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Brother of fallen Ohio Marine talks memories, legacy

Charles Speedy followed big brother, James Speedy, into the Marine Corps and served four years in active service.

NEW ALBANY, Ohio — He was charismatic. He was quick to help and late to take credit. He knew how to talk to people.

So, let’s talk.

“He was a great Marine,” Charles Speedy said. “A great brother and my idol.”

Let’s talk about Gunnery Sergeant James Speedy. The 30-year-old was a Marine for about 13 years. 

His younger brother, Charles, sat on his couch in New Albany, Monday, with a coffee table of reminders in front of him.

Charles followed big brother into the Marine Corps and served four years in active service. James even pinned baby brother when he made the rank of Lance Corporal.

“We shared kind of a unique bond,” Charles said. “He was not only just my biological brother, but also he was my brother in arm.”

The headlines came out Friday that an Osprey aircraft had gone down in Norway during a training exercise. Charles had been texting his brother just hours before.

Credit: Charles Speedy
A photo of Gunnery Sergeant James Speedy taken hours before he and three other Marines were killed in a crash.

“He sent me a couple pictures of him landing on an island [and] the weather was beautiful out there,” he said.

Then, speculation turned to reality when around 2 a.m. Saturday the family received the news here in Ohio that Speedy was one of four Marines who died in the crash. 

The cause of the crash remains under investigation, but Norwegian police reported bad weather in the area at the time.

“I think people need to know he’s just not a headline,” Charles said.

The brother. The son. The teen who took an interest in skateboarding. The stern-faced Marine. The silly, outgoing friend who sang in the car. The husband who married his high school sweetheart, Chyanne. The father to his 5-year-old daughter, Emmy.

Let’s talk about how he will be remembered.

“Just always being there to talk to,” Charles said. “I think he was that guy. He would always want to talk to you about anything.”

Let’s talk about what you need to know about him.

“He would make you laugh,” Charles said. “It doesn’t matter what he’s going through, he would find a way to make you laugh.”

Charles wishes he could go back and tell his brother one last time just how much he was appreciated and loved.

“That I loved him,” Charles said holding back tears. “I didn’t get to say it. I didn’t get to say a full goodbye.”

Charles says the family hopes that Speedy’s body will be returned to Ohio by the end of the week. He will be buried in his hometown of Cambridge.

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