USMC East Coast  Drill Instructors Association
Fallen Comrades

The West Coast DI Association is saddened to learn of the passing of Sergeant Major Lonnie Long (Ret) on 15 December 2020. Lonnie was Charter Life Member #0012 and was an original member of the National DI Association from the very beginning. Lonnie was also part of the board members that brought the West Coast DI Association into existence. He was the Chairman of the Legal Filings Committee resulting in getting our official IRS 501 (c) (3) tax exempt status, as well as getting our logo trademarked. In addition he drafted our first West Coast DI Association by-laws. We could always count on his generous Duty Hut donations of adult beverages as well as bringing several large trays of fried chicken to the check-in night of our annual association events. Sergeant Major Long attended DI School Class 8/71 at San Diego and was a drill instructor in good standing from August 1971 till may 1974. A viewing will take place on Wednesday, 30 December, between 1200 and 1300 hours at the Oceanside Mortuary, however the viewing is limited to just ten family members. The funeral service will take place at the Miramar National Cemetery on Wednesday, 30 December at 1430 hours. Miramar Cemetery will limit attendance to a maximum of 35 persons. At this time we do not know how many have already committed to attend, and as a result we suggest contacting Miramar Cemetery for more information about the restrictions.
Semper Fidelis Sergeant Major Long!


James Wesley Vierheller, 83, of Boomer, died Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020, at his home. He was born June 9, 1937, in Belmont County, Ohio. He was a U.S. Marine. Graveside service will be Monday, Dec. 21, 2020, at Salisbury National Cemetery.


Freddy Buchholz, 69, of Fannett, died Wednesday, November 4, 2020, at Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas, Beaumont.

Frank Fredrick Buchholz III was born November 25, 1950, in Beaumont, Texas. To his parents Frank Frederick, Jr. and Mary Lou Buchholz. Freddy was one of six siblings. Growing up in Beaumont he attended school at Forest Park ISD and worked at M&M Air Service during his high school days. Freddy was an athlete and loved the outdoors. He had a passion for Baseball and played many years at the West End Little League. Freddy inherited his passion for the outdoors from his father Frank. Freddy went on to join The United States Marine Corps in 1970 and attended Boot Camp at Camp Pendleton, California. He married Debra Ann Cuniff July 30, 1971. He often referred to her as the most beautiful woman he had ever laid eyes on. His endearing nickname for Debbie was (HEN). He was stationed in Jacksonville, North Carolina, then transferred to Beaufort, South Carolina where he became a Drill Instructor. He was a drill instructor for 2 years. This is where they started their family and Torri Ann Buchholz arrived in 1973.

Freddy was honorably discharged from the Marine Corp and they moved back to SETX. Justin Ray Buchholz was born in 1976 and his youngest son, Seth Fredrick Buchholz, was born in 1982. Freddy worked with his father building homes until he went into the Oil Field industry in the 1980’s. Freddy shared his love for baseball with his boys and coached them for several years. He loved all of his kids friends and made a big impression on just about everyone he met. He made a lifetime of friends that he held dear over the years. Freddy had many friends and never met a stranger. Freddy loved socializing and was never shy about stirring the pot a little with his friends or just about everyone he met. Many called him the town Mayor. He had countless memories Hunting and fishing with family and friends. The tradition continues with his children and grandchildren. He was at just about every ball game, Fishing Tournament, or singing event for his grandchildren he could make. He was very proud of his grandkids. One of his greatest joys was cooking and hosting large feeds. The fellowship with family and friends was what he really enjoyed even though it was intense fellowship at times. Lol. He was loved by many and will be missed by all of us.

He is preceded in death by his grandparents, Frank and Ruby Buchholz and Jesse and Hazel Robinson of Beaumont, Texas; parents, Frank Buchholz and Mary Buchholz of Port Arthur, Texas; brother, Robin Buchholz of Beaumont, Texas; sister, Nancy Buchholz Calfee of Fannett, Texas.

Freddy is survived by his wife, Debbie Buchholz; daughter, Torri Tucker and husband, Cory, of Fannett, Texas; son, Justin Buchholz and wife, Tammie, of Fannett, Texas; son, Seth Buchholz of Fannett, Texas; grandchildren, Mason Sonnier, Jadè Buchholz, Trent Buchholz, Emma Buchholz, Drake Tucker, Catlin Tucker, and Tyler Teague; great-granddaughter, Cami Johnson; sisters, Cindy Bison and husband, Ben, of Port Arthur, Texas; Pam Cook of Beaumont, Texas; brother, Danny Buchholz and wife, Anna, of Port Arthur, Texas; along with many cousins, nephews and nieces whom he loved.

A gathering of Mr. Buchholz's family and friends will begin at 12:00 p.m., with his funeral service to follow at 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, November 10, 2020, at Sevenne Hall at Broussard Farm, 10714 East Clubb Road, Beaumont. His interment will follow at Landrum Cemetery, Fannett, under the direction of Broussard's, 1605 North Major Drive, Beaumont. A reception will follow his interment at Grace Community Baptist Church, 22044 Burrell Wingate Road, Fannett.

Memorial contributions may be made to the PTSD Foundation of America|Camp Hope, 9724 Derrington Road, Houston, Texas 77064 or to Shriners Hospitals for Children, P.O. Box 863765 Orlando, Florida 32886.

Roger Walton Stembridge, Jr. May 11, 1947 - October 13, 2020 Juliette, GA. Roger Walton Stembridge, Jr., 73, passed away Tuesday, October 13, 2020. Private services will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to the Macon-Bibb Law Enforcement Foundation, Attn: Patrick Goff, PO Box 6437, Macon, GA 31208-6437.
Roger was born in Milledgeville, Georgia the son of Mildred Cox Stembridge and Roger W. Stembridge, Sr. and was preceded in death by his first wife, Virginia Stembridge. He was retired from the Macon Bibb County Police Department as a former policeman and bailiff. Roger loved the police department and at one time trained blood hounds for the Macon Police Department for tracking purposes. He was also employed by Snow's Memorial Chapel as a licensed funeral director and embalmer where he worked for over 38 years. Roger was a United States Vietnam Marine veteran having served from 1968-1969 and a Drill Instructor from 1969-1970 at Parris Island.
Roger is survived by his wife, Emma Gonzales Stembridge; daughter, Andrea Murray (Erik); granddaughter, Autumn Murray; sister, Katherine Norris; nephews, Benjamin and Jeffrey Norris.
Visit to express tributes.
Snow's Memorial Chapel, Bass Road, has charge of arrangements.


Sergeant Major (USMC Retired) Walter “Wes” Melton, Jr., age 83 of Long Beach, passed away Wednesday, September 16, 2020.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Dorothy Melton; his daughter, Susan Breazeale; and his first wife, Doris Coward Melton.

He is survived by his wife, Sharon Melton; his sons, Mark Melton and Gary Melton (Helen); his stepdaughter, Deidra Jacobs; his stepson, Kyle Jacobs (Jessica); his granddaughter, Amelia Melton; his step-grandsons, Gabe Jacobs, Sam Jacobs, and Micah Jacobs; his half-sister, Chris Dobbs; and his brothers, David Melton and Charles Melton.

It's obvious when you looked at Sergeant Major Melton, it was apparent that he had left an imprint on the Marine Corps. His appearance would be immaculate from the spit shine shoes to the razor sharp creases in his trousers. A young Marine would see an example that he could strive to emulate. He told a story without saying a word. The multi-colored ribbons he wore let the world know that he not only spent a considerable time in the Marine Corps but had contributed above and beyond in both combat and peacetime. His face was a story in itself. As he talked about his career you would see a multitude of emotions cross his usually stoic face. When Melton talked about his combat you saw pain; when he talked about his younger days in the Corps you saw a mischievous grin; and when he talked about the Corps in general you saw pure joy.
Read full obituary here.


Edward T Murphy, Jr. 87 of Center Township passed away on Saturday August 15 2020 at Heritage Valley Hospital after a brief illness.
Ed was preceded in death by his parents Edward T. Murphy, Sr. and Hildegarde Wilhelmina (Ostro) Murphy of Aliquippa and his sisters Elenore and Mary Katherine (Kate), and brother John (Jonny).

Ed attended Aliquippa high school before joining the Marine Corps. After completing boot camp Murphy entered Drill Instructor School where he quickly advanced to Drill Instructor at Parris Island. Murphy was deployed to Korea where he led a machine gun section of the Dog Co. 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines First Marine Division. Ed carries the virtues of the Marine Corps throughout is life. When Murphy retuned home he worked a number of years at Jones and Laughlin Steel as a safety engineer. Ed’s career in safety took him and his family to Rhode Island in 1970. There he setup different safety programs for numerous companies and finished his career with the Rhode Island Department of Transportation as Chief Field Investigator. Ed was a deacon at the North Branch Presbyterian Church, former Chairman of the Youth Committee of the Grange, former President of the Rhode Island prevention of Blindness and former President of the Rhode Island State Troopers Association. Ed enjoyed hunting and fishing and was always in the kitchen cooking up a storm. He loved photography and was always in search of the perfect 4 leaf clover. Ed never met a stranger and deeply cherished his time spent with family and friends.

Ed leaves behind his wife of 63 years, Betty Louise (Patton) Murphy of Center Township and their three boys and their spouses.

At Ed’s request there will be no services at this time.
In lieu of flowers donation to the Shriners would be appreciated.
Arrangements were entrusted to Simpson Funeral & Cremation Services, 1119 Washington Avenue, Monaca.


Jeffry Earl Nadeau, May 14, 1932 – August 9, 2020

Jeffry was born May 14, 1932 in Lewiston, Maine, son of the late Jeffery Earl and Louise Jalbert Nadeau and was married to Patricia Rasmuson for 63 years. Surviving are his sister Gloria Huntoon, two daughters, Gloria Blackwell and Julie Richardson, son in law, Hal Richardson, two grandsons Shawn Boudreaux and Justin Richardson; four great grandchildren, Timothy, Jules, Alexander and Caleb Beaudreaux; nieces Jan and Renee; nephews Ronny and Scot; cousins, Rick and wife Valle.

He served his country with honor as a U.S. Marine for 31 years as Sgt. Major serving in the Korean and Vietnam wars. He was a Purple Heart Recipient. He was an avid tennis player, golfer, and loved to fish on his boat and was an expert in judo.

Jeffry retired to Beaufort-he loved the south and the water, enjoyed wood carving and his yard. He was the best father and loved his wife. He was funny and loved life and a beer or two with his friends at the Amvets. He also enjoyed cooking and trying new things when he cooked.

Due to the Corona Virus, graveside services at Beaufort National Cemetery with Marine Corps Honors will be private.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Friends of Caroline Hospice, 1110 13th Street, Port Royal, SC 29935.


Sergeant Major Ihor Sywanyk, USMC retired, 78 of Jacksonville, NC passed away on Saturday, August 1, 2020. Sgt Maj Ihor Sywanyk is survived by his bother Bohdan Sywanyk, nephew Adam Sywanyk and his three children, Mykola Sywanyk, Andrea Sywanyk and Larisa Woodcock. He is also survived by three grandchildren Joshua Sywanyk, Chelsie Sandford and Xander Woodcock, step grandchild Janel Lucas and step great grandchild Skyler Lucas. click here for more info.


Sergeant Major Francis Thomas McNeive, 92, died on Friday, May 29, 2020, at Sunrise Senior Living in Leesburg, Virginia.
Sergeant Major Francis Thomas McNeive, USMC Ret, was born on 2 March 1928, in Brooklyn, New York. He enlisted into the Marine Corps on 16 August 1945, and served 30 years, retiring on 31 August 1975. In 1949, while on Sea Duty he supported relief operations in China, becoming one of the last to earn the title China Marine. He participated in the landing at Inchon during the Korean War, and the subsequent fighting in Seoul and at the Chosin Reservoir, and the hill battles of 1951. He received a Purple Heart Medal for wound received at the Chosin Reservoir. He had two tours as a drill instructor at Parris Island and served two tours in Vietnam, both with infantry battalions. He was the Sergeant Major of the Sixth Marine Regiment upon his retirement. After retirement he worked for Weyerhaeuser Company.
He is survived by his sister, Jane Ennis of Rononkoma, NY; a son, James McNeive and daughter-in-law Deborah McNeive of Aldie, VA; three granddaughters, Rachael Lasky, Veronica McNeive, and Carole-Marie McNeive; and one great-granddaughter, Sage Lasky.
The family will receive friends from 2 to 4:30 p.m. and from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 2, 2020, at Jones Funeral Home of Jacksonville.
A funeral mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 3, 2020 at the Infant of Prague Catholic Church, with military honors.
Online condolences may be left for the family at


GySgt Jesse L.Nieto,  May 17 2020


Daniel Kelly “D.K.” Comer, Sr., 83, of Dixon, Kentucky, passed away Tuesday, March 31, 2020, at Baptist Health Madisonville in Madisonville, Kentucky, after a brief illness.
He was born August 31, 1936, in Strange Creek, West Virginia, to the late Daniel Kennington Comer and Della Johnson Comer. D.K. retired from the United States Marine Corps in 1973 after which he was an over-the-road and short-haul truck driver. He was a member of the Marine Corps Drill Instructors Association, D.A.V., Amvets, American Legion, V.F.W., Masonic Lodge, and Moose Lodge. Throughout his life, D.K. enjoyed hunting, fishing, college basketball, NFL, and NASCAR. Above all, he was most proud of serving his country as a United States Marine and the loyalty and lifelong friendships of his Marine Corps brothers. OORAH and SEMPER FI!

In addition to his parents, he was also preceded in death by one grandson, Daniel Kelly “Trey” Comer, III; four sisters, Jean Miller, Dixie Haverty, Icealee Miller, and Pearl Nutt; and one brother, William McKinley “Ken” Comer.

Survivors include four children, Debbie Ward and her husband, Joe, Daniel Kelly Comer, Jr., and his wife, Lynn, Tina Johnson and her husband, Mark, and Mark Comer and his wife, Tari; one sister, Helen Yarnell; numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins. During the last year of his life, D.K. was blessed to have Betty Barnhouse as a dear friend and companion.

There will be a memorial service at Beaufort National Cemetery in Beaufort, South Carolina, at a later date.
Rudy-Rowland Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be made at


Ralph F. Sargent, 84, of Augusta died Tuesday, March 24, 2020 at VA Hospice Unit Togus Springs. He was born in Gardiner on the 28th of March 1935, the son of Grandville M. “George” Sargent and Georgia I. Halloway Sargent. He attended schools in South China and Gardiner.
He was a member of the class of 1954. He furthered and completed his education in the military and completed some accounting courses at Mid-State College in Augusta. He entered the Marine Corps Reserve at the age of 17 with his long-time friend, Arthur J. Baker. They went on active duty in 1954 and integrated into the regulars the same year. He completed over 24 years of service and obtained the rank of Sergeant/Major, E-9.

His service awards were the Bronze Star and Marine Commendation with the combat V for Vietnam during his first tour. Other awards consist of the Combat Action Ribbon, Vietnam Service 6th award, Presidential Unit Citation 3rd award, Marine Good Conduct 7th award, and National Defense 2nd award. And other awards include The Cuban Blockade and Vietnam Cross of Gallantry w/Palm, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal Device. He fought in the Battle of KHE Sanh, where his unit was surrounded for 77 days. It was the fourth biggest battle in the history of the Marine Corps. Tours of duty included five different times at Camp Lejeune, N.C., Parris Island, S.C. as a drill instructor, recruiting duty in Woonsocket, R.I., two Mediterranean cruises, Quantico, Va., two tours at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba after the blockade in 1962, four tours in the far east at 13 months each, at NROTC Unit in Auburn, Ala., and retired from the instructor and inspector staff at Lawrence, Mass. on Sept. 30, 1976. He also served or traveled on 23 different ships during his career. He married his high school sweetheart, Orise M. Bean, on Jan. 14, 1955.

They lived in several states on the eastern seaboard. Both of his children were born while he was in the military. After retirement, he worked for Capital Security Police for four years and 11 years at Digital Equipment Corporation retiring as a senior supervisor. He and his wife traveled to Alaska and Hawaii. They spent their summers in northern Maine at their camp on Lake St. Froid, Winterville. They also took many trips to Las Vegas, using their time share. He was a member of American Legion Post 4, Gardiner, ME, VFW Post 9, Gardiner, and he was the Commandant of the Marine Corps League Detachment 599. He was an avid hunter, fisherman, and gardener, canning and freezing many of his own vegetables.

He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Orise; daughters Deborah L. Berner and her husband Thomas of Augusta and Cynthia A. and husband Patrick Woodside of Sidney; grandchildren Eric L. Proctor and his wife Megan of Richmond, Allen M. Proctor and his wife Shannon of Plymouth, Mass., Shawn Irish of Augusta, Nicholas and Lauren Woodside of Sidney; and great-grandchildren Sophie and Ethan Proctor of Richmond, Charlotte Proctor of Plymouth, Mass. and Bryson Irish of Augusta. Also surviving, his sister Carol Ann Ingles and her husband Bradley of Albion, stepbrothers Kenneth and Eugene Edgecomb and their spouses, and stepsister Sandra Coleman and her husband Rick of Winthrop; and several cousins, nephews and nieces.

Services will be held at a later date and will be announced. The family would like to thank Dr. Emmons and his staff at the Togus VA Hospital, the doctors and nursing staff at the Hospice Palliative Care Unit at Togus Springs, and Dr. Healey and his staff at the Alfond Cancer Center, Augusta. Arrangements are by Staples Funeral and Cremation Care, 53 Brunswick Ave., Gardiner where condolences, memories, and photos may be shared with the family on the obituary page of the funeral home website In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to:VAVF, Voluntary Services1 VA Center (135)Augusta, ME 04330memo- Hospice Unit


Ronald “Ron” Lee Voegeli, 77, husband of Sandra “Sandy” Gollihugh Voegeli, of Beaufort, SC died Wednesday, January 1, 2020 in Beaufort Memorial Hospital.

The family will receive friends on Tuesday, January 7, 2020 at 10:00am in Community Bible Church with services beginning at 11:30am with in interment to follow in Beaufort National Cemetery with full military honors.

Surviving in addition to his wife Sandy of Beaufort, SC; are his children, Tiffany Martin (Kelly Martin) of Wichita, KS; Tim Voegeli of Columbia, SC; Lisa Voegeli (Vickie Voegeli) of Prosperity, SC; Anita Alford of Ridgeland, SC; Raymond Voegeli (Gretchen Becker) of Beaufort, SC.

Ron’s grandchildren, Jeremy White of Wichita, KS; Timothy Voegeli of Wichita, KS; Jacob Voegeli of Beaufort, SC; Joey Alford of Ridgeland, SC; Anna O’Neal of Jacksonville, NC; Amber Alford of Ridgeland, SC; and four great grandchildren.

Ron’s sibling’s Janice Lewis of Newton, KS; Judy Marks (Larry Marks) of Newton, KS; and Randy Voegeli (Bonnie) of Wichita, KS.

Ron was preceded in death by his parents Leo and Marie (Meyer) Voegeli of Colwich, KS; and siblings, Robert Voegeli of Wichita, KS; and Richard Voegeli of North Charleston, SC.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations be made to DAV Chapter #12, Community Bible Church or CAPA.


Mr. Dean Heath, 77, of Huntingdon, Tennessee passed away Thursday, December 12, 2019 at his home.
Millard John Morgan BEAUFORT, SC- also known as “Mo” was born April 28, 1943 in Camp Forest, TN. passed away December 14, 2019. He resided in Beaufort, SC for the past twenty years.
Roy Floyd Summerville - Retired USMC Msgt. Roy Floyd, 85, passed away Saturday evening, October 5, 2019, peacefully at his home.
Major Herbert Joseph “Fritz” Werner (USMC Retired), August 23, 1928 - October 25, 2019
John Richard Brown, August 11, 1938 - October 22, 2019
Master Sergeant Donald J. Kane, January 27, 1932 - July 8, 2019
SgtMaj David Adelman,  June 19, 2019
Sergeant Major Ernest Frederick Gregor, Jr., January 27, 1935 - March 12, 2019
Howard Lee Van Sweringen Jr. of Jacksonville, died Saturday March 30, 2019 at his home.

1stLt Curtis Mertz, December 29, 2018
Msgt John R. Gallagher, December 26, 2018
Walter Eugene "Gene" Fletcher, Jr., December 11, 2018

MGySgt Biers, 11 November 2018
John Lewis (Gunny Jack) Bolton, October 24, 2018
George Olivar, October 17, 2018

Ralph Levere Myers, September 29, 2018
William “Bill” Albert Mossor Sr., May 24, 2018

Domenick P. Tutalo Sr., April 23, 2018
Joseph Caruso, April 22, 2018
Dale C. Clark, April 17, 2018
R. Lee Ermey ("The Gunny"), 15 April 2018
Dr. Hiron Halvor Peck, Jr., April 7, 2018
SgtMaj Robert E. Cleary, 11 February 2018
SGT MAJOR Bruce R. Anderson, 27 January, 2018

Robert W. Donohue, December 12, 2017
1stSgt Ralph Carrop, 30 December 2017
Myron F. "Gunny" Mlachak, 20 June 2017
SgtMaj "Iron Mike" Mervosh, 31 October 2017
GySgt. Joseph James Pannasch, 9 May 2017

John Philip “Phil” Barnett, 1 February 2016
Sgt Major Mitchell J. Haddock, 26 May 16
1stSgt William L. "Bill" Throne Jr., 21 December 2016
1stSgt McGrane William J. McGrane, 12 December 2016
Sgt Hugh (Krampe) O'Brian, 5 September 2016
Robert H. McGale, 15 August 2016
Darrell W. Jarrell, 12August 2016
Gene LeRoy Krivanek, 11 March 2016
Jesse Louis Pacheco, 14 April 2016
Brandon, Percy 'Gunny' E., 8 Jan. 2016

Terry "Ted" E. Bryant, 6 June 2015
Richard Kester, 13 September 2015
Larry Ward, 2 July 2015
Maute, Robert A.,14 Nov. 2015
Captain Donald Hartman, 16 April 2015
First Sgt. Charles Carl Seabright Sr., 29 April 2015
GySgt Harold B. West, 16 January 2015
Sgt. Major Edward Platt Grealish Jr., 16 February 2015

Walt Harris passed, 7 October 2014
First Sergeant Boyce M. Williamson, 13 August 2014
Captain Romaine J. Deffes, 30 April 2014
GySgt Charles A. Love, 31 January 2014
MSgt. Ed Conradt, 25 February 2014

Kenneth "Ken" Wayne Barnes, 17 August 2013
Edgar Wade Johnson, 10 October 2013
Sergeant Major Jeff D. Federmeyer, 5 October 2013
Douglas "Barney" Barnett, 27 July 2013
SgtMajor Robert B Robinson Sr., 30 June, 2013
SgtMaj Ted Arnold Jr. 7 June 2013
Captain Augustus Dan "Gus" Beligotti, 1 April 2013

Donald C. McCune, Sr., 10 April 2012
William Frank Lankford, 16 June 2012
SgtMaj Joseph Monteleone, 16 December 2012

Major Kenneth Leo Bourgeois, 8 July 2011
SSgt Leslie Little 4 February, 2012
SgtMaj Walter Heim, 6 October 2011
Sgt Major James F. Bowling, 22 Jan 2011



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East Coast Drill Instructors Association
P. O. Box 5117
Parris Island, SC 29905
phone: 828.757.0968
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