Seabee base building dedicated to their memory

Published 7:15 pm Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Officials have named a new vehicle maintenance facility at the Naval Construction Battalion base in Gulfport for two Marines killed while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The new Stewart-Waruinge Vehicle Maintenance Facility was officially dedicated Saturday in honor of Lance Cpl. Kevin G. Waruinge and Cpl. David S. Stewart.

They were killed Aug. 3, 2005, while conducting combat operations against enemy forces.

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The ceremony was emotional for the parents of both Marines, Joey and Sandra Stewart and Patrick and Rose Waruinge. They tried to find solace in the dedication of the facility named in their sons’ honor.

“People called my son ‘Bear’ and he loved to make people laugh. He was our heart, our hero,” said Sandra Stewart.

Both Waruinge and Stewart served with the 3rd Platoon Company A, 4th Assault Amphibian Battalion, Regimental Combat Team-22nd Marine Division, FMF.

The Marines were on their second combat tour in Iraq during Operation Quick Strike when an improvised explosive device exploded.

“This facility is a Jiffy Lube on steroids, it’s bigger and better,” said Dave Watts, engineering technician for Naval Facilities Engineering Command.

The Stewart-Waruinge Vehicle Maintenance Facility will service 26-ton military vehicles and the new military fighting vehicles.

“Let every person that shall pass through these doors from this point on know the names of our two fallen warriors,” said Inspector Instructor Maj. J.P. Wilhelmsen.