“Born to serve” could have very easily been the personal motto of Greg Gariepy. He was born two days before the Fourth of July in the Army Hospital in Wurzburg, Germany, where his father was serving in the U. S. Army. As young man Greg probably counted the days until his eighteenth birthday, to a day when he could join the United States Marine Corps and begin serving his Country.
For the next twenty years Greg did serve his Country with distinction as a U.S. Marine, in a number of assignments, retiring in 1983 with the coveted rank of “Gunnery Sergeant”. His personnel file was filled to capacity with awards, decorations and commendations for meritorious service. The assignments that Greg was most proud of included:
– Serving on the Presidential Honor Guard
– Drill Instructor, Paris Island, North Carolina
– Member of a sniper unit in Hawaii
– Anti-terrorism expert and instructor, Newport Rhode Island.
Retiring from the Marine Corps, Greg Gariepy was still a young man with an insatiable desire to serve his community. Assigned to the Marine Corps Base in Twenty-Nine Palms at the time, an area served by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, he decided to continue his service to the Community by joining the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department as a Deputy. Needless to say, the Department was delighted to have this mature, tested individual come aboard.
On the early morning of June 22, less than two years after joining the Sheriff’s Department Deputy Gariepy was responding to back-up a fellow Deputy, traveling on a lonely stretch of Highway 247 in the Morongo Valley. For reasons unknown his vehicle left the roadway, and flipped several times. He was transported to the High Desert Medical Center where he died as a result of his injuries.
Greg Gariepy was remembered by his friends and colleagues as a true public servant. Randy Warfield, one of Greg’s fellow deputies, lamented “he was a warrior who saw a community that still needed his help. He could have stopped. He could have laid on the cool grass by the still water and said “I’ve done enough”. Instead, rushing to protect and defend, Greg Gariepy died, and we all grieve”.
At noon, on Saturday June 25 several hundred Marines, fellow deputies and peace officers from a multitude of jurisdictions gathered at the Protestant Church located on the Marine Corps Base in Twenty Nine Palms to pay their final respects to a man who was “Born to Serve”.
Interment was private.
Greg leaves his wife Mishelle, daughters Annette Chancellor and Brooke, and a son Brett.
A trust fund was set up for the family at Pomona First Federal Bank, C/0 Greg Gariepy, 6323 Adobe Road, Twenty-Nine Palms, and CA 92277