For many residents of South Los Angeles, Staff Sergeant First Class John W. Marshall is remembered as a hero.
Marshall, who was a resident of South Los Angeles and a 27-year-veteran of the United States Army, was a devoted husband, father and soldier. Marshall reenlisted in the army at the age of 50 after being notified that the unit he had trained was being deployed to Iraq.
While stationed in Baghdad, Marshall made the ultimate sacrifice when his convoy was ambushed.
One of the soldiers guns jammed during intense fighting, said James Marshall, Johns brother. But my brother had the stamina, courage and fortitude to remove the soldier. Then he climbed on top of the grenade launcher and continued firing until he was killed.
After he was slain in 2003, the United States Army awarded Marshall the Silver Star for his bravery. His body was laid to rest in Arlington Cemetery. Marshall left behind a wife and seven children.
Marshall received another honor Tuesday when the former Hancock Station post office at 82nd Street and Vermont Avenue was renamed the John W. Marshall Post Office.
Red white and blue balloons decorated the newly named facility as friends and family gathered to pay tribute to the veteran soldier. Carson Mayor Jim Dear and Percy Pinckney, senior field deputy for Senator Dianne Feinstein, praised Marshalls bravery and sacrifice.
Robert Marshall, 31, recalls that his father was a good role model.
I really loved that the community came out and supported the dedication of the post office, said Robert. I was happy that my family was in attendance and that several elected officials showed up. It brought a lot of joy to my heart.
Laura Marshall, 20, felt that the dedication to her father was wonderful. It was a great way to commemorate my fathers memory as well as all of the soldiers who were killed in Iraq, she said.