Local Retired Brigadier General Leading Effort to Honor More Than 1000 Fallen Members of the U.S. Marine Corps

October 22, 2013

BGen Bill Weise is at the forefront of an initiative to honor members of the 2d Battalion, 4th Marines at Semper Fidelis Memorial Park on the grounds of the National Museum of the Marine Corps

(Springfield, Va.) - Retired Brigadier General Bill Weise served in the U.S. Marines for 31 years and completed combat tours in both Korea and Vietnam.  In Vietnam, Weise commanded the 2d Battalion, 4th Marines during periods of heavy combat including the battle of Dai Do, and was awarded The Navy Cross for his heroism.  After retiring from active duty service in 1982, Weise has been engaged with a number of veteran organizations including as a co-chair for the Marine Corps Heritage Center committee responsible for the vision of the National Museum of the Marine Corps near Quantico.  Most recently, he has led an effort through the 2d Battalion, 4th Marines Association (2/4 Association) to honor all fallen members killed in combat action since 1914. 
With Weise's leadership at the forefront, the 2/4 Association has raised $79,000 for the purchase of commemorative bricks to be placed in honor of fallen 2/4 members at Semper Fidelis Memorial Park located next to the National Museum of the Marine Corps.  The funds raised will cover the cost for the first 376 bricks, but Weise estimates that over $170,000 still has to be raised to purchase a brick for every member of 2/4 killed since 1914.  At the completion of historical research on 2/4, Weise expects that the Association will be placing a total of 1050-1100 memorial bricks.  Each brick will include the 2/4 members name, rank, unit, and date and location killed. 

"The 2/4 Association is assisting the National Museum of the Marine Corps in fulfilling its mission of telling American history through the eyes of the Marines," said Weise.  "The idea is for this to be a sacred place at the Semper Fidelis Memorial Park to honor the sons, fathers, husbands, who died fighting for freedom." 
According to Weise, plans indicate that the first 376 bricks will be in place this December at the Park, and that a ceremony including families of the honorees will follow after the first of the year.  When completed, 2/4 will be the first battalion size unit to honor all of its members who died as a result of combat with individual bricks at the National Museum of the Marine Corps. 
"We are hoping to bring together in spirit the Marines that are fighting for freedom in the present day with those who fought for freedom in the past," said Weise. 
Weise is a native of Philadelphia, Penn. and has lived at Greenspring retirement community in Springfield, Va. since 2009.  He entered the U.S. Marines as a private in 1951 and retired as a Brigadier General in 1982.  Weise has a Bachelor of Science degree from Temple University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Arizona State University.  In addition to The Navy Cross, Weise has also earned several other combat decorations including The Silver Star, two Legions of Merit, three Purple Hearts, and The Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.  During his command of 2/4 in Vietnam, his Battalion Landing Team was awarded a Navy Unit Citation for outstanding heroism. 
For more information regarding donations for the 2/4 Association memorial brick project, contact Bill Weise at [email protected] or 703-866-7657. You may also contact www.marineheritage.org or call 800-397-7585. 
About Greenspring: Greenspring is situated on a scenic 108-acre campus in Springfield, Virginia.  The community is home to nearly 2000 residents, many of which reside in the 1404 independent living apartment homes.  At Greenspring, over 200 resident-run and resident-driven programs promote an engaged, fulfilling lifestyle that is reflected in resident satisfaction levels that exceed the industry average.  Additional information about Greenspring can be found at www.ericksonliving.com.