MEPS dedicates ceremony room to fallen local Marine
August 18, 2011
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- In a room filled to overflowing with his family, friends and fellow Marines and other service members, the life of Lance Cpl. John Felix Farias was memorialized Aug. 11 as the San Antonio Military Entrance Processing Station on Fort Sam Houston named its ceremony room after the fallen Marine from New Braunfels.
With his voice full of emotion, MEPS assistant operations officer Capt. Mathews J. Metyko said he remembers helping Farias become a member of the U.S. Marine Corps not so long ago.
"John died with his boots on, fighting," Metyko said of Farias, who was killed by enemy small-arms fire June 28, while serving in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan. "He processed through this very station and we can remember him coming through here."
"He lived the USMC core values of honor, courage and commitment," said 1st Lt. Robert Stager, choking up as recalled giving the oath of enlistment to Farias in August 2009.
An infantry rifleman with the 1st Battalion 5th Marine Regiment, Farias died just 18 days before his 21st birthday. A 2009 graduate of Canyon High School, he was a member of the Cougars football team, active in power lifting and also an Eagle Scout.
"Lance Corporal Farias gave his life in direct action against an evil enemy seeking to eliminate American freedom," Metyko added. "He is the face of America's will to succeed, to free the oppressed and to project power internationally securing freedom for the future."
A plaque with photos of Farias in his Marine dress blues and battle dress uniform was unveiled during the ceremony and then hung in the newly dedicated ceremony room by senior Marine liaison Master Sgt. Ruben Garza and the lance corporal's father, Felix.
"He will be missed by all who knew him, but not forgotten," Garza said. "It is a privilege to honor a fine young man like Farias."
The ceremony room is where enlistees from all services take their oath of enlistment.
"I just want to give my thanks to the U.S. Marine Corps for all their support since John was killed," said Farias' mother, Penny. "All this has been overwhelming and amazing."