Semper Fi: Another Marine Guarding The Gates Of Heaven

I want to take a minute or two out your day to honor a friend, a patriot, and a great American.

My friend, Cpl Thomas A. Zangrilli of the 1st Marine Division (Golf 2/5 & Hotel 2/7) served 3 tours of duty in Vietnam from 1966 to 1969, carrying with him the traditions of those brave men who fought at Belleau Wood, Meusse-Argonne, Guadalcanal, Cape Gloucester, Peleliu, and Okinawa.

Bearing the weight of the standard set by the 2nd Battalion/5th Marine Regiment at the Chosin Reservoir, they carried the legacy of fierce battle to Hue City, Que Son, Phu Bai, Dong Ha and Phu Loc.

Marines of the Old Breed passed the torch and the young Marines of the 2/5 carried the fight to America’s enemies at Ramadi, Fallujah, Baghdad, & the Helmland Province of Afghanistan.

Following his duty in Vietnam, Tommy Z exemplified what it means to be an American. He owned a store in Chicago in a neighborhood which eventually gave way to urban decay. Tommy Z stayed in his business, never being intimidated by the crime or criminals who perpetrated it.

Upon his eventual retirement, he spent his time with his wife, his family, and his brothers from the United States Marine Corps. As a member of multiple Marine Corps organizations, Tommy donated money and time to insuring that the legacy of those who offered their all, would never be forgotten. As a proud supporter of the Wounded Warrior Project, Tommy spent more time than most, welcoming home the wounded among our best & brightest.

It was not unusual for him to travel to a funeral of a fallen American serviceman to offer his respect. Never one to bite his tongue, he lived the ideal of free speech. After a lengthy battle with cancer, Cpl Thomas A. Zangrilli, USMC, has been called home to be with his Lord.

Rest in peace, my brother. You earned it.

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15 Responses to Semper Fi: Another Marine Guarding The Gates Of Heaven

  1. C. J. Spencer says:

    Rest easy Cpl, Zangrilli. Your watch is complete.

    Thank you for your selfless devotion to our Country and your fellow Marines.

    Sempre Fi!

  2. sortahwitte says:

    Welcome home thy good and faithful servant. A job well done, Corporal Zangrilli. Rest in His arms. Semper Fi.

  3. Ray Davies says:

    Rest in peace Marine.God has a special place for the defenders

    • robert strout says:

      Tommy Z, I didn’t really know you in the Nam, but i had the pleasure of being with you at our Re-unions now that you have done your part rest in peace brother Marine. Semper Fi

  4. xenicalman says:

    Brother Marine, your duty well done, your legacy is Honor, now rest ye brave and true Warrior. You are the Corps.

  5. Frank Rodriquez says:

    TZ, is my Warrior Brother. He had a big heart and was one tough SOB. I mean that as a compliment. You know he had your back covered. He made my life brighter. I will miss him but he will be in my heart forever!!!!!!!!! I love you Tommy ZZZZZZZZZZZZ.
    Semper Fidelis,
    Frank Rodriquez Golf 2/7

    • notamobster says:

      I’m guessing Jim M. sent you this way, eh Frank? Welcome. You’re among friends.

      • Frank Rodriquez says:

        Yes Brother, thank you!!

        Semper Fi

        • notamobster says:

          It’s the least I could do. I had been getting his emails for years, til I met him in-person at Jim & Nanette’s wedding. We’ve been friends ever since. He was a great guy. Very sharp and always willing to help, always serving his country through helping his brothers-in-arms. We lost a good man.

  6. tony Poole says:

    Got to know Zman at our reunions , but instantly liked him. He was what the Marine Corps stood for He was one of ” The Few, The Proud, and The Brave. We will see each other in the next life and see what ” God and Chesty” has planned for us.

  7. Brian Gage says:

    Tommy ZZZZZZZZZ I only know you through other Brother Marines. You get high marks from your Brothers TZ. Seems we may have tread the same ground. I pray for your family that the healing will go quickly, and memories grow sweeter.

    Semper Fidelis

    Brian Gage MIKE 3/7

  8. Dan "Doc" McCarthy says:

    I met Tommy at a 2/7 reunion and immediately became a friend. Tommy was a Marine’s Marine. A Brother in arms, a gracious man, a patriot. I offer my deep condolences to the family, and the the Brothers who knew him. We were all blessed knowing Cpl Zangrilli. Rst in peace and honored glory, Tommy.

  9. Bobby Zangrilli says:

    I am Tommy Z’s youngest son. Reading this blog post and the comments makes me really proud. Being a great Marine and father are two of the highest honors one could achieve. My Dad did both.

    Thanks for honoring him,
    Bobby Z

  10. notamobster says:

    Thank you, Bobby. I don’t know you, but if you’re half the man your Dad was, you’re doing just fine. I’m glad I could offer something to honor him. He was a good man.

  11. notamobster says:


    I got to thinking about Tommy from a facebook post I made. I just wanted to call attention back to the man’s continued service to his country, up until his death from service-related mesothelioma.

    Often times, when we think about the casualties of war – and see the memorials to the dead – we aren’t reminded of those whose war didn’t end on foreign soil.

    We rarely consider those who die decades later, from the war they fought in their youth.

    Rest in peace, TommyZ.