Ssgt Vincent James Bell was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. It was in his local neighborhood in Detroit where he learned the very leadership skills he displayed in his work as a U.S. Marine.
On July 8, 2001, Vincent began his journey in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was in boot camp on Parris Island during 9/11 and ready to serve and protect America. On March 19, 2003, Vincent deployed for the first time to Iraq. His unit was one of the first units to deploy to the area.
Vincent went on to serve four more Tours of Duty. Three were to Iraq and his final deployment was to Afghanistan. Through every deployment Vincent strengthened his leadership skills and savored the opportunity to train and mentor young Marines.
On Wednesday November 30, 2011, only thirty days into his fifth and final deployment, Vincent was Killed In Action by an IED. Though the world became a very different place without him, Vincent left behind a strong, beautiful legacy and enough love and light for all who love him to dance in.
Vincent completely gave of himself to everyone he loved. Whether it be his family, close friends, Marine brothers or his dogs, turtles and frogs; Vincent loved with his whole heart.
In every stage of his life, he served as a strong leader and mentor. His acts of service and humble spirit inspire us everyday and this is why he is our namesake. Bell Global Justice Institute embodies the principles Vincent lived by: Honor, Integrity, Service, and Loyalty.
As a Marine, Vincent traveled around the world. During his travels he left footprints in Kuwait, Iraq, India, Singapore, Australia, Hawaii, Seychelles, United Arab Emirates, Alaska, and finally to Afghanistan.
He was laid to rest with his fellow Warriors in Section 60 at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC.
Our mission and work is in his honor.
July 8, 1983 - FOREVER
Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful)
Vincent has been highly recognized for his service and sacrifice. This includes the Purple Heart for his final deployment to Afghanistan, and the U.S. Navy's Medal of Valor for his extraordinary service.
Luke Mogelson, a journalist from the New York Times was traveling with Vincent's unit in Afghanistan in 2011 and captured many moments and stories of Marines hard at work, including Vincent. The article is called "The Hard Way out of Afghanistan"
Since 2011, there have been many ceremonies and dedications in Vincent's honor by various organizations and institutions. This includes, U.S. Marine Corps. Second Battalion, 11th Marines, the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in partnership with the Detroit Lions and many more.