Marine Lance Corporal John J. Van Gyzen IV
Born: June 16, 1983
Fallen: July 5, 2004
Marine Lance Corporal John J. Van Gyzen IV grew up in Rhode Island. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, in Twentynine Palms, CA. He became a RI fallen hero on July 5, 2004 by enemy action in Anbar province, Iraq.
Lance Corporal John J. Van Gyzen IV was a resident of Rhode Island when he was younger and later resided in Rehoboth, MA. “He’s a hero just like all the soldiers that died in Iraq,” his father said, his support for the cause unshaken by his son’s death. “I’m very proud of what they all did.” Fighting back tears, Mr. Vangyzen remembered his son, who was well liked by friends and much loved by his family. “He’s just a good kid. You can ask anyone around there and they won’t say a bad thing about him. Everyone liked him,” he continued. His parents said that John feared for his safety, but that he also felt serving his country was important. ”
John enlisted in the Marines while he was a student at Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School, fulfilling a dream. “He wanted nothing more than to be a Marine,” his stepmother recalls. He also planned to re-enlist for four years in the military police, after his return. He felt the Marines would pay for his education and the military police would give him the training he needed to apply for the Massachusetts State Police. “His goal was to become a member of the State Police SWAT Team,” Mr. Vangyzen said.
The 21-year-old became a hero on July 5, 2004 as a result of enemy action in Al Anbar Province, Iraq.In addition to his father and stepmother, Lance Corporal Vangyzen is survived by his wife, his mother, three sisters, and two stepsisters.