guild. So what happens when there are no knights to emulate? Tears of anger dry, days pass, and the ghosts—and war itself—become mythical.

Before arriving in Fallujah this February, the 1st Marine Reconnaissance Battalion had produced no ghosts since the storied days of Vietnam, when recon Marines operating in small teams had clashed with entire North Vietnamese battalions. In 1974, the fallen were not mythical creatures but fathers and husbands and sons and friends. Alongside emulation came bugles and flags and sobs. Thirty years later, their achievements stood tall. But their collective sacrifice had dimmed.

On April 7, 2004, the ghosts returned. One gave his hands. One gave his legs. One gave his arm. And one gave his soul. Those men are no longer in-country, but Marine units are like giant families, and families do not dismiss tragedy. They embrace it. There's a sweet-and-sour mix of pride and despair that accompanies the memory of bravery under fire.

Capt. Brent Morel had missed Iraqi Freedom I. Not that the men in his platoon really cared. Yes, most of them had seen combat, but they valued decisiveness as much as experience. And Morel had plenty of pluck. If inexperience made him a bit eager on the battlefield, that was just fine with them.The recon platoon was traveling in the first five Humvees of a convoy, each man watching a sector of landscape. The terrain was perfect ambush territory—the road was elevated and exposed, it was paralleled by a series of chest-high berms, and there was even a canal that could act like a moat if the insurgents picked a fight. Some of the Marines hoped they would. A week earlier, Fallujah had erupted when four American contractors were murdered. The desire for contact was not driven by revenge, however. It was something innate that was swelling even as Fallujah deteriorated, a mix of adrenaline sprinkled with just enough dread to make it confusing. There was going to be a big fight. Might as well start today.


The lead vehicle was hit first. A rocket-propelled grenade sailed over a berm and slammed into the machine gun Corp. Eddie Wright had mounted on his door. "Grenade" is really the wrong term for this weapon; its warhead is the size of a football. When it exploded, all five men in the lead vehicle were wounded. Wright lost both hands. Shawn Talbert, standing behind the machine gun on the roof, was raked with metal below the knees. Something broke Eric Kocher's arm. The other two men took minor injuries—"minor" for Marines meaning bits of tumbling steel burrowing into the skin like hornets. Concussions, blown eardrums, and non-arterial blood flow. Minor.The enemy—insurgents, mujahideen, Syrians, Fedayeen, who cares?—opened fire with machine guns and rifles from the safety of the berms, 100 to 150 meters away. In Marine infantry school, this is known as a close ambush. And the only way to escape a close ambush is to attack it. The last part always elicits a few chuckles: Who would be crazy enough to charge a machine gun?

Capt. Morel was in the second vehicle. "Stop and dismount," he said, already running toward the enemy position. Those other Marines in the bullet-swept column that could follow him did so, racing toward the berms before their brains caught up with their legs.

Sgt. Michael Mendoza was one of them. He hadn't seen combat in the first war either. Now bullets were sailing all around his head, cracking like whips as they snapped through the sound barrier. When he reached the first berm (alive!) he took cover, pumping some rifle grenades into the enemy position. That's when he noticed the guys were moving again. Hell, he thought, I'd better go too.

Morel had practically hurdled the first berm and was now scrambling across the second. Sgts. Dan Lalota and Willie Copeland wondered if he was ever going to stop. They were providing cover fire, then sprinting to catch up. The incoming fire was thick now. It was a big ambush. Maybe 50 people. All five Marines followed Morel into the canal and started to wade across. It was chest deep and had a sinkhole bottom. None were aware that a second element of the platoon was rolling up the right flank.

Seeing the first three vehicles in the kill zone, Gunnery Sgt. Dan Griego had turned the last two platoon Humvees and rumbled up a road to provide a flanking element. When they crested the hill, the Marines saw dozens of Iraqis scrambling around behind the ambushers. They opened fire, killing a few Iraqis and disabling two vehicles that looked to be shuttling soldiers into the ambush and taking bodies out. The Iraqis shifted their attention and fired on them with a machine gun, but the Marines kept pouring it on.

Across the canal, the band of attacking Marines paused behind the final berm. "Cover me. We're assaulting through," was all Morel said.

"You want to assault through?" asked Lalota.


"Roger that."

Brent Morel crested the hill and shuffled down into the open ground. He was struck by a bullet that penetrated his arm and disappeared under his armpit. The exit wound was found on his lower back. It was likely an armor piercing round.

Lance Cpl. Maurice Scott was the first to reach Morel. He dragged him across the open ground into a small culvert, 18 inches deep. Other Marines piled in to help, terribly exposed to fire, shocked that their leader had fallen. By some miracle, no Marines were shot as they gently stripped their captain's gear free and applied battle dressings. Maybe it was Griego's crew pounding the ambush position. Maybe one brave Marine—and another's hands, and another's legs, and 30 Iraqi lives—was all the war required that day.

A press release would be drafted reading: "Captain Scott Morel was killed while conducting security operations in the Al Anbar Province, Iraq." It would be sent after the personal notification of his wife by the casualty assistance team.

"I thought about Capt. Morel a lot," says Michael Mendoza, who was sent spinning by a rocket-propelled grenade that exploded at his feet as he crested the final berm. "What we could have done differently. Could he still be alive if we said, 'Sir! Stop!'? Maybe others wouldn't be. I don't know."


Those wounded

Captain USMC
26 July 1976-7 April 2004

A Warrior of the “New Breed”, killed in action while leading his Recon Marines against hostile forces in Iraq.

Jerry L. Creed    A Company, 1st Recon Bn Vietnam 1970-1971 September 2011

Logan R. Davis    E Company, 1st Recon Bn Vietnam 1967-68 April 2012

Welton City    B Company, 1st Recon Bn Vietnam 1967-67


Henry Keeler           1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1970-71

Peter Koerner          D Company, RVN 1967-68

Jesse Smith               Delta 66/67

Gordon Pueschner    1st Recon 65/67 and 69


James D. Stacey A Company 1969-1970 December 2010 

Joseph Specht 1st Force Company 1966 January 2011

Leroy Cardenas B Company, 1970/71 February 2011


Raymond A Duncan Jr
New Bloomfield Pa
Jan 6 1948
Dec 10 2008

Bernard Szumigala
Erie Pa
Aug 27 1943
Aug 31 2009


Bob McConaghy (2 Cool) H&S COMM SEC / 1ST FORCE VN June 22, 09

Col. Richard "Dick" Oxnam 1st Recon Co. Korea July 15, 09

"More Info on Taps part 6"

Lt Col Michael J. Smith 1988/1994 Extract Date Unknown

Ben Szumagala Delta Co 67/68 Extract Date Unknown

Val Fuiava, Alpha 70/71 Team Cayenne & others. March 31, 2007

Vaughn Towle B Company 1983-1985 Extract Date Unknown

William Kern Reconnaissance Company 1993-1997 Extract Date 

Corporal Ryan L. Pape. Force Reconnaissance Co. 09 Parachute accident Dec. 09

Todd Werda C Company 1989-1992 Extract Date Unknown


Fred Joseph Balester Jr., January 13, 2009Fritz, as he was known by many, served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II, from December 1941 to March 1945. As a scout in the First Scout Company, First Marine Division, he participated in the first amphibious invasion of the war at Guadalcanal and later served on Cape Gloucester, New Britain. He achieved the rank of Corporal.

Ken "Pony" Monell Charlie Co. 68 2/13/09

Jim Giles Echo Co. 68 2/09

Joe Keegan Alpha Co. Feb. 68 - March 69 1/12/09

Aron Speck Team Hanover Sue Delta 69-70. 6/18/08

Raymond Duncan Delta 67/68 12/9/08

Steve Aaron Bravo Com. June - Oct. 68. 12/16/08

Donald Sexton A;pha 70/71 4/16/08

Walter Hutchens, Bravo 68/69 4/29/09

Rodney Poston Bravo 66/67 5/09

Joe Molosky DRP (Deep Recon Platoon) Commander 84 Feb or March 09


Roy Lee Jones
C Company RVN 1970
Final Extract October 2007 

Joseph R Martinez - Echo & Alpha Companies 1969-1970

1st Reconnaissance Battalion

Passed away March 18th, 2018

Albert King Dixon II


Passed Away 7/6/2020

Tony Martinez,  Alpha Company 69-70

Major Joseph "Joe" Spair Sr.

Charlie Company 1982-1984

LCpl Raymond Michael "Mick" Hall

Echo Company ‘68-69

HALL, LCpl Raymond Michael "Mick" 71, of Page, Arizona, passed away Monday, August 10, 2020, in Ivins, Utah. Mick was born January 1, 1949, in Springfield, Ohio, to Clement H. and Gladine L. (Rawson) Hall. He was a 1967 graduate of Catholic Central High School. He went on to proudly serve in the United States Marines, where he was wounded in Vietnam. Mick then joined the National Park Service where he became a Park Ranger for numerous national parks throughout his career. He was survived by three siblings, Becky (Brad) Dobbs, Bud (Michelle) Hall and Mary (James) Dobson; sister-in-law, Cindy Naprestek; and numerous nieces, nephews, greatnieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Charles R. Hall and John W. Hall. A private service will be held at Calvary Cemetery at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Mick's memory to the First Recon Battalion Association, 43761 Churchill Glen Dr., Chantilly, VA 20152. Arrangements by CONROY FUNERAL HOME.

Mick's Annoucement on Facebook

Sergeant Ernie Wayne Wallace

Bravo Company ‘69

Sgt. Mark Angel Guillen (1949 - 1978)

National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific
Also known as Punchbowl Cemetery