Arlington, Va. --
Marine Barracks Washington supported the funeral of the 16th assistant commandant of the Marine Corps at Arlington National Cemetery Jan. 26.
More than 130 Barracks Marines, including the official Marine Corps Color Guard, Marine Corps Body Bearers, U.S. Marine Band and commanding officer of the Barracks, marched through the cemetery, leading a caisson carrying Gen. Samuel Jaskilka (1919-2012) to his final resting place.
“From the bottom of my heart, I’d like to thank the Marines of the Barracks,” said Mike, Jaskilka’s oldest son, as tears formed in his eyes. “None of those young Marines knew my father, but they honored him as if they served together. It truly means a lot to our family.”
The commanding officer and a detail of musicians from the band headed the funeral procession, followed by four platoons of ceremonial marchers, the color guard, the caisson, the body bearers and Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the assistant commandant of the Marine Corps.
The general was honored with a flyover of four MV-22 Ospreys before the caisson was unloaded and the casket carried to the gravesite.
During the funeral, Dunford presented a folded flag to the family in honor of Jaskilka’s service, personally consoling Jaskilka’s three living children and granddaughter.
Jaskilka joined the Marine Corps reserves as a second lieutenant in 1942. He fought as a platoon leader in the Pacific island hopping campaign of World War II and served as a company commander in the Korean War. Jaskilka went on to hold various commands during the Vietnam War. He later served as the assistant commandant from 1975 until he retired in 1978.
His awards include the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, two Silver Star Medals, a Legion of Merit, a Bronze Star Medal with a Combat V, a World War II Victory Medal, seven Vietnam Service Medals and a United Nations Korea Medal.