Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Trooper Richard Terrell Gaston

Indiana State Police, Indiana

End of Watch Thursday, March 4, 1999

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Reflections for Trooper Richard Terrell Gaston

Trooper Gaston, rest in peace.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

March 13, 2019

Trooper Gaston,
On today, the 20th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice-not just as a LEO but for our Country as well when you served with the USMC-especially during the Gulf War. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

Semper Fi Devil Dog!

BPA Mike Casey
United States Border Patrol
El Paso Station

March 4, 2019

Gaston- not a year goes by that I don't tell the story of how you and I first met:

You and Fighting First had been to deployed out to Dessert Shield and were gone during my time in CDS and for a few months I was with Suicide Second. If my memory is correct, all of you came back the week of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving weekend came and everyone was on a 72 hour weekend liberty. I, however, decided to stay back and save some money and go home for Christmas. You stayed back for reasons unknown to be at the time. Lights out.

Sometime during Friday night into Saturday morning, my bunk jumped. At first, I thought I was dreaming and then it happened again with you saying "get up." I guess my snoring kept you up and you couldn't sleep. Then you asked "how fast can you run 3 miles?" I answered "sub 19 Lance Corporal." Then you said "get dressed for P.T" I did and you then asked me " Do you know where the Capitol Building is?" I responded with with "No, Lance Corporal." You said "find it!"

Down the stairs I went and the running started. I had some general idea where the building was and ran in that direction. I found it. Touched the step and started back and passed you asI was running back to the barracks. I would say you you had given me a pretty good lead and it was then I realized I didn't recognize anything on the street I was running. These are all houses? The street I just came in on had businesses and banks and gas stations. Me not knowing D.C. like I do now, instead of just making and right and getting on the correct street, ran all the way back to the Pennsylvania split and then corrected myself and started off towards the barracks at this time. I could see you two or three blocks ahead and just kept running to catch you and then pass you.

I did make it back to the barracks before you and was waiting at the guard station in front of Bravo Company. You told me "get upstairs and stand at the position of attention." I did and you came into the room and dived into your bunk. I think you passed out and forgot about me because at some point you woke up and asked "what are you doing?" (maybe in a not so nice of way) I answered "you told me to come upstairs and stand at position of attention until you told me otherwise Lance Corporal." You then said "hit the rack."

At this point, I don't think I fell back asleep or even breathed for fear of upsetting you anymore then you were. The sun rose and the first thing I did was buy a one way ticket to California. If the ticket was $300, I had $299 and i wasn't coming back. I was scared of what this Marine was going to do to me down the road. I didn't tell you I was leaving nor did I tell our squad leader Rabjohn either. I was out. Being on that plan, flying on a holiday was one of the most peaceful times in my life. There was a certain awwww that came with taking off.

Now back at the barracks, I would later learn this, through what would be a great friendship, from you that you were freaking out yourself not knowing if I was coming back or what had happened to me.

Monday morning came and I was there for morning formation. Now, I was still a boot, in your eyes, but as time passed we were good to go. I remember one night you had duty and I was heading out to the Underground and you said if I saw Amy that I need to buy her a drink and to make sure if was from you. I did. It was beginning of your relationship that would lead to marriage and starting family.

We kept in touch and one of the last times we talked you were still working at the museum, but had been accepted to the trooper academy. You had sent me a picture of Jean, if my memory is correct with her name. I still have the picture. I think that may have been one of the last times hearing your voice.

I remember getting that phone call. It still mind numbing thinking about it. It still brings emotions on after all these years.

I called Jesser and he met me there for the funeral. I saw Amy at the funeral and resting sight, but thought it would be best to let her be at this time. I do regret that now.

Just know you made an impression on a farmer boy from California and it's one that hasn't been forgotten nor will it ever. I know how much you loved Amy and your daughter and that pains me to no end, that you were taken so soon from them and from all your family and friends. You were a great guy! Until we see each other again Semper Fi Marine!

Cpl Rob Alanis
United States Marine 8th and I

August 23, 2017


Monica Zahasky
Cops cycling for survivors

March 4, 2017

The ambush of two Iowa police officers has placed you on my mind today, Trooper Gaston. The disrespect of law enforcement officers these days would really upset you. It is a sad day and I fear there will be many more.

You left a mark in our lives that you could not possibly imagine. The years that go by seem so fast, but then there are days when it seems like just yesterday. I know you are proud of your daughter and how she has grown into a wonderful young adult, just as you had. You are missed and never forgotten, Trooper.


November 2, 2016

My husband and I saw your memorial in the rest area on the turnpike. Thank you for service well done. God Bless and Godspeed.

Lisa B.

November 10, 2014

Cpl. Gaston,

I served with you at 8th and I. I remember that you were an outstanding Marine. I wanted to be the counter in my platoon just like you were the parade season before. Your example led me then and leads me today in my career as a Law Enforcement Officer. Every traffic stop we make officers put there lives on the line. Thank you for your service and may you rest in peace Marine.

OFC W. Cole #404
Maryland National Capital Park Police

June 21, 2014

Richard for some reason I was thinking of you the other day and remembering our friendship. I miss our days together back in 1989 and 1990 in D.C. you were a great person and an outstanding Marine. I remember our flights from National airport to Indy on long weekends and meeting your mother. I hope your daughter grows to understand what a great person you were.

Semper Fi
Derek Puterbaugh
Williamsport, IN

Sgt. Derek Puterbaugh

May 4, 2014

Richard was a fellow Hoosier and a fellow Marine and my friend. He was one of the most genuine and honest men I have ever met and it is an honor to have known him, served with him and shared some amazing experiences with. We use to drive home together with our friend and fellow Marine Thomas (Tom) Rabjohn in Tom's old brown truck back home to Indiana. Tom was from Arizona but loved to fish and Richard had the perfect place for that being born and raised in Brookville, Indiana. I will never forget my two friends and two brothers who gave the ultimate sacrifice for us all. Tom also became a Police Officer in Phoenix and reenlisted in the Army National Guard and he served with honor in Iraq and was KIA in Afghanistan in 2009. A day doesn't go by that I don't think of them and tell others about my friends. My heart and prayers go out to their families. They continue to inspire me every day to be a better person and to serve those who serve us all. I'm truly grateful that I got to know Richard and Tom and spend the short time we had together knowing that they were my friends and fellow Countrymen.

Travis McVey
Friend/Fellow Marine

August 22, 2013

Hey Marine, your memorial is still up and you would be proud how well you "cover" is squared away just like you were at 8th and I. Went to DC for a couple of days and went to The Wall and read some of the names of Marines who did not come home. Then I went to the flag pole, I shed a tear because when I looked down at the Eagle, Globe and Anchor the brass was spotless.

You served your country and the Indiana State Police well and gave your life so others may live on.

Semper Fi, Marine


July 14, 2013

Rest in Peace, Trooper Gaston. Your sacrifice is not forgotten.

Officer 11169

February 17, 2013

Tpr Gaston, I was returning home with my family from vacation on July 22, 2012, when I past Mile Post 77 on the Indiana Toll Road. I noticed the white cross with a "cover" attached to it. I'm familiar with this ODMP site because I work for the Illinois Tollway and assigned to the Illinois State Police District 15. I remember reading about your tragic accident when I went into the Comm Center for my shift.

I didnot realize you were a fellow Marine and was stationed at 8th and I. A member of my recruit training platoon was assigned to 8th and I shortly after our graduation from Parris Island in 1972.

Several years ago I visited The Wall in Washington, DC, at the base of the flag pole there are the brass plates honoring each of the 5 branches of service to the Unitied States. On this particular day 3 fellow Marines were "Brasso-ing" the Marine Corps eagle, globe and anchor plate. They were from the 8th and I Corps. Tears filled my eyes knowing the Marine Corps tradition "lives on", my eyes filled with tears once again when I saw how your fellow Indiana State Troopers have taken great care of your memorial at Mile Marker 77. The tradition of the Indiana State Police "lives on".

Watch over your fellow Troopers, take care of them the same way Marines take care of their own, Semper Fi

A fellow Marine
Platoon 332, MCRD Parris Island, SC, June 1972

July 24, 2012

Happy Birthday on the 1'st

Rob McKeeman
ISP 56th

December 7, 2010

Another year. We all miss you down here. I was listening to a Brad Paisley song today called "When I get where I'm going" and thought of you. You probably never knew his music, but knowing you I'll bet you would have liked his music.
My bedtime story to the boys tonight is going to be the one about me and you at that crash near Middlebury when we were just baby Troopers. I'll never forget that or you. I love you brother

Rob McKeeman

March 4, 2010

To my buddy, miss you.


March 3, 2010

I Served With You At 8th&I, You Were One Of My CDS Instructors, One Of The Best I Might Add. I About Lost It When I Saw And Heard Of Your Passing. May God Keep Your Wonderful Family Always. And My Heart Goes Out To The Warriors Of The ISP. I'll Never Forget You Or Anything That You Taught Me So Many Years Ago When I Was A Young Marine Learning Under Your Guidance. Merry Christmas To You Brother In Heaven, I Love You And Semper Fi.

Deputy Adam Scott
Nelson County Sheriff's Office, Va.

December 29, 2009

I wish I was at your 40th birthday bash tonight. Happy Birthday brother, I(we)miss ya'

Rob McKeeman ISP

December 1, 2009

I never knew you..Just knew Amy from school. Hoping that you have met Harry Coelho and my dear friend Trooper Brian Linn from WV and hoping all of yall watch over your family and friends.

teri fincham-tritelli

March 4, 2009

10 years, I can not believe it. I guess it's the double digits that makes it feel really wierd. I've thought about it all day. I stopped some cars today, but found myself thinking about the radio traffic that day. I was such a rookie that I didn't really "get" what was happening, but I knew it was bad. I was with a great FTO, I think he knew. He got us off the Toll Road and sent me home to change and head toward South Bend. As you know, it didn't work out quite that way, but I was glad to be there for Amy and beautiful Jeanie. She and Jeanie are doing great, we need to get together with them more. My Gaston just turned 5, he's growing up fast. I took him hunting several times this past October. We saw a few deer and a couple raccons, he was thrilled. My goal is to get one with him in the tree with me. It's hard to explain to him about the waiting, but Amy filled me in on one of your old quotes. "It's not getting one that is fun, it's the wait." I will tell him that next season when he is bored sitting up there with me and we will think about you. We love you brother.

Rob McKeeman

March 4, 2009

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 10th anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you contwinue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer who was murdered on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer. He was your brother in green as well as in blue so I also salute your service to our country in the Corps. You sound like a fun loving guy but I know you were squared away to get the 8th & I billet.

When I go to D.C. this May, I will be sure to visit you at the Wall. Semper Fi.

Your wife, daughter, and other family members are in my heart's embrace today.

This reflection is sent with the utmost respect for the service Richard gave to his community and country, and the supreme sacrifice he and his family made on March 4, 1999.

Rest In Peace, Richard.

Phyllis Loya
mother of Police Officer Larry Lasater/Captain Lasater USMC

Phyllis Loya
mother of fallen officer Larry Lasater

March 4, 2009

Dear Trooper Gaston, Today marks the 10th anniversary of your tragic and untimely death. Although its been 10 years, you still live on to this day in the heart and minds of your family, friends and fellow colleges in the Indiana State Police.

MIKE WIMBS, Toronto Canada

Mike Wimbs

March 4, 2009

Richard, I leave you this poem for your Honorable service in the Corps-Semper Fi Brother!


You can have your Army Kakiis,
And your Navy Blues,
But here’s a different fighting man,
I’ll introduce to you.
His uniform is unlike,
Any you’ve ever seen,
The Germans called him “Devil Dog”,
His title is “Marine”.

He was trained in Parris Island,
The place that God forgot,
The sand was fourteen inches deep,
The sun was blazing hot.
He awakened up one morning,
In front of his rack he’ll stand,
And in through the doorway walked,
A giant of a man.

He turned and faced this young Marine,
With eyes as cold as steel,
He said, “I am your DI,
And this is for real.
I’ll make your life as miserable,
As miserable as I can,
And when you finally leave this place,
You’ll be a fighting man.
You’ll be a rifle expert,
You’ll know your weapon well,
And when you encounter the Viet Cong,
You’ll send their souls to Hell.

Now gather around you young Marines,
And lend me all your ears,
And I’ll tell you of a few things,
We’ve conquered through the years,
We fought at Iwo Jima,
The land of fire and Hell,
We killed all those Japanese,
And took their land as well.

Now you can tell your ladies,
And this my Lad is true,
To get herself a young “Marine”,
There is nothing he can’t do.
He’s peeled a million onions,
And twice as many spuds,
Then you’ll find him in the slopchutes,
A soaking up the suds.

And when he gets to Heaven,
St.Peter he will tell,
Another “Marine” reporting Sir.
I’ve served my time in Hell.

Written and copyright by: David Lee Bell

Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1968 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission

Investigator David L Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Dept., Columbia, SC

December 10, 2008

We still miss you man. March 4 of 2008 was nasty and cold here in Central Indiana. We had a freezing rain storm and I stood out at a powerless traffic light for 3 hours. Were you testing me or just laughing about my whining and moaning?
My little Gaston is growing fast and he talks about you and Gary Dudley sometimes. We go to the ISP museum once in awhile so he can play with the 2-headed ISP car and he always takes the time to point out your picture and the Lt.'s Thinking about you.

Tpr. Rob McKeeman

May 31, 2008

The only thing deeper than our grief and pain is the
love and admiration from those who knew and loved
you best. Thanks for serving and I look forward to
meeting you one fine day.
Lynn Kole
Bellingham, WA

April 3, 2008

You may be gone from this earth, but you are never, never forgotten.

March 4, 2008

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