Bret Michael Poklar, born on December 11, 1990, was the son of Terry and Susan Poklar and was passionate about three things – his family, sports, and the Marine Corps.
Bret’s passion for helping others led to him enlisting in the Marine Corps. After completing boot camp on February 11, 2011, Bret went to Pensacola, Florida, for his Military Occupational School (MOS) as an air traffic controller. Upon completion of school, Bret was issued permanent orders to remain at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in North Carolina. During his assignment, Bret graduated from the Corporal’s course, became qualified on radar data, final control, tower data, ground control, local control and was designated as a Tower Supervisor. He also accumulated many awards, including: The Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, a Certificate of Appreciation from MATSG-21, NAS Pensacola, Florida, and a certificate of Achievement on the Combat Fitness Test for an outstanding score of 295. At the end of the Corporal’s course, Bret also received his air traffic control license.
The morning of February 23, 2013, was a day of tragedy. Bret was injured in an off-duty accident on his base at Cherry Point, and then transferred to a hospital in Greenville, North Carolina. Family, friends and hundreds of Marines from Cherry Point and Camp LeJeune came to the hospital to pay their respects.
On February 27, 2013, the doctor informed the family that Bret’s brain had stopped functioning. On February 28, 2013, at 10:00am, the doctors removed Bret from life support and he passed away immediately with his family present. Bret continued to be a hero even in death as an organ donor. Bret was buried at the Willoughby Memorial Gardens Cemetery with full military honors.
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