Perdido Marine mourned
By By Adam Prestridge
Family and friends continue to mourn the death of 21-year-old Lance Cpl. Bruce “Bubba” Ferrell Jr., a Marine from Perdido, who is being celebrated as a “hero” today by residents in the small north Baldwin County community.
Bruce Ferrell Sr. said Friday that his son’s body would arrive at the Mobile Regional Airport from Dover early Sunday morning where it will be transferred to the Bay Minette Civic Center for visitation from noon until 7 p.m.
Monday, the young Marine’s service to his country will be recognized with full military honors as he is laid to rest at 2 p.m. in Bryars-McGill Cemetery in Perdido.
Monday evening, the military contacted the Ferrell family to inform them that their son was missing in action. Tuesday morning, a group of Marines, including the gunnery sergeant of the young Marine’s unit, visited the Ferrell home to deliver the news of Ferrell’s tragic death in Afghanistan, Bruce Ferrell Sr. said.
According to published reports, military officials found Ferrell’s body after the Humvee he was traveling in drove over or beside an improvised explosive device, or IED, Sunday evening while he was on patrol, supporting combat operations in the Helmand province.
The young solider last contacted his family last Saturday where he was able to speak to everyone in his immediate family.
During their conversation, Ferrell Sr. said he and his son spoke about how much his mother was worried about him and that he was ready to get back home to tell them all the stories he had about being overseas. The Marine also told his father that he was going to “jack” up his brother’s Chevrolet Z-71 pickup truck, which used to be his, and put big tires on it.
For the Ferrell’s, this is the second time in three years they have lost one of their children. Their daughter, Danielle Whatley, was killed in a car accident in 2006. Ferrell Sr. said his son joined the Marines shortly after his sister died.
Ferrell, who graduated from Bay Minette High School in 2006, had only been in Afghanistan for three months after being deployed in May. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C. As of Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2009, at least 706 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan as a result of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to the Defense Department. Of those, the military reports 532 were killed by hostile action.
The young soldier leaves behind his father; mother, Pamela D. Ferrell; a younger brother, Dustin Lee Ferrell; a younger sister, Tiffany Scarborough and a host of additional family and friends.