The Military Entrance Processing Station here dedicated its ceremonial oath room May 22 to the memory of Marine Pfc. Ryan M. Jerabek. Jerabek, a native of Hobart, Wis., took the oath of enlistment in that very room at the age of 17, and four years later, he died protecting his squad during combat operations in Ramadi, Iraq.
"Having Ryan's photo in this special place will not only serve to honor a Marine who gave his all for his country and his fellow Marines," said Maj. Charles P. Winchester, commanding officer of Recruiting Station Milwaukee,"but it will also serve as a source of inspiration for all who pass through this building. Ryan will serve as a constant reminder to those who enter that freedom often comes at a price."
Jerabek served as a machine gunner while assigned to Company E, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, when his squad was ambushed April 6, 2004. He provided suppressive fire which allowed his fellow Marines to dismount their vehicle and engage the enemy. Even after being shot in the shoulder, Jerabek continued engaging the enemy until he was mortally wounded by enemy fire. His courageous actions earned him a posthumous Bronze Star with Combat "V" distinguishing device for valor.
"Today, we celebrate the gift of Ryan," said Rita Jerabek, Ryan's mother.
"We are so deeply honored that this ceremonial oath room is named in his memory. Thank you so much for bestowing this honor and today for the dedication of this very sacred, special ceremonial oath room."