U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 806-08
DoD Identifies Army Casualty
The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Chaplain (Colonel) Sidney J. Marceaux Jr., 69, of Beaumont, Texas, died September 14, 2008, at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C., from a non-combat related illness. Following evacuation from Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, he was assigned to the Warrior Transition Brigade, Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
For more information media may contact the Walter Reed Army Medical Center public affairs office at (202) 782-7500 or (202) 782-7131.
26 September 2008:
Star and Stripes — An Army chaplain who ministered to troops for decades died earlier this month after being medically evacuated from Kuwait to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the Pentagon announced late Tuesday.
Chaplain (Colonel) Sidney J. Marceaux, a Catholic priest, died September 14, 2008, at Walter Reed “from a noncombat related illness,” according to a news release. He had been serving at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, before being transferred to the Warrior Transition Brigade at Walter Reed, officials said.
A memorial service was held Wednesday in Kuwait, a spokeswoman for U.S. Army Central Command said.
According to the Web site CatholicMil.Org, “during what was to be his final tour in Kuwait, the 69-year-old priest took sick and was sent to Walter Reed, where he died peacefully in his sleep.”
The site quoted another Army chaplain in Iraq, who knew Marceaux, as saying, “It can accurately be said that he died with his boots on. He will truly be missed.”
In an August 2007 interview with Stars and Stripes, Marceaux — who was then serving in the Benelux — said, “I loved dropping in on a FOB [forward operating base] where there were just a few guys, armed, tired, dirty and waiting for you.”
“If something happens to them,” he added, “they want to be reconciled with their creator.”
Marceaux was raised in the rice fields of southwest Louisiana, and the Pentagon listed Beaumont, Texas, as his hometown in its news release. He had been set for retirement at the end of 2007, but because of a shortage of Catholic priests in the Army, requested one more active-duty tour.
The assignment that lured him back was ministering to troops in combat.
“I was able to exercise my priesthood in a way I couldn’t in a diocese,” Marceaux told Stripes. “I was able to help them face death daily. They knew they had to go out and they knew they may not come back.”
Marceaux joined the Army at age 17. As a member of the Texas National Guard from 1955 to 1963, he served as a rifleman, truck driver and radio operator.
He left the Army, finished college and taught social studies at a public high school. Then, in the mid-1970s, a weekend training stint that was part of his seminary studies brought him back to military service. That training was attending to wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Colonel (Chaplain) Msgr. Sidney J. Marceaux J.C.L.
The Diocese of Beaumont and the U.S. Army lost a faithful servant last month with the passing of Ch. Col. Msgr. Sidney J. Marceaux, J.C.L., on September 14, 2008. Bishop Curtis Guillory, SVD, will offer a concelebrated Pontifical Memorial Mass for Msgr. Marceaux, at 11 a.m. October 11, 2008, at St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica, Beaumont, Texas. A reception will follow in the Cathedral Basilica Center. Members of Msgr. Marceaux' family will be present for the Mass and reception. The military funeral service for Ch. Col. Marceaux will be October 20 at Fort Myer Chapel at 2:45 p.m. At 3:30 the burial procession begins to the grave site in Arlington National Cemetery.
Sidney Marceaux was born in Kaplan, Louisiana, on November 24, 1938, and moved to Port Arthur, Texas, in 1946 where he graduated from Bishop Byrne High School. He joined the Texas National Guard at age 17. He attended Lamar University in Beaumont and St. Edward's University in Austin where he received his bachelor's degree in social studies in 1962. After teaching at Stephen F. Austin High School in Port Acres for three years he entered the seminary. Msgr. Marceaux was ordained to the priesthood May 16, 1970, and served as a teacher and counselor at Msgr. Kelly Catholic High School, Beaumont. In 1971 he began working for the diocesan Tribunal while still fulfilling his duties as a member of the Texas National Guard.
In June 1974 he received his commission as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve. Msgr. Marceaux was elected to a three-year term as president of the Canon Law Society of America in 1989. Until 1990, Msgr. Marceaux served in the Tribunal for the Diocese of Beaumont and attended weekend training in the U.S. Army Reserve. He was called into active duty on November 21, 1991, during the Desert Storm conflict in Iraq and was stationed in Saudi Arabia. Msgr. Marceaux was senior chaplain at a base and headquarters for the coalition forces during Desert Storm.
After Desert Storm he served in Cuba, at Fort Bragg, and in Japan. In Southeast Texas Msgr. Marceaux held a number of positions including superintendent of Catholic schools. He had assignments at Immaculate Conception, Groves; St. Anne and St. Joseph, Beaumont; St. Charles Borromeo, Nederland; and Our Lady of Victory, Sour Lake; and Our Lady of Sorrows, China. He also served as vicar general and on the college of consultors.
During a recent tour in Kuwait, the 69-year-old priest became ill and was sent to Walter Reed Army Medical Center where he died peacefully in his sleep September 14, 2008. He served 45 years in the military and 38 years in the priesthood. He received several military awards and decorations including the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.
He was the oldest son of Sidney Marceaux Sr. and Lydie Boudoin Marceaux who preceded him in death. Also preceding him in death was a sister JoAnn Parrett and brother Gerald Marceaux. He is survived by his sister, Judy Marceaux of Fairfax, Virginia, brothers Floyd Marceaux of Port Arthur, and John Marceaux of St. Louis, Missouri.
MARCEAUX, SIDNEY J
COL US ARMY
DATE OF BIRTH: 11/24/1938
DATE OF DEATH: 09/14/2008
BURIED AT: SECTION 60 SITE 8739
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard