June Ramos was studying to be a Benedictine monk when he joined the Marines. He wants to be a chaplain, but for now he’s a rank-and-file Marine.
HASWAH, Iraq – His flak jacket was covered in dried blood, his blood. Look at the stains, Marine Lance Cpl. June N. Ramos said, pointing. There were dark red smears all over the front of his camouflage vest.
Ramos reached into the pocket of the flak jacket and pulled out a small silver tin wrapped in a plastic bag. He opened the container, which held a half-dozen Communion wafers.
"Instead of putting a grenade in here," Ramos said, fastening the pocket of his vest, "I put the body of Christ."
They call him the "warrior monk." Ramos, 32, was studying to be a Benedictine monk when he joined the Marines in 2003. He wants to be a chaplain, but first, he said, he must live the life of a Marine grunt.
So this is where he was on a crisp morning in Iraq, guarding a police station in this city 25 miles south of the capital, barbed wire surrounding the complex where he had slept fitfully in the cold air.
"I’m a Filipino citizen, serving in the United States Marines, fighting for the United States," he said, his body upright and at attention while he talked.
…The hospital in Baghdad where Ramos recovered from the bomb blast in October had a special hallway reserved for insurgents who had been wounded and were being patched up by military doctors. Ramos said he was angry, hurt, in pain, but he decided to walk down that hallway.
"God told me not to be angry, "Ramos said. "I pretty much quoted what Jesus said on the cross. I prayed that they would know the real presence of God, that God would guard them and protect them."
He came back to his unit about two weeks ago, a man who had forgiven and was ready to fight again, Ramos said. He would not dream of being anyplace else.
"I trust in God and keep the faith," Ramos said. "If God is with me, who can be against me, right? Be not afraid, that’s what I say." [Source]
He’s a brave man, to join the Marines with a name like June.
As a Pilipino and Catholic myself, this is a very proud moment.
Elinor, in the Philippines June is a masculine name (my brother has the same name).
I went to the seminary with June at Mount St. Mary’s in Emmitsburg. He was there from 2000-2002 and left to join the military. I can attest, he is a holy man.