This terminally ill high schooler was designated an Honorary Marine

Miguel Ortiz
Nov 9, 2023 9:50 AM PST
2 minute read
Jack Lowe terminally ill honorary marine with EGA.

(U.S. Marine Corps)


In March 2022, Jack was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. The Corps made him an Honorary Marine.

Most Americans who join the military are directly related to someone else who served. This legacy of service is a strong motivator that is amplified over multiple generations. For Jack Lowe, this motivation can be traced all the way back to his great grandfather who served as a pilot in the Marine Corps. Jack's grandfather served in the Navy during the Vietnam War and both of his parents served in the Marine Corps too. Naturally, Jack planned to continue the family tradition and join the Corps after he graduated high school.

In March 2022, his junior year of high school, Jack was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. Following the diagnosis, Jack received 36 proton radiation treatments concurrent with six months of in-patient chemotherapy. He was declared cancer free and released from the hospital. However, in August 2023, doctors discovered that the cancer returned and spread. Despite six weeks of experimental chemotherapy, the cancer aggressively grew and continued to spread. Jack's oncology team declared him terminal, and he asked his family to stop his treatment with just a short window to live.

Brig. Gen. Field presents the title of Honorary Marine to Jack Lowe on behalf of Gen. Smith (U.S. Marine Corps)

Although Jack would never attend Marine Corps Recruit Training to earn the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor like his family members did, he could still become an Honorary Marine. Jack's family and friends lobbied for him to receive the title and the request was received by Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Eric Smith. As the sole approving authority, Gen. Smith bestowed the title of Honorary Marine upon Jack Lowe.

On November 1, 2023, at his home in Flowery Branch, Georgia, Jack was designated an Honorary Marine. The ceremony was conducted by Brig. Gen. Walker Field, Commanding General of MCRD Parris Island and the Eastern Recruiting Region. Brig. Gen. Field removed his personal EGA from his uniform and handed it to Jack's father, Daniel, who presented it to his son. "Our greatest weapon is the fighting spirit found in each and every Marine," said Brig. Gen. Field in a Marine Corps press release. "Throughout this very challenging time, Jack has displayed a tenacious fight underpinned by steady resolve and a wry, witty sense of humor. Henceforth, we as Marines embrace him as one of our own."

Honorary Marine Jack Lowe attends the 248th Marine Corps Birthday Ball (U.S. Marine Corps)

On November 7, the Marine Corps reported that Jack was able to attend the 248th Marine Corps Birthday Ball in Atlanta, Georgia over the previous weekend. Marines from Marine Forces Reserve’s Combat Logistics Regiment 45 and staff from Recruiting Station Atlanta even set him up with a set of dress blues.


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