Slain Marine's bust to be unveiled May 24

Monday, May 19, 2008

A bronze bust of Marine Staff Sgt. Marc Golczynski, who was killed during combat last spring in Al-Aanbar Province, Iraq, is to be unveiled and presented to his family during the Memorial Day weekend here.

The bust is to be placed in Marshall County High School.

Funded jointly by the Brig. Gen. Shofner Detachment of the Marine Corps League and the International Masonic Order, Delphi, in Athens, Greece, the bust is a result of steps taken by Operation Never Forget including Tennessee project directors Ed Magee of Shelbyville and Dave Uselton of Tullahoma, among others.

Operation Never Forget acts on family wishes for such busts and then presents a bronze statue to relatives in public ceremonies such as the one planned for 2 p.m., Saturday, May 24, in Lewisburg's Rock Creek Park, where honors and presentation of colors are to be conducted by Golczynski's Nashville-based unit, India Co. 3rd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment.

Golczynski, 30, was the son of Elaine Huffines, who teaches science at Forrest High School, and Henry Golczynski, owner of Franklin's Printing in Murfreesboro. He was a Marine Reservist on his second tour of duty in Iraq. Several younger Marines had been moved to another unit to fill its ranks. Golczynski volunteered to go with them to ensure their safety. He died March 27, 2007.

Buried in the Bedford County community of Wheel along State Route 64 just east of the Marshall County line, Golczynski is remembered in Lewisburg as a member of the Marshall County High School wrestling team, the school band's brass section, the man in the MCHS Tiger mascot costume at games and a performance with Marshall County Community Theater.

After a brief career in the restaurant business, the Marine worked in his father's business. Golcynski and his wife, Heather, divorced, but remained close. She's raising their 9-year-old son, Christian, at her home in Crofton, Md., between Annapolis and Washing-ton, D.C.

The bronze bust of the slain Marine is to be permanently displayed at Marshall County High School at the request of his mother, said Magee, senior vice commandant of the Marine Corps League detachment based in Tullahoma. Lisa Jackson, a part-time Lewisburg City Hall employee and frequent volunteer for community activities, said thanks to Principal Red Roberts and Stan Curtis, director of schools, the bust is to be temporarily placed in the MCHS library.

Wayne Coomes, a retired Marine colonel and former Lewisburg Police chief, is to be the keynote speaker for the program at the Rock Creek Park stage near the Walk of Heroes.

It was there, during last year's Independence Day celebration that Golczynski's former coach, Lou Scheuchenzuber, remembered his former student as a man of many talents who placed seventh in his weight class during a state wrestling tournament.

The Memorial Day weekend event grew from a Feb. 20 meeting in Marshall County Mayor Joe Boyd Liggett's office with Magee and Uselton.

"I'd like to encourage the public to join us in the park and to bring lawn chairs," Liggett said. "I think it will be a memorable service."

Marshall County Veter-ans Service Officer Billy Hill said he's been contacting all veterans and their organizations, encouraging their attendance at the May 24 event.

Golczynski's survivors and close family friends will be present, as will relatives and friends of Todd Nunes and David Heirholzer, two U.S. Army soldiers from Marshall County who also were killed during America's war on terrorism. Steps are being taken to have bronze busts cast of them. It's anticipated that their busts will be unveiled in the fall at a date and place selected by their families with local officials.