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West Virginia Veterans Memorial

West Virginia Veterans Memorial


Eugene Ramon "Mecot" Camara

"I have long believed that sacrifice is the pinnacle of patriotism."

Bob Riley

Marine Sergeant Eugene Ramon Camara (always known to his family as "Mecot") was born in Nashville, Tennessee, on December 28, 1960, to Dr. Prudencio B. Camara and his wife Jean Camara. Shortly after his birth, the family relocated to Hinton, Summers County, West Virginia. Mecot grew up alongside his younger sister Elisa. Mecot was always a respectful young man and cherished relationships with his family and neighbors. Mecot also cherished his wife and young son, Mecot Echo Camara. Mecot Camara was a young boy who grew up to be a brave and extraordinary man whose impact on his community still exists today.

Mecot grew up in the small town of Hinton, West Virginia. Hinton was a former railroad town and became smaller as the railroads became less of an everyday way of travel and commerce. He lived his life as an average small-town American boy would:running around with friends, going to school, high school flings, and of course the occasional adventure. He lived there until he departed for Marine boot camp in January 1981. He graduated from Parris Island-USMC in the spring of 1981. He came home to marry his high school sweetheart in the spring of that year, and they relocated to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, after the wedding and spent a couple of years there before Mecot was deployed to Beirut. He was respected by many members of his community, especially by his neighbor Roy, who was the man who convinced Mecot to join the Marines.

Mecot was in the 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, of the United States Marine Corps. The 1/8 participated in the multinational peacekeeping force that was closely working with the Israeli Defense Force from May to November of 1983. The multinational force was an international peacekeeping force created in 1982 following a ceasefire to end Israel's involvement in Lebanon's Civil War. The MNF was created as a force to oversee the peaceful withdrawal of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

On the morning of October 23, 1983, at 6:22 A.M., Sgt. Mecot Camara was one of 241 victims of the Beirut bombing, when two trucks loaded with 12,000 pounds of explosives crashed into two separate buildings in the multinational force's headquarters. The attack specifically targeted the French and United States forces. Islamic Jihad, an Islamic terrorist organization, took credit for the attack and claimed their motive was to push the MNF out of Lebanon. (CNN Library, "Beirut Bombing Barracks Fast Facts," 18 October 2017, accessed 24 January 2018,

In the attack, many military records were destroyed, leaving some families waiting in suspense to find out if their beloved family member had survived. Mecot's small town of Hinton, West Virginia, was changed forever after the devastating news. Marine Sergeant Eugene Ramon "Mecot" Camara was laid to rest back in his hometown at Restwood Memorial Gardens. Sgt. Camara was a loving and devoted son, husband, and father and died a brave and courageous man. The intersection of Routes 3 and 20 in Hinton is named "USMC SGT Mecot E. Camara Memorial Highway" in his honor.

Also memorializing her brother, 30 years after the bombing, Elisa M. Camara Thompson published a book, American Brother, detailing the events of his life, his bravery, and their town of Hinton (Ashland, OR: Hellgate Press, 2013). Additional information and photos can be found on Find A Grave (Memorial #5989284) and at the Beirut Memorial On-Line (

Lydia King and Matthew Decanio, George Washington High School JROTC
December 2017


Eugene Ramon Mecot Camara

West Virginia Archives and History welcomes any additional information that can be provided about these veterans, including photographs, family names, letters and other relevant personal history.

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