Fallen Marine honored with Bronze Star

31 Mar 2006 | Cpl. Ruben D. Maestre

Marines gathered beside a young widow and children of husband, father, Capt. Tyler B. Swisher. The Marines honored the fallen leader March 31, presenting his family with his posthumously awarded Bronze Star with Combat Distinguishing Device and the Purple Heart.

Swisher, former commanding officer for Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, was killed in action last October during combat operations near Fallujah, Iraq.

“I believe the philosopher Edmund Burke stated it exactly correctly in the 18th Century when he said, ‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing,’” said Lt. Col. James J. Minick, battalion commander, 2nd Bn., 2nd Marines, in a speech during the ceremony. “Stephanie, Ashley, Madison and Jacob your husband, your dad, was as philosopher Burke alludes to, ‘a good man who did something.’”

The Bronze Star was presented for Swisher’s invaluable contribution to his unit and its missions conducting combat operations from the beginning of their deployment in July until the time of his death. During that period, his leadership and planning prepared his company for Operations Southern Fire and Trifecta in areas near Fallujah, and also assisted in improving Iraqi forces taking charge in the area.

The Iraqi force, 1st Battalion, 4th Brigade, 1st Iraqi Army, later became the first operational unit of its size to operate within its own designated area in Al Anbar province.

“He was very good at upholding the standard,” said 1st Lt. Nathan Dmochowski, executive officer, for Echo Company, 2nd Bn., 2nd Marines, of Swisher’s zeal and professional drive.

Battle tested by his efforts in leading counterinsurgency operations, Swisher led his unit in successfully repelling an enemy attack with ground attacks and the use of close air support.

In addition to the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart was presented to the family for combat injuries resulting in his death.

Faces during the ceremony where somber, but the dozens of Marines and loved ones attending remembered his work ethic and dedication to the mission.

“He worked hard at what he wanted,” said Cpl. Lowell B. Willaims, 24, a rifleman from 1st Platoon, Echo Co. “He expected a lot from his Marines, but whatever he preached to us he did the same.”

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