Lance Cpl. Benjamin W. Tuttle, 19, died Sunday (July 14) at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, U.S. military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany, following a medical evacuation from U.S.S. Nimitz during a scheduled port visit, according a Department of Defense news release.
The incident is under investigation.
Tuttle was assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 323, Marine Aircraft Group 11, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif. He was serving on Operation Enduring Freedom.
According to a post on his Facebook page, Tuttle expected to return to Arkansas in October.
"Lots of love goes back home to my family, I miss all of you. I should be home in October, I can't wait to see all of you. Uncle Mike, we will have to go fishing. Little brother we will have to hang out, and granny, we will have to go out to dinner together, and as for the rest of the family, I can't wait to see all of you too. Love Ben"
Tuttle graduated from Gentry High School in 2012.
The Marine's friends in the Gentry area said they will remember Tuttle as a hero.
"I'm sure people are sad and my son even said tell me when the funeral is, said Gentry High School Assistant Principal Terrie Metze. “So it's tough."
Tuttle’s friends said they were shocked when they heard the news, and they will forever miss him.
"I knew him to be a very strong guy, said former wrestling teammate Elijah Ramsey. "His family should be proud."
Those who knew Tuttle said he lived with his grandmother, and they can't even imagine what she is going through.
"I probably talked with his grandmother on a weekly basis, maybe twice a week," Metzie said. "We worked together to help Ben graduate.”
Tuttle’s coaches said he was a strong athlete.
"Ben was a great kid. He came to us in 10th grade,” said coach Daniel Ramsey. “Played football for me and ran track for me as well.”
"I wrestled with him I only wrestled for one year but he was a pretty good wrestler," said Elijah Ramsey.
"Anybody that puts a uniform on pits them-self in that situation is a hero in our hearts, and we love them for what they do," Daniel Ramsey said.