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In Loving Memory OF: Gregory Alm Ratzlaff, Capt. USMC

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Gregory A. Ratzlaff

Captain Gregory Alm Ratzlaff was born on March 1, 1968, in Mt. Vernon, Washington, the son of Gary and Kathleen Ratzlaff. At the age of one Capt. Ratzlaff and his family moved to Juneau, Alaska until the age of three then on to Anchorage until the age of 8. Capt. Ratzlaff and his parents spent the rest of his childhood and adolescent years in Seattle, WA. He attended Highline High School where he was quite the athlete and member of the cross country, track and swim team. Capt. Ratzlaff graduated with his H.S. Diploma in 1986. He attended Whitman College for a year then transferred to The University of Washington where in 1990 he graduated with his B.A. in History.

That same year Capt. Ratzlaff enlisted in the Navy. After graduating from recruit training at Naval Recruit Training Center in Orlando, FL, he attended Hospital Corps “A” School at Great Lakes, IL. Upon completion of his training he was assigned to the Naval Medical Center, Balboa, San Diego, CA. There he worked as an Anesthesia Tech. In 1992 Capt. Ratzlaff reported to the USS Carl Vinson CVN 70 home ported in Alameda, CA. He was assigned to the ship’s flight deck triage and continued his service aboard the USS Carl Vinson until the end of his enlistment as a Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class in 1994. Capt. Ratzlaff was also a trained and certified paramedic.

Sensing the urge to be one of the few and the proud, on June 8, 1997 Capt Ratzlaff reported to Marine Corps Officer Candidate School at Quantico, VA and was later commissioned as a Second Lieutenant on August 17, 1997. On April 4, 1998 he began flight training at Marine Aviation Training Support Group Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Fl and the following year MATSG Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas, May 8, 1999.

Capt. Ratzlaff received his Naval Aviator Wings on February 2000 at NAS Whiting Field, Milton, FL. His first assignment as a Marine Helo pilot was with MAG-39 at Camp Pendleton, February 25, 2000.

In May that same year Capt. Ratzlaff met and fell in love with Mary Lighthouse, a Registered ER Nurse who resided and worked in the San Diego area.On August 12, 2000 Capt Ratzlaff was assigned to 3MAW HMM-166. On October 6, 2001 Capt Ratzlaff and Mary Lighthouse were married.Their son, Drew, was born August 12, 2002. Greg valued and cherished spending time with his family and enjoyed the frequent outings and adventures they shared together.

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