LANCE CPL. MARCUS STEPHEN GLIMPSE
1983 to 2006
[EDITOR’S NOTE: To honor the fallen heroes of Iraq and Afghanistan, Précis occasionally revisits those who have paid the ultimate price. This is the second in a series of profiles in bravery—a reminder of what we have lost.]
160 pounds of pure muscle
Few are as utterly transformed by the U.S. Marine Corps as Lance Cpl. Marcus Glimpse of Huntington Beach. Prior to entering boot camp in 2003, Marc, as everyone called him, was 129-pound high-school dropout, who couldn’t hold a job and liked to sleep the day away. He sported a fuchsia Mohawk, painted his fingernails Visigoth black and spent every waking hour playing video games or watching The Sopranos.
Then the Marines took over. By the time Marc graduated the School of Infantry in 2004, he was 160 pounds of “pure muscle,” said his father, Guy Glimpse. He went on to become an authoritative leader, volunteer for the prickliest combat assignments and inspire his collegues with his quick-draw wit.
But the Marines fired-up something else in Marcus Glimpse: ambition. Following his deployment in Iraq, he planned to go on to college and become a lawyer.
That dream came to a crashing halt
That dream came to a crashing halt on April 12, 2006, when—during his second tour of duty—Lance Cpl. Glimpse, 22, was killed by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) at a roadside security checkpoint in Al Anbar province, west of Bahgdad. The skinny kid, who once thumbed his nose at responsibility, had earned a Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War of Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
“We were so proud of him,” Guy Glimpse told the LA Times in 2006. “Being a Marine proved to him that he was more than just this geek kid sitting behind the computer screen. He really could do more than he ever envisioned.”
One of twins, Marc was born in Ft. Sill, Oklahoma on August 8, 1983, a full minute or so behind his older brother, Michael. Moving from Oklahoma to Texas at age four, the twins came to live with Guy and Maryan Glimpse as foster children. That both boys had two-syllable “M” names to match mom Maryan and sister Megan made adoption a no-brainer, his family said. A little sister, Mandy, who Marc adored, came along seven years later.
The twins never lived apart
Guy Glimpse, who described Marc as “my best friend,” said his son “lost his way a bit” after his twin brother Michael enlisted in the Army following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Michael’s absence left a void, said his father. The twins had never lived apart.
Michael Glimpse, an Army paratrooper who had just returned from a 10-
month tour in Iraq at the time of Marc’s death, spoke of his brother’s
character. “The most admirable thing about him was his loyalty to his family
and friends,” he said. “Being a Marine helped show [his good qualities] a lot
more. It helped chisel away the rough edges.”
Marc’s impetus for joining the Marines in the first place, his father said, came from wanting to do his paratrooper brother one better. Only one problem. The Corps wouldn’t take him without a high school diploma. After moving with his family to California from Texas in 1998, Marc had dropped out of Palos Verdes Peninsula High in favor of his obsession with video games and Mafia lore. Newly inspired in 2002, he finished his course work at Huntington Beach Adult Education Continuation School on Oct. 24, 2003 and enlisted in the Marine Corp the following Monday. He was assigned to the First Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Pendleton.
He was a popular guy
Capt. Alton A. Warthen, speaking at a Marine memorial service in Abu Ghraib, Iraq in April of 2006, said, “Every unit needs a Marcus Glimpse—an individual who can crack a joke under the toughest of circumstances, who never seems to be affected by the hardships around him.”
Regarded by the men of MAP 4 as “the most dependable Marine in the
platoon,” according to Lt. Col. David J. Furness, a battalion commander
from Oceanside, Calif., “Marc, as he was known to his friends, was an up-
beat person”—the first one to break the tension with humor or volunteer for
a difficult assignment.
Marc credited his father for his strength of character. “He said many times, his father was his backbone,” said Lance Cpl. Adam P. Hahn, a fellow mortarman from Manitowoc, Wis. “He was the guy who kept Marc strong when he wanted to quit, and kept him smiling when it just wasn’t his day.”
Family meant everything to him, his friends said, and he considered his fellow Marines family. “Marc was the type of Marine that if any of us were stuck in the barracks, just hanging out over the weekend, he would snag us up and take us to his father’s house,” said Lance Cpl. Michael L. Mclaughlin, a mortarman from Mankato, Minn.
He always wanted to make you laugh
Former high-school pal, Max Ladish of Rancho Palos Verdes, summed up
what everyone seems to miss the most about Marc. “He always wanted to make you laugh.”
Marc’s patriotism may best be represented by his favorite holiday, the Fourth of July. Every sundown on the Fourth, he gathered neighborhood children together and led a charge across the Santa Ana River from Huntington Beach to Costa Mesa, where fireworks were legal, and put on a pyrotechnic show. He remained a kid at heart, his father said. When he left for what would be his last tour of Duty in Iraq, Marc hauled along toys for Iraqi children, a stack of DVDs and his PlayStation II.
Lance Cpl. Marcus Stephen Glimpse is survived by his father, Guy B.
Glimpse, his mother, Maryan Glimpse, his two sisters, Megan and Mandy,
and his twin brother, Mike. [KBL]