|Birth: ||Nov. 15, 1966|
|Death: ||Nov. 2, 2005, Iraq|
Maj Gerald M BLOOMFIELD II
38 years old
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Killed when his Super Cobra helicopter crashed while flying in support of security and stabilization operations near Ramadi, Iraq. Assigned to the Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 369, Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, 1 Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, CA.
A helicopter crash in Iraq,claims the life of a Marine with roots in mid-Michigan. Major Gerald Bloomfield died on Tuesday while serving in Iraq. The Marine is a Fowlerville High School graduate who died after a crash in his Cobra helicopter.
Bloomfield's family lives in Livingston County.
Kate Kerch, sister: "He was just passionate, passionate about everything."
Passion was something major Gerald Bloomfield had in spades. As a kid in the 80s, he was known around Fowlerville as a daredevil, a free spirit. His sisters remember once how Jerry, or Jer as they called him, got stuck with a friend on a frozen lake.
Kate Kerch: "They were doing donuts and the car went into the lake, and they just sat on the hood and laughed."
But those who knew Jerry, also knew he was smart.
Paula Wallace, sister: "Smart, smart, smart."
At Eastern Michigan University he earned double degrees in math and physics. Before graduating in '89, he joined the Marines. Becoming and officer and eventually a pilot.
Years later, married and with a son, he was a career military man who believed in the job he was doing in Iraq.
Paula: "By being there, he was protecting us and everything we have here."
And he also believed in the freedom and the future of the country he was fighting in. He wrote about it in email sent home.
Kate: "It's not a 3rd world country. I believe it has hope. He wanted them to experience some of the same freedoms we have here."
And it's his sisters wish that people who knew her brother in Fowlerville understand this, as well as the people of Iraq and in the country he was so proud to defend. Major Bloomfield will be laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery.
Published November 5, 2005
Family mourns Marine killed in Iraq
Fowlerville grad is school's third casualty
FOWLERVILLE, MICHIGAN - Friends and family are remembering Gerald Bloomfield II as a good-natured, humorous man who was focused on his career as a Marine and loved every minute of it.
Bloomfield II, a 38-year-old Major, died Wednesday when his AH-1W Super Cobra heli- copter crashed about 70 miles west of Baghdad. The co-pilot, Captain Michael Martino, 32, of Fairfax, Virginia, also was killed.
Bloomfield II, of Ypsilanti, is the third Fowlerville High School graduate to have died in the war, joining Lance Corporals Michael Hanks and Andrew Kilpela.
"He would fly high and see the green and know things were changing," his father, Gerald Bloomfield, said of his son's experiences in Iraq. He'd see "power lines going up - all the stuff you don't hear about in the news, all the good things going on. He was optimistic about a country coming back."
Bloomfield II graduated from Fowlerville High School in 1984. He graduated from Eastern Michigan University and was on his third tour in Iraq.
Fun times remembered
His former band teacher, Terri Palazzolo, said she remembers Bloomfield II as a good kid who also was mischievous at times.
"When something funny happened, there was no question of who was behind it," Palazzolo said.
"He never let an opportunity for a dare pass him by."
Palazzolo said she recalled how Bloomfield II and some of his friends once toilet-papered her car, and another time during band "initiation" when older members turned him upside down and stuck him in a garbage can.
But Fowlerville's Kraig Sacker said he was amazed at how much Bloomfield II had turned his life around when the two talked at their 20th class reunion in 2004.
"I sat down with him for a good 20 minutes to half-hour at the reunion," Sacker said, "and what he has accomplished and done with his life is amazing.
"Having three (Fowlerville High School) people getting killed for doing their duty over there is tough, but listening to Jerry, he felt strongly it was for a good cause."
The Livingston County community has a population of a little more than 3,100.
Bloomfield II received a score of accolades during his time with the Marines, which stretched back to 1989, including the Global War on Terror Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon and the National Defenses Service Medal.
Bloomfield was born in Detroit, graduated from Fowlerville High School in 1984 and from Eastern Michigan in 1988. He also earned a master's degree in electrical engineering, his family said.
He leaves behind a son, Ryan, 13; wife, Julie Bloomfield of White Pigeon; two sisters, Paula Wallace of Howell and Katy Kerch of Brighton; brother, Tom Bloomfield of Chelsea; mother Shirley Spears of Howell; and stepmother Judy Bloomfield of Ypsilanti.
'You're so unprepared'
"You always have that feeling in the back of your head it could happen, but when it happens, you're so unprepared because you just don't want to believe it," Wallace said about her brother's death. "It's painful. It's a huge life that had so much more to go. We're just kind of standing here waiting for him to come back."
**Special thanks to Find A Grave contributor Thomas Mick for providing the following: "Thought maybe you might want add a note in the bio section about how Hour 2 of Season 6 of the show "24" was dedicated to this hero and his partner, Capt. Michael Martini. I visited this memorial after seeing that."
***Heartfelt thanks to Find A Grave contributor Roberta for honoring Gerald by sponsoring his memorial.
***Marines. Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 369, Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, I Marine Expeditionary Force. [Thank you for this information Mike Endress].
Arlington National Cemetery
Created by: Rosie
Record added: Nov 11, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 12311821