Returning home in June, 2003, he soon volunteered for a special training operation in Australia. Completing that mission, he signed on active duty with the Inspector/Instructor Staff, 3rd Pltn. 4th AABN, Alpha Co, where he took pride in his work with the Marine Corps.
His generous heart and gratitude were revealed in his work with Toys For Tots and his visitation to war veterans at the VA hospital.
January, 2005, Bear volunteered again when 3rd Pltn, 4th Tracks was selected for a second deployment to Iraq. His devotion to duty exhibited itself again when he discovered and destroyed and insurgent supply line, suppressing indirect fire on the town of Hit. For this he was awarded his second Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal. On August 3, 2005, during combat operations near Haditha Dam, Bear's AAV was struck by an IED, instantly killing him and 14 other Marines. For this, he was awarded the Purple Heart.
His dear friend and brother Marine, Cpl. Matt Cole wrote of Bear: "Bear was a man who loved his family dearly, a child of God who was loved by all who knew him. He would give the shirt off his back to a stranger and had no fear of giving his life for this country and the people he loved so much”. He was described by his superiors as "a Marine's Marine" and his legacy of leadership and knowledge still resonates today with 3rd Pltn. Alpa Co. which soon will hold a ceremony to name a building in his memory. Job well done Marine, and Semper Fi.