I am running the Marine Corps Marathon this Sunday in Washington D.C. to honor a fellow Marine I used to serve with who was killed in Iraq in May while leading a raid against insurgents. Maj Doug Zembiec was a leader, warrior, and true patriot in every sense of the word. We served together as Recon Platoon Commanders 10 years ago, and over 100 of his former Naval Academy classmates and I will be running in his honor. Sadly, Doug left behind a wife and 1-year old daughter.
A fund has been established for Doug's daughter, Fallyn. If you are interested in donating, you may do so directly by sending a check payable to "Smith Barney" and write "For Fallyn Zembiec Custodial Account" in the notes field; mail checks to Jon Sanchez, Smith Barney, 111 South Pfingsten Road, Suite 200, Deerfield, IL 60015.
Much has been written about Doug, and a quick Google search tells volumes of what a tremendous person he was. I've included a brief bio and a link to an article in the Washington Post about Doug.
Whether or not you decide to donate, thanks for at least reading this and thinking about Doug, his family, and the sacrifices they and all of our military families make. Please feel free to pass this along.
Major Douglas A. Zembiec
April 14, 1973- May 11, 2007
Major Zembiec, son of Don and Jo Ann Zembiec, was born on April 14, 1973 in Kealakekua, HI. He graduated
from La Cueva High School in Albuquerque, NM in 1991. An excellent wrestler, Doug was an undefeated two
time state champion and high school All-American. He also ran track and enjoyed bow hunting.
Doug studied Political Science at the Naval Academy and was a two time All-American wrestler. Deciding to
utilize his physical prowess and tactical decision- making skills as a Marine, he was commissioned as a Second
Lieutenant in 1995.
Major Zembiec was also a family man. He met and fell in love with Pamela Slunt and they were married at the
Naval Academy on April 30, 2005. Their lovely daughter Fallyn Justice was born on March 30, 2006. Doug loved
playing with Fallyn and enjoyed working out and reading about military history and leadership.
After finishing The Basic School and the Infantry Officer’s Course, he was assigned to First Battalion, Sixth
Marine Regiment as a rifle platoon commander in April of 1996. In June of 1997, after successfully passing the
force reconnaissance indoctrination, he was transferred to Second Force Reconnaissance Company, Camp
Lejeune, NC, where he served as a platoon commander, interim company commander, and operations officer. As
a platoon commander, Zembiec’s force reconnaissance platoon was among the first conventional forces to enter
Kosovo during Operation Joint Guardian in June of 1999.
In September of 2000, he transferred to the Amphibious Reconnaissance School (ARS) located on Fort Story, VA,
and served as the Assistant Officer-In-Charge for two years. From ARS, Zembiec was selected to attend the
Marine Corps’ Expeditionary Warfare School in Quantico, VA. He graduated EWS in May of 2003.
Major Zembiec took command of Company “E”, Second Battalion, First Marine Regiment in July 2003. As rifle
company commander, he led 168 Marines and sailors in the first conventional ground assault into Fallujah, Iraq,
during Operation Vigilant Resolve. He turned over his command in November of 2004 and served as assistant
operations officer at the Marine Corps’ First Special Operations Training Group (1st SOTG) . Doug transferred to
the Regional Support Element, Headquarters, Marine Corps in June of 2005. Major Zembiec was killed in Iraq on
May 11, 2007.
Major Zembiec’s service awards include the Silver Star, Bronze Star with Distinguished Device, Purple Heart (2),
Combat Action Ribbon (2), Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (3), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal
(2), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2), NATO Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Navy Unit
Commendation, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal,
National Defense Service Medal (2), and Kosovo Campaign Medal.