21, of Dighton, Mass.; assigned to 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, at Twentynine Palms, Calif.; killed July 5 by enemy action in Anbar province, Iraq.
Van Gyzen was buried with full military honors at the Rhode Island Veterans Cemetery in Exeter, R.I., the Taunton Gazette reported.
Rev. Elinor Carriere, of West Warwick, R.I., said she met John when he was a boy of 10 or 11. She said he believed he could make a difference by being a Marine and make the country a better place.
Rev. Robert Rust, pastor at the West Congregational Church, where the funeral was held, said Van Gyzen was an “American hero.”
Van Gyzen was born June 16, 1983 and died July 5, 2004. Rust said what matters is not the two dates, but the dash between them.
Members of the Marine Corps League join together in camaraderie and fellowship for the purpose of preserving the traditions and promoting the interests of the United States Marine Corps, banding together those who are now serving in the United States Marine Corps and those who have been honorably discharged from that service that they may effectively promote the ideals of American freedom and democracy, voluntarily aiding and rendering assistance to all Marines, FMF Corpsmen and former Marines and FMF Corpsmen and to their widows and orphans; and to perpetuate the history of the United States Marine Corps and by fitting acts to observe the anniversaries of historical occasions of particular interest to Marines.
The Marine Corps League perpetuates the traditions and spirit of ALL Marines and Navy FMF Corpsmen, who proudly wear or who have worn the eagle, globe and anchor of the Corps. It takes great pride in crediting its founding in 1923 to World War I hero, then Major General Commandant John A. Lejeune. It takes equal pride in its Federal Charter, approved by An Act of the Seventy-Fifth Congress of the United States of America and signed and approved by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on August 4, 1937. The League is the only Federally Chartered Marine Corps related veterans organization in the country. Since its earliest days, the Marine Corps League has enjoyed the support and encouragement of the active duty and Reserve establishments of the U. S. Marine Corps. Today, the League boasts a membership of more than 60,000 men and women, officer and enlisted, active duty, Reserve Marines, honorably discharged Marine Veterans, qualified Navy FMF Corpsmen and qualified Navy FMF Chaplains and is one of the few Veterans Organizations that experiences increases in its membership each year.
The Marine Corps League is headed by an elected National Commandant, with 14 elected National Staff Officers who serve as trustees. The National Board of Trustees coordinates the efforts of 48 department, or state, entities and the activities of over 1000 community-based detachments located throughout the United States and overseas. The day-to-day operations of the League are under the control of the National Executive Director with the responsibility for the management and direction of all programs, activities, and affairs of the Marine Corps League as well as supervising the National Headquarters staff.
The prime authority of the League is derived from its Congressional charter and from its annual National Convention held each August in different major U.S. cities throughout the nation. It is a not-for-profit organization within the provisions of the Internal Revenue Service Code 501(c) (4), with a special group exemption letter which allows for contributions to the Marine Corps League, its Auxiliary and subsidiary units, to be tax deductible by the donor.