Marine Corporal Samuel Forrest Peterson of Blaine, Minnesota.
In the early morning hours of Friday July 28th, 2017 our warrior lost a war he fought alone. Corporal Samuel Forrest Peterson was born in Blaine, Minnesota on October 25th, 1995 to Joan Ericksen and Jeff Peterson, formerly of Nordeast Minneapolis, currently of Blaine, Minnesota.
When Sam was barely more than a toddler he knew what he wanted to be, a United States Marine. Naturally, with his penchant for rebellion, aversion to authority, and devilishly inappropriate sense of humor we had concerns about his ability to fit into such a structured path, but anyone who knew Sam, knew that his decisions were final and arguing with him was a lesson in futility. Even when he was wrong, he could charm and cajole you into believing him, and we did. Despite his brilliant mind and quick wit, he had little interest in school and when we would talk to him about his grades he would openly say, in his typical, half-joking and devastatingly charming way, that we shouldn’t worry, he would graduate, but only because it was a requirement to enlist. He did graduate from Blaine High School in 2014, where he played football, wrestled, wore inappropriate t-shirts and flirted with pretty girls. He chose the earliest possible date to ship out, right before the commencement ceremony. His decision, as always, was final. Marine boot camp was as tough as expected, but Sam excelled until a couple of broken legs extended his time by 8 weeks. He was adamant that he could dominate his final test as a boot, The Crucible, no matter what the doctors and DI’s said. We believed him because we knew him, but boots don’t get to make decisions, and that pissed him off. Unlike other new Marines, his stories of boot camp didn’t focus on the challenges, they focused on the humor, and for him, there was humor in everything. That was Sam. No matter the circumstance he had a joke, a funny story or a delightfully inappropriate song or movie quote to lighten the mood, and if you didn’t laugh at what he said he would laugh even harder. His infectious laughter would eventually draw you in. No one could stay mad at Sam. Sam went on to complete his MOS training to become a Military Policeman, entering the Marine Corps Special Response Team. He joked that he was getting paid to do the things he got in trouble for as a kid, like break down doors and “f*ck sh*t up” Like the rest of our family, Sam’s language had always been colorful, but the Corps added a lot to his cursing repertoire. His stories still focused on the humor. Stories of hunting mountain lions, jackrabbits as big as horses and flying into cactus piles. Wherever Sam was, there was laughter. Until there wasn’t. He made his decision, and it, as always, was final. You were our light in the darkness and our laughter in sadness, nothing will be the same without our Sweet Sam.
Sam was preceded in death by grandfather Gordon Peterson and Survived by parents Jeff Peterson and Joan Ericksen, sister Alex Ericksen, brothers Jake Peterson and Jacob Keller, grandparents Gary and Mitzi Ericksen, & Wendy Peterson, aunts; and uncles Colleen and Ben Norman, Annie and Chris Melek, Laura and Dan White and Paul and Shannon Peterson along with cousins, Delaney, Archer and Ellis Norman, Gretchen, Josephine and Abe Melek, Lucas, Josh, Isaac and Eli White, Andrew (Miranda), David and Nick Peterson, godfather Steve (Sonya) Lee, great aunt Lynn Ericksen Lane, 2nd cousin Lee Lane and hundreds of friends and brothers and sisters in the United States Marine Corps.