On Sept. 29, a benefit concert will be held in memory of Philip Bushong, a Marine who was killed in Washington, DC in April.
The concert will be held at the Maple Grove Club in Rockville from 5 p.m. until 11:30 p.m. The cost is $20 and includes dinner and 10 raffle tickets. People can also purchase a ticket for $15, which just includes dinner. Memorial patches will be on sale for $5.
Featured bands will include Point Black, Drive Time, Quintera, and more. There will also be dancing and a cash bar. You must be present to win a raffle prize.
All proceeds will go to the Wounded Warrior Regiment charity in the name of Lance Cpl. Philip Bushong.
Bushong, 23, who had lived in Enfield and attended Fermi High School, was stabbed by another Marine on April 21. It was reported that the incident stemmed from a homophobic slur, but Bushong’s father, Michael Bushong, has concern with the media’s infatuation with hate crimes.
Let Patch save you time. Get great local stories like this delivered right to your inbox or smartphone every day with our free newsletter. Simple, fast sign-up here.
“The DC PD statement from Lt. Alder sums it up nicely…,” he said. ‘From what we know, the argument was not over sexual orientation,’ Alder told the media. ‘And I would say at this time the information that we have appears to show that it was an insult in the heat of their argument and did not have anything to do with any perceived sexual orientation,’ he said.”
According to Michael, Philip entered the Marines in 2008, struggling to find his identity, and quickly matured into a strong and focused man, ready to do whatever the Marine Corps asked of him.
In early February, Philip returned from his deployment to the Mediterranean as part of the MEU 2/2. Prior to that deployment, Philip was hand-picked – 6’7”, lean, and handsome – to be part of the Washington, DC Color Guard stationed at 8th & I.
“He was proud to be in the Color Guard and was a very busy part of President Obama’s inauguration ceremonies, including carrying the flag in the parade and multiple inaugural balls that followed,” his father said.
Philip was very familiar with this Barracks Row area and had become a well-known and very popular patron in the local pubs. While he was stationed in DC, he met the love of his life and planned to move to DC to start the next chapter of his life with her. He was poised to enroll in George Mason University.
Michael said that while serving his country, Philip was recognized with the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon and the National Defense Service Medal. Also, Philip was recognized when he subdued a weapon that was malfunctioning and firing randomly. In the process the weapon split his finger to the knuckle as Philip potentially saved the lives of those around him at the firing range.
Bushong was scheduled to receive his Honorable Discharge on April 26 and was planning on a quick trip to New England to visit his brother and father. His father said that with Philip stateside, he had let his guard down, assuming he was out of harm’s way.
“I’m certain that most of his family and friends were also relieved that he was home and away from the front line,” Michael said. “When the Marines arrived to deliver the news Saturday morning, it could not have been more shocking and paralyzing. The violent crime committed that took my son’s life was so pointless and horrifying to imagine. Thinking of a single stab wound from a pocketknife, directly through the Marine Insignia tattoo that Philip proudly had directly over his heart, to show his love for the Marines, is more than I or anyone can comprehend. My prayers go out to everyone who experienced the shock and horror when they heard of this tragedy. Although difficult for me, I will trust the justice system to process the perpetrator of this crime to the full extent of the law.”
Michael said that Philip is remembered by his friends as someone who lived life to the fullest every day, was a “best friend” to many, smiled all the time, and dazzled them with his guitar skills.