ST. LOUIS – A local Marine is in the final days of his life and Marines from all over the United States are stopping by his hospital bed to say goodbye. Many of them are complete strangers.
Phillip Rochette, 49, enlisted in the Marines right out of high school. His sister Denise said in Phillips mind it is, God, the Marines then everyone else.
At the beginning of July Phillip started having headaches and throwing up. Denise called an ambulance and on the way to the hospital Phillip had a massive stroke. Philip is now on life support and will be taken off of it August 4th.
Denise was posting about Phillip’s condition on Facebook and a lot of his Marine friends were following it closely.
Denise started a conversation with one of them and mentioned that she would love for a few guys to come see him off. That person posted a picture of Philip in his uniform along with a small part of the conversation where Denise said it would mean a lot for a few people to visit.
That post got shared over a 1,000 times and for the past week hundreds of Marines have been showing up at Barnes Jewish Hospital.
Many of them don’t know Phillip personally but that doesn’t matter. Jeremy Kohler saw the post on Instagram last night and drove from Chicago this morning.
Denise said she expected maybe five people to show up, never anything like this and she is speechless.
For the Marines visiting, this is just a proper send off for their brother.
“It’s the end of his watch, time for him to go home, so we will take it from here,” said Kohler.