Funeral Services for Master Sergeant Aaron Carl Torian, United States Marine Corps
, will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 26, 2014, in the Memorial Chapel of Arlington National Cemetery. A highly-decorated Marine and war hero, Master Sgt. Torian, 36, died February 15, 2014 from injuries sustained during combat training operations while serving in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. A native of Paducah, Kentucky, Aaron was born June 28, 1977 and was a 1995 graduate of Thomas Stone High School, in Waldorf, Maryland, where he was a standout baseball and football student athlete. He was awarded a football scholarship to the University of Tennessee-Martin where he graduated in 2001 with a bachelor's degree in Health and Human Performance. While a graduate assistant football coach at Tennessee Tech University, he met the love of his life, Jurley Pomeroy, to whom he is married. He completed his master's degree in Instructional Leadership in 2003, and later that year, joined the US Marine Corps. Through his drive and exemplary performance, he rose with extraordinary speed to one of the top enlisted ranks in the Corps. In 2005, then 28-year-old Corporal Torian, a Reconnaissance Marine, was named the Second Marine Division's Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year. The distinction recognizes Marines who excel in job performance, physical fitness and leadership skills, traits he exhibited while participating in Operation Phantom Fury, in Fallujah, Iraq in late 2004. Torian was assigned in 2006 to 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion, Marine Special Operations Regiment, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC), based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and was promoted to Master Sergeant in September 2013. Having served two prior tours in Iraq and three in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom, he deployed in October 2013 for his sixth tour. His awards include the Purple Heart
, Navy Commendation Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon with gold star, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with three stars, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign and the Good Conduct Medal. In addition to his exemplary military service, Aaron was a faithful member of College Acres Baptist Church in Wilmington, North Carolina. As a community volunteer, he served on the University of North Carolina Wilmington baseball grounds crew and at the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church annual Greek festival. Aaron is survived by his wife, Jurley, their sons, Elijah (9), and Avery (2), and daughter, Laura Bella (4), his mother and step-father, Esta and Jim Smith, his father, Joe Torian, brothers, Nathan and Hunter Torian and sister, Emily Torian, his Marine Corps family, and many other family members and friends. Aaron was respected and loved by everyone he met and with whom he worked. He was a loving and dedicated father, husband, son, brother and friend. May his cherished memory be eternal. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Torian Family Fund, UBS Financial Services, 1985 Eastwood Road, Suite 110, Wilmington, NC, 28403, or to the SOF Warrior Foundation. Aaron will be laid to rest with Full Military Honors in the hallowed grounds of the Arlington National Cemetery. Semper Fi, dear Aaron. You are respected and loved forever.