Crane dedication keeps fallen Marine’s memory alive

Sandy Terwiske with Sen. Todd Young and her "Marine sons," who served with her son, Alec Terwiske, and who continue to keep in touch with her.

By CANDY NEAL
cneal@dcherald.com

Alec Terwiske

CRANE — The exterior of the Naval Support Activity Crane Visitors Center now displays the name of Lance Corporal Alec Terwiske, USMC.

The building was dedicated to the late Marine this morning.

“He was a gentle giant, fearless in battle,” said Major Christopher Kim, who led Terwiske’s battalion as company commander. “All of us gathered here have an obligation to remember and honor the sacrifices of our nation’s sons and daughters, who willingly raised their hands to say, ‘Yes, I will defend this nation.’”

Terwiske was 21 when was killed in action on Sept. 3, 2012, by an improvised explosive device in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

Information from the military states that Terwiske was part of a route clearance company. On that day, Terwiske “was providing overwatch when his fellow Marines came under enemy fire.” He had eliminated multiple threats as his vehicle moved to continue the work. In doing that, “his unit triggered a buried improvised explosive device,“ which killed him and injured two others.

He left behind his parents, Sandy Terwiske and Alan Terwiske; his sisters, Ashlee Gramelspacher and Codi Lion; brother, Brant Terwiske; and other family members.

Many people came out this morning to honor the sacrifice the late Marine made for his country — including U.S. Sens. Mike Braun and Todd Young, Jasper Mayor Dean Vonderheide, Huntingburg Mayor Denny Spinner, Alec’s priest, Fr. John Boeglin, Alec’s family and friends, people from the Dubois community and fellow Marines who served with Alec and continue to support his family.

The Northeast Dubois High School Band played patriotic music during the ceremony. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence sent a letter honoring Terwiske and thanking soldiers for the sacrifices they make and have made. The letter was read this morning and made into a plaque that was given to Sandy Terwiske.

Sandy Terwiske and Fredrick Street, who was in the same vehicle with Alec when he was killed. Street was injured in the explosion.

Also attending in support were Jake and Melinda Lueken of Dubois, whose son, Marine Cpl. Eric Robert Lueken was killed in action April 22, 2006 while serving in Iraq.

Fredrick Street, who was in the same vehicle with Alec and was injured in the explosion, spoke about his comrade.

“Memories become the gifts that the flow of time cannot wash away,” he said, “memories of his bravery, memories of his enthusiasm, memories of his unquenchable resolve to keep fighting when others would have given up and left. Memory inspires. Memory teaches others to do the same. Memory reminds you of who you are and what is worth fighting for.”

The building dedication was approved by the Commandant of the Marine Corps and the Chief of Naval Operations. The package requesting the dedication included letters from elected leaders and numerous testimonials from Marines who served alongside Terwiske.

“Memories of Alec give me hope,” Street said. “And today I am glad that we keep that memory alive.”




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