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Marines present flowers to the family members of Master Sgt. Kenneth N. Mack here May 5. Mack’s family was in attendance at a building dedication ceremony where the II Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group motor transport facility was dedicated in honor of Mack’s service.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Meg Varvil

MHG honors fallen Marine

5 May 2008 | Lance Cpl. Meg Varvil

Service members saluted and family and friends covered their hearts as the colors passed in front of the Mack Motor Transport Facility here, May 5.

“This may not be the biggest, nicest building, but it’s where Master Sgt. Mack prepared his shop for combat,” said Col. Raymond Coia, commanding officer, II Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group, II MEF.

Master Sgt. Kenneth N. Mack was killed in action May 5, 2007, while conducting combat operations in support of 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, near Khalidiyah, Al Anbar Province, Iraq.

The II MHG motor transport facility was dedicated to Mack for his exceptional courage and leadership on and off the battlefield.

“Two days before the deployment, we had Master Sgt. Mack over for dinner,” said retired Col. Dan Leshchyshyn. “I asked why he wanted to deploy again… and he told me ‘I need to be there, because we have inexperienced guys.  They need someone who knows the ropes to carry them through.’”

Mack left a permanent impression on the Marines serving under him.

“He treated everyone with respect and dignity, no matter what their rank was,” said Staff Sgt. Ronnie Moore, a Marine who deployed with Mack. “He willingly and quickly embraced every Marine like he was their father.”

Mack’s compassion was also evident in his personal life.

“No one was a stranger to (Mack),” said Mack’s mother.  “He would just come up to them and start talking. I never met anyone like him in my life.”

All who spoke about Mack agreed he had an immense amount of courage.

“He had the courage to look the enemy in the eye,” Coia said.  “He also had the hardest kind of courage – to say what needed to be said in order to take care of his Marines.”

The Mack Motor Transport Facility will ensure that Mack’s memory and dedication will be everlasting piece of Camp Lejeune and the Marine Corps.

Mack’s wife said he had so much potential, some of which he never got the chance to tap into.  She knew he would go down in history, because Mack was that kind of a man.