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Tacked Fallen Comrades (Page 3 of 6)
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Link Posted: 2/21/2008 10:09:46 PM EST

Sgt Kelley Lance Courtney, Oct 30, 2004
KIA by vehicle bourne IED

Sgt Michael M. Kashkoush, Jan 23, 2007
KIA in Anbar Province after being in country only 10 days.

I served with these Marines in different units in CONUS before each of them lat moved their MOS to Intel.  Both were assigned to 3rd Intelligence Bn, III MEF in Okinawa and deployed to Iraq.

Link Posted: 2/21/2008 10:17:49 PM EST
Cpl. John P. Sigsbee
Unit: Army, 1st Squadron, 32nd Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.
KIA: Jan. 16 2008, Balad, Iraq

Link Posted: 2/22/2008 4:25:05 PM EST

Originally Posted By sepulchrave:
2-114 FA / TF 2-11

16 JUN 2005 Haswah, Iraq

SGT Travis S. Cooper

I did not know SGT Cooper until the night he died. We responded to a SVBIED that exploded near an Iraqi Army Checkpoint. When we arrived our medic did everything he could for him and got him on a bird. He died shortly after arriving in Anaconda from severe head injuries.

SGT Cooper was in my company, as an attachment from the Mississippi National Guard. He was a very well liked NCO, and is greatly missed. I was on a nearby checkpoint when the VBIED went off at CP44.  SGT Cooper had relieved a SPC in his squad 10min early for his shift when the VBIED went off saving the SPC's life. That is what kind of great NCO SGT Cooper was he relieved a lower ranking soldier early for his watch shift.
I never got the chance to thank you guys, the bird got there very fast, and I am sure you guys did everything you could for him, Thank you guys.

I will also like to add a few more.

SGT Jacob D. Dones, Oct 20, 2005 HIT, Firm base 2, Al Anbar province Iraq
Mortar round hit close to him, PLT SGT also got hit, carried him to the medivac Vehicle where he died in route. This was his second tour in Iraq.

Spc. Javier A. Villanueva, Nov 23, 2005 HIT, Firm base 2, Al anbar province Iraq
IED while on dismount patrol, I was right in front of him when it went off. Mid patrol me and him switched positions, otherwise it would have been me standing on the IED when it went off, I owe him my life. My wounds were minor, and me and a few others patched him up the best we could. Loaded him onto the medivac vehicle, and he made it to the bird, and died a few hours later in the hospital at AL-Asad air base.

All of these Soldiers were deployed with Hco 2/11 ACR when they died.

RIP my Brothers.
Link Posted: 2/27/2008 9:21:02 PM EST
Seventeen years ago today at Umm Hajul, Iraq, U.S. Army 1st Armored Division Corporal Douglas Lance Fielder died after being struck by two bursts of what was much later revealed to have been friendly fire. Lance was the only son of Metro Nashville Police Officer (now retired) and U.S. Marine Corps Vietnam combat veteran Ron Fielder. Ron played a pivotal and continuing role in my choice and pursuit of a law enforcement career. As a consequence, I first met Lance when he was about nine years old and watched him grow up.

Lance was a true son of the Volunteer State and the only Nashvillian to fall in the First Gulf War. He was posthumously promoted to sergeant and awarded the Soldier's Medal. He lies at final rest in the National Cemetery in Nashville, Tennessee. On 28 December, 2007, a new small arms firing range bearing his name was dedicated to his memory at Camp Bucca, Iraq.

Lance's death and its ugly aftermath left a terrible void in the lives of his family and friends. Please take a moment today to remember Lance, his dad Ron, his mother Debbie, and all those like them.

Link Posted: 2/27/2008 10:30:45 PM EST
Dexter "Monty" Montgomery

Monty was killed by indirect fire at Camp Fallujah, Iraq on November 12, 2006. He had been in Iraq for 2 1/2 years as a contractor working with Multinational Division communications systems, and at the time was supporting USMC I MEF forces at Camp Fallujah.
Link Posted: 3/12/2008 3:48:10 PM EST

Lance Corporal Christopher McCrackin

"20, of Liverpool, Texas.
McCrackin died of wounds sustained from an improvised explosive device while conducting combat operations against enemy forces during Operation Steel Curtain in New Ubaydi, Iraq. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, his unit was attached to 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward). He was assigned to Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California. Died on November 14, 2005."

Chris is the son of a good friend of mine.  He was an outstanding guy with a good head on his shoulders and loved being a Marine.  He was living his dream.

We'll miss you Chris.  Godspeed.
Link Posted: 3/19/2008 12:10:35 PM EST
Link Posted: 4/6/2008 3:50:05 PM EST

He died while I was in basic, turning in weapons and he just fell down. Everyone thought he was dehydrated. Next day they told us he had fallen into a coma and died. Some kind of rare disease or something like that. 4 weeks in the army and I didnt realize it then but this is a dangerous job. Even the training can kill you. He never made it to graduation or to war, but he still died a soldier, no matter how brief his career. RIP brother
Link Posted: 4/8/2008 7:14:16 PM EST
Link Posted: 4/15/2008 12:13:24 AM EST
God Bless their Families and RIP, Brothers. You NEVER will be forgotten.

Link Posted: 4/20/2008 12:48:51 AM EST
I just found this tonight...  

Wow, what heroes and anybody that wants to IM/talk I certainly open for that.  
Link Posted: 4/22/2008 10:20:00 PM EST
Specialist Marcus Futtrell.

Died December 2nd, 2005, one week after returning from leave, on Route Tampa near Tallil, Iraq.

I miss you, bro. The commo shop sucks without you there.

Link Posted: 4/23/2008 11:13:46 AM EST
[Last Edit: 21BoomCBTENGR] [#13]
SSGT Jeremiah McNeal
237th En. Co. SAPPER "Commanche Company"

He was killed while clearing routes in Bagdad in Sadr City by an IED. Sappers Lead the way.

I didn't know him as well as I should have, but he was always a good guy w/ his troops and always joked around a lot whenever we were hanging out.  He served in my battalion last time we were overseas.  He leaves behind his wife and son.

Link Posted: 4/28/2008 2:40:41 PM EST
Link Posted: 5/2/2008 10:06:52 AM EST
I've learned that 2 Soldiers from my last unit are fallen in Iraq on 30 April 2008.
CPT Andrew Pearson and SPC Ronald Tucker.  They were killed in action, due to IED blast, near Al Rasheed, Iraq.

CPT Pearson was HHC Commander, a graduate of West Point (Class of '01).  He was a good man and a good leader.  He always put his Soldiers first.

SPC Tucker was a Mortarman (11C).  He could always be counted on to help his fellow Soldiers, any time, any place.

They will be missed.  Regulars By God!
Link Posted: 5/6/2008 6:45:07 PM EST
My friend and neighbor .......has been missed.www.militarycity.com/valor/911902.html
Link Posted: 5/12/2008 12:45:24 PM EST
Link Posted: 5/26/2008 7:05:22 AM EST
LCPL Bobby Lee Twitty, USMC, Killed 22 July 2007 in Ar Ramadi.  You will not be forgotten brother.

Link Posted: 6/2/2008 8:21:15 PM EST
Link Posted: 6/18/2008 4:50:09 PM EST
[Last Edit: RangerStew] [#20]
This is somewhat late, but I just saw this thread.

SSG Matthew A. Kimmell, 30, of Paxton, Indiana.

He was assigned to 3rd Bn, 5th Special Forces Group. KIA on 11 October 2005 in Muqdadiyah, Iraq when an IED exploded next to his HMMWV.

He was a very close friend when we were both assigned to 3rd Bn, 75th Rgr Rgt.
Link Posted: 7/23/2008 12:13:46 PM EST
From my company's tour OIF 06-08

SPC. Anthony Kaiser, March 17, 2007. KIA in firefight , Baqubah, Iraq

PFC. Jeff Avery, April 23, 2007. KIA by IED, Baqubah, Iraq

CPL. Damon LeGrand, June 12, 2007. KIA by AT mine/RPG, Baqubah, Iraq

SGT. Blair Emery, Nov 30, 2007. KIA by EFP IED, Baqubah, Iraq

571st MP CO hasnt forgotten you.

Spc. Arnold

Link Posted: 8/9/2008 9:40:51 PM EST
Not recent, but the one who got me into the Corps. Went to the same College, same major, same frat, best buds.

Lcpl Kevin Waruinge, Tampa, FL.
Link Posted: 8/9/2008 10:22:59 PM EST
[Last Edit: tuccioc1] [#23]
Two of my friends while we were in Afghanistan
 KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — Two 10th Mountain Division soldiers were honored Friday for fulfilling the 22nd Infantry Regiment’s motto: “Deeds Not Words.”

Staff Sgt. Anthony S. Lagman, 26, and Sgt. Michael J. Esposito, Jr., 22, of Company A, 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, were remembered for their deeds when they were killed while leading other 2-22 soldiers against anti-coalition fighters in the village of Miam Do on March 18.

“Despite their young ages, we know they had a huge impact on others’ lives because of their strong characters,” said Chaplain (Capt.) Mark Stewart, during a memorial service at the Kandahar’s Freedom Chapel.

“It’s not the numbers of years they lived, but the number of lives impacted by their characters,” Stewart said. “Each has lived a lifetime.”

The small wooden chapel was filled to capacity. Outside, a few hundred other soldiers stood in ranks. So many soldiers attended, in fact, officials had to block an adjacent two-lane dirt road.

Standing alongside their American counterparts were dozens of Romanian soldiers of the 280th Infantry Battalion.

During the service, company commander Capt. Jorge Cordeiro spoke of his soldiers as vital members of the unit, telling how Lagman, who served three years in the Marine Corps, “died much as he lived, validating his role as a leader.”

He talked about Esposito’s first firefight, when he told fellow soldiers it was “one of the proudest moments of his life, to fight for his country.”

Fellow soldiers told not only about their soldiering, but about their spirits.

Staff Sgt. Adam Arabian choked back tears as he told how his and Lagman’s careers had frequently crossed paths. He considered Lagman “an older brother” because of his leadership and friendship.

“On March 18, we lost a good friend,” Arabian said. “I strive every day to be half the leader he was.”

Sgt. Cordell Musselman told of Esposito’s love for hockey, love of family and love of his fiancée, whom he planned to marry in July.

Esposito, he said, was the kind of guy who could give “dissertations on spaghetti sauce and Pink Floyd.”

Lagman, Esposito and an Afghan National Army soldier were killed by enemy troops during a firefight in Miam Do. Coalition soldiers later found more than one ton of weapons and ammunition and Taliban literature in the village.

For their actions that day, Lagman and Esposito were awarded the Bronze Star Medal with “V” device for valor.

Both were natives of New York.

Many should look up what CPL Dunham did to earn the MOH. Outstanding Marine
Cpl. Jason L. Dunham of Scio, N.Y., posthumously received America's highest military decoration two years and nine months after succumbing to a mortal brain injury while fighting in Iraq. He served with K Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, based in Twentynine Palms, Calif.

My old roomate when i first got to Ft Drum
PHOENIX — An Arizona National Guardsman died in Afghanistan on Friday after his vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device, the Guard announced.

Staff Sgt. Charles Browning, 31, from Florence, was assigned to the Guard’s B Company, 1-158th Infantry Battalion. The unit deployed to Afghanistan in March.

“Sgt. Browning was a great soldier, patriot and family man and friend to many,” said Major Gen. David P. Rataczak, the Arizona National Guard’s Adjutant General, in a written statement. “His loss will be felt by all members of the National Guard family.”

Browning worked for the Arizona Department of Corrections and is survived by his wife and two stepdaughters.

He was born in Whidbey Island, Wash., but moved to Tucson when he was 8. After graduating from high school, he joined the Army and served in New York, Kentucky, Panama and Korea. Browning joined the Arizona National Guard after ending regular duty and was deployed to Kuwait during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Rest in peace brothers. "DEEDS NOT WORDS"
Link Posted: 9/18/2008 9:31:34 PM EST
[Last Edit: DM1975] [#24]
Rest In Peace Mikey "Eyre" Thompson
Killed 18 September 2008 Iraq
My friend

I took this picture of Eyre the day he came off of leave in 2005 while we were in Iraq
together. He was one of the members of our sniper team. He later reclassed to an
Aviation mechanic in the National Guard after ETS from Active duty and was a door
gunner on a CH-47. His helicopter went down after midnight, 18 September near Basra.

Eyre was as good as they come. Rest in peace brother.
Link Posted: 10/31/2008 6:27:42 PM EST
In honor my brother, PFC David J Martin (21), 101st Airborne 2-502nd.  The humvee he was riding in struck a IED in Al-Muhammadiya killing him and his 3 fellow warriors: Sgt. 1st Class Jonathan Tessar, Spc. William J. Byler and Pvt. Adam R. Johnson.

3 years today bro, miss you dearly.

Dave was proud to be a screaming eagle and wanted nothing more.  I could not be prouder of Dave.

Link Posted: 11/7/2008 9:02:36 PM EST
The crew of RAIDR21, a B52H out of Anderson AFB, Guam, was lost in a training mission on 21 Jul 08.

Maj. Christopher M. Cooper
Maj. Brent D. Williams
Capt. Michael K. Dodson
1st Lt. Robert D. Gerren
1st Lt. Joshua D. Shepherd
Col. George T. Martin


RIP brothers.
Link Posted: 11/9/2008 2:04:34 PM EST
[Last Edit: anekrel] [#27]

For all of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for this country, thank you.
Link Posted: 11/24/2008 10:45:16 PM EST
Lima Company 3/25
Fallen Brothers of 1st Platoon
KIA 5-8-05
Ssgt. Anthony Goodwin
Cpl. Dustin Derga
KIA 5-11-05
Ssgt. Kendall Ivy
Lcpl. Nick Erdy
Lcpl. Wesley Davids
Lcpl. Jonathan Grant
Lcpl. Jourdan Grez
PFC Christopher Dixon

Al Quim region Iraq all KIA Operation Matador
Semper Fi Brothers You are never forgotten.
Link Posted: 11/26/2008 3:40:13 PM EST
Missing some of my friends this time of year;

Brian McAnulty (MSgt "Top", USMC) http://www.legacy.com/NEWS-RECORD/GB/GuestBookView.aspx?PersonID=20374652

I was stationed with Brian at AmEmb. Budapest.  He was an outstanding person and top-notch Marine.  

Travis Grogan (Army CWO) http://www.fallenheroesmemorial.com/oef/profiles/grogantravisw.html

Travis and I were teammates in high school.  He was always a great guy.

Dominick Pilla http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominick_Pilla

He was my Ranger Buddy on and off through 3 phases of Ranger School.  He was one of the funniest people I've ever met, but as squared away as they come.  I think he took a little pity on me for being a jarhead going through an Army school.

The world is a better place because of guys like these, but you realize that it is a little colder and grayer without them here.
Link Posted: 12/24/2008 10:25:25 PM EST
Spc(p) Kelvin E. Feliciano
KIA 28 June 2003
Orgun-e Afghanistan
Assigned to HHC 3rdBattalion 504 Parachute infantry Regiment 1st BCT 82nd Airborne Div

Served with "flip" for 3 years, we worked in the same squad for a majority of the time and he was my right hand man. I saw him a few hours before he left out on his final mission, losing him brought life into a different perspective, I think about him often

Sgt Eric Fifer
Kia October 2005
Assigned to 3/504 PIR

I dont' have the details in my friends death, I just know I had returned from leave when I was told my old battalion had lost several soldiers. Eric was one of my close friends from my first tour in iraq. I remember him having a wild sense of humor and just an all around cool guy to be with.

Other folks we lost
Sgt Large
Spc Vanderbosch
Pfc Greer
Spc Jarod Dennis

Link Posted: 1/4/2009 6:33:29 PM EST
[Last Edit: satellite] [#31]
Lcpl Layton Crass, Richmond, IN -Afghanistan.

Hometown friend, fellow Marine

This was from Iraq, his first deployment.

Link Posted: 1/5/2009 12:00:07 PM EST
[Last Edit: sabotUP] [#32]

All four of these brave men all lost their lives together on 30 May 2007 in the West Rasheed district of Baghdad.  Their HMMWV was hit by a deep buried IED while they were maneuvering on enemy insurgents.  SSG Michael Bechert would cling to life for another 14 days before his injuries overcame him.

All four were Infantrymen with C Company, 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, TF 1-18 IN "Vanguards".

All four were brave warriors who never trembled in the face of the enemy.

All four were great Americans who loved their country and were proud to serve.  

All four were friends and bothers in arms.

All four are greatly missed.
Link Posted: 1/7/2009 12:37:27 PM EST
Originally Posted By satellite:
Lcpl Layton Crass, Richmond, IN -Afghanistan.

Hometown friend, fellow Marine

This was from Iraq, his first deployment.


Semper Fi, fellow Hoosier.

Link Posted: 1/12/2009 7:05:34 AM EST
[Last Edit: Payback99] [#34]
1st Lt Fred Pokorney, USMC  
Capt Rob Secher, USMC
SPC4 Damian Bushart, USA
Capt Warren Frank, USMC
GySgt Phil Jordan, USMC
1st Lt Dan Malcom, USMC
Sgt Justin Noyes, USMC

"We will always remember their names. Others won't care who they were anyway."-Hans, Devil's Guard
Link Posted: 2/26/2009 1:54:09 PM EST

1LT William Emmert TN ARNG  

Thats him on the left.  Graduated OBC with him in 07.  Died at the hands of a insurgent dressed as an Iraqi police officer.
Nicest guy you'd ever meet.
Link Posted: 3/21/2009 12:41:55 PM EST
LCpl Adam Loggins Killed in Fallujah Iraq by sniper. He was a man of great strength and devotion. he was also my brother and friend

LCpl Angel Rosa, killed in Habbaniyah Iraq by a Pressure plate IED. He was my roommate, friend, and brother from another mother. Great Man

Link Posted: 4/15/2009 9:17:46 AM EST
From a couple years ago:  SFC Jared Monti, US Army.  He was from Raynham, MA.  A good dude, I knew him at Bragg.

This came out yesterday in the quarterly paper by the Field Artillery CSM.

Since the announcement that 2009 would be “the Year of the NCO”, the Army has planned numerous ways to celebrate the accomplishments
of its Noncommissioned Officers. One way Fort Sill is recognizing NCO accomplishments is to dedicate our new Call for Fire Training Facility
to an NCO killed in action in Afghanistan.
Sergeant First Class Jared C. Monti, a 13F, was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 3d Squadron, 71st Cavalry, 10th Mountain
Division as a Targeting NCO. He distinguished himself by acts of conspicuous gallantry above and beyond the call of duty with an armed enemy
in Gowardesh, Nuristan Province, Afghanistan.
On 21 June 2006 SFC Monti, then a Staff Sergeant, was the assistant patrol leader for a 16-man patrol tasked to conduct surveillance in the
Gowardesh region. The patrol was ordered to provide up-to-date intelligence, interdict enemy movement, and to ensure early warning for the
squadron’s main effort as it inserted into the province. As nightfall approached, the patrol’s position was hammered with Rocket Propelled
Grenades (RPGs), PK 7.62mm medium machine gun (RPK), and AK-47 7.62mm automatic rifle fire. SFC Monti’s patrol was under attack by a
well organized enemy force of at least 60 personnel. Outnumbered four-to-one, SFC Monti’s patrol was in serious danger of being overrun.
The enemy fighters had established two support-by-fire positions directly above the patrol in a densely wooded ridgeline. SFC Monti
immediately returned fire and ordered the patrol to seek cover and return fire. He then reached for his radio headset and calmly initiated
calls for indirect fire and close air support (CAS), both danger close to the patrol’s position. He did this while simultaneously directing the
patrol’s fires. One member of the patrol had been killed, and two were wounded while seeking cover. When SFC Monti realized that a
member of the patrol, PFC Bradbury, was critically wounded and exposed 10 meters from cover, without regard for his personal safety,
SFC Monti advanced through enemy fire to within three feet of PFC Bradbury’s position. But he was forced back by intense RPG fire.
SFC Monti tried again to secure PFC Bradbury, but he was forced to stay in place again as the enemy intensified their fire. The remaining
patrol members coordinated covering fires for SFC Monti and he advanced a third time toward the wounded Soldier, but he only took a few
steps this time before he was mortally wounded by an RPG. About the same time, the indirect fires and CAS SFC Monti called for began
raining down on the enemy’s position. The fire power broke the enemy attack, killing 22 enemy fighters. SFC Monti’s actions prevented the
patrol’s position from being overrun, saved the lived of the entire patrol, and inspired his men to fight on against overwhelming odds.
SFC Monti epitomizes what it means to be an NCO. Because of his personal sacrifice and selfless service to the Army, the men of his patrol
are alive today and continue the fight.
SFC Monti’s name will adorn our new Fort Sill Call for Fire Training Center. The “Monti Call for Fire Training Facility” will be used to train
future joint fires observers. Students will be trained on jointly approved Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs) in support of Artillery,
Naval Surface Fire Support (NSFS), and Aviation. Upon graduation the students will take with them the knowledge, skills, and inspiration
The Monti Call for Fire Training Facility provided them to effectively fight and win on today’s modern battlefield.
Link Posted: 5/15/2009 7:16:57 PM EST
[Last Edit: safeways1217] [#38]
I have been intending to Add this for a long time.
I think we all can agree that this is what being a man (and for me, a MARINE) is all about.
Sgt. Merlin German USMC
'Miracle' Marine Who Lost Final Battle Remembered
Saturday, May 24, 2008
May 21, 2007: Marine Sgt. Merlin German, poses following during his promotion ceremony at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio.
The young Marine came back from the war, with his toughest fight ahead of him.
Merlin German waged that battle in the quiet of a Texas hospital, far from the dusty road in Iraq where a bomb exploded, leaving him with burns over 97 percent of his body.
No one expected him to survive.
But for more than three years, he would not surrender. He endured more than 100 surgeries and procedures. He learned to live with pain, to stare at a stranger's face in the mirror. He learned to smile again, to joke, to make others laugh.
He became known as the "Miracle Man."
But just when it seemed he would defy impossible odds, Sgt. Merlin German lost his last battle this spring — an unexpected final chapter in a story many imagined would have a happy ending.
"I think all of us had believed in some way, shape or form that he was invincible," says Lt. Col. Evan Renz, who was German's surgeon and his friend. "He had beaten so many other operations. ... It just reminded us, he, too, was human."
Burned In Roadside Bombing
It was near Ramadi, Iraq, on Feb. 21, 2005, that the roadside bomb detonated near German's Humvee, hurling him out of the turret and engulfing him in flames.
When Renz and other doctors at the burn unit at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio first got word from Baghdad, they told his family he really didn't have a chance. The goal: Get him back to America so his loved ones could say goodbye.
But when German arrived four days later, doctors, amazed by how well he was doing, switched gears. "We were going to do everything known to science," Renz says. "He was showing us he can survive."
Doctors removed his burn wounds and covered him with artificial and cadaver skin. They also harvested small pieces of German's healthy skin, shipping them off to a lab where they were grown and sent back.
Doctors took skin from the few places he wasn't burned: the soles of his feet, the top of his head and small spots on his abdomen and left shoulder.
Once those areas healed, doctors repeated the task. Again and again.
"Sometimes I do think I can't do it," German said last year in an Associated Press interview. "Then I think: Why not? I can do whatever I want."
Renz witnessed his patient's good and bad days.
"Early on, he thought, 'This is ridiculous. Why am I doing this? Why am I working so hard?"' Renz recalls. "But every month or so, he'd say, 'I've licked it.' ... He was amazingly positive overall. ... He never complained. He'd just dig in and do it."
Slowly, his determination paid off. He made enormous progress.
From a ventilator to breathing on his own.
From communicating with his eyes or a nod to talking.
From being confined to a hospital isolation bed with his arms and legs suspended — so his skin grafts would take — to moving into his own house and sleeping in his own bed.
Sometimes his repeated surgeries laid him up for days and he'd lose ground in his rehabilitation. But he'd always rebound. Even when he was hurting, he'd return to therapy — as long as he had his morning Red Bull energy drink.
"I can't remember a time where he said, 'I can't do it. I'm not going to try,' " says Sgt. Shane Elder, a rehabilitation therapy assistant.
That despite the constant reminders that he'd never be the same. The physical fitness buff who could run miles and do dozens of push-ups struggled, at first, just to sit up on the edge of his bed. The one-time saxophone player had lost his fingers. The Marine with the lady-killer smile now had a raw, ripple-scarred face.
Lt. Col. Grant Olbrich recalls a day in 2006 when he stopped by German's room and noticed he was crying softly. Olbrich, who heads a Marine patient affairs team at Brooke, says he sat with him awhile and asked: "What are you scared of?' He said, 'I'm afraid there will never be a woman who loves me.' "
Olbrich says that was the lowest he ever saw German, but even then "he didn't give up. ... He was unstoppable."
His mother, Lourdes, remembers her son another way: "He was never really scared of anything."
That toughness, says his brother, Ariel, showed up even when they were kids growing up in New York. Playing football, Merlin would announce: "Give me the ball. Nobody can knock me down."
'Family' Grows In Hospital
In nearly 17 months in the hospital, Merlin German's "family" grew.
From the start, his parents, Lourdes and Hemery, were with him. They relocated to Texas. His mother helped feed and dress her son; they prayed together three, four times a day.
"She said she would never leave his side," Ariel says. "She was his eyes, his ears, his feet, his everything."
But many at the hospital also came to embrace German.
Norma Guerra, a public affairs spokeswoman who has a son in Iraq, became known as German's "Texas mom."
She read him action-packed stories at his bedside and arranged to have a DVD player in his room so he could watch his favorite gangster movies.
She sewed him pillows embroidered with the Marine insignia. She helped him collect New York Yankees memorabilia and made sure he met every celebrity who stopped by — magician David Blaine became a friend, and President Bush visited.
"He was a huge part of me," says Guerra, who had German and his parents over for Thanksgiving. "I remember him standing there talking to my older sister like he knew her forever."
German liked to gently tease everyone about fashion — his sense of style, and their lack of it.
Guerra says he once joked: "I've been given a second chance. I think I was left here to teach all you people how to dress."
Even at Brooke, he color-coordinated his caps and sneakers.
"If something did not match, if your blue jeans were the wrong shade of blue, he would definitely let you know. He loved his clothes," recalls Staff Sgt. Victor Dominguez, a burn patient who says German also inspired him with his positive outlook.
German also was something of an entrepreneur. Back in high school, he attended his senior prom, not with a date but a giant bag of disposable cameras to make some quick cash from those who didn't have the foresight to bring their own.
At Brooke, he designed a T-shirt that he sometimes sold, sometimes gave away. On the front it read: "Got 3 percent chance of survival, what ya gonna do?" The back read, "A) Fight Through, b) Stay Strong, c) Overcome Because I Am a Warrior, d) All Of The Above." D is circled.
Every time he cleared a hurdle, the staff at Brooke cheered him on.
When he first began walking, Guerra says, word spread in the hospital corridors. "People would say, 'Did you know Merlin took his first step? Did you know he took 10 steps?' " she recalls.
German, in turn, was asked by hospital staff to motivate other burn patients when they were down or just not interested in therapy.
"I'd say, 'Hey, can you talk to this patient?' ... Merlin would come in ... and it was: Problem solved," says Elder, the therapist. "The thing about him was there wasn't anything in the burn world that he hadn't been through. Nobody could say to him, 'You don't understand."'
German understood, too, that burn patients deal with issues outside the hospital because of the way they look.
"When he saw a group of children in public, he was more concerned about what they might think," says Renz, his surgeon. "He would work to make them comfortable with him."
And kids adored him, including Elder's two young sons. German had a habit of buying them toys with the loudest, most obnoxious sounds — and presenting them with a mischievous smile.
He especially loved his nieces and nephews; the feelings were mutual. One niece remembered him on a Web site as being "real cool and funny" and advising her to "forget about having little boyfriends and buying hot phones" and instead, concentrate on her education.
A Legacy After Death
Merlin German died after routine surgery to add skin under his lower lip.
He was already planning his next operations — on his wrists and elbows. But Renz also says with all the stress German's body had been subjected to in recent years, "it was probably an unfair expectation that you can keep doing this over and over again and not have any problems."
The cause of his death has not yet been determined.
"I may no more understand why he left us when he did than why he survived when he did," Renz says. "I don't think I was meant to know."
As people learned of his death last month, they flocked to his hospital room to pay their last respects: Doctors, nurses, therapists and others, many arriving from home, kept coming as Friday night faded into Saturday morning.
Merlin German was just 22.
He had so many dreams that will go unrealized: Becoming an FBI agent (he liked the way they dressed). Going to college. Starting a business. Even writing comedy.
But he did accomplish one major goal: He set up a foundation for burned children called "Merlin's Miracles," to raise money so these kids could enjoy life, whether it was getting an air conditioner for their home or taking a trip to Disney World, a place he loved.
On a sunny April afternoon, German was buried among the giant oaks and Spanish moss of Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell. The chaplain remembered German as an indomitable Marine who never gave in to the enemy — or to his pain.
One by one, friends and family placed roses and carnations on his casket.
His parents put down the first flowers, then stepped aside for mourners. They were the last ones to leave his grave, his mother clutching a folded American flag.
Marine Now Among The Remembered
Memorial Day is a time to remember the fallen with parades, tributes and stories.
Sgt. Joe Gonzales, a Marine liaison at Brooke, has a favorite story about Merlin German.
It was the day he and German's mother were walking in the hospital hallway. German was ahead, wearing an iPod, seemingly oblivious to everyone else.
Suddenly, he did a sidestep.
For a second, Gonzales worried German was about to fall. But no.
"He just started dancing out of nowhere. His mom looked at me. She shook her head. There he was with a big old smile. Regardless of his situation, he was still trying to enjoy life."

I met Merlin through a friend of mine @ Brooke and can honestly say that I felt as if I was in the presence of one of the strongest men I have ever met.
I had hoped that Merlin would have a long lifetime in which to share that strength with others but, it was not to be. I can however say that I feel as though I am privilaged to have had the opportunity to experience that strength of will. There have been many Hero MARINES and I am certain that Merlin, having joined their ranks, is standing watch with them now on the streets that all MARINES hope to guard.

RIPSgt. Merlin German USMC

Link Posted: 5/16/2009 3:05:27 PM EST
SGTAnselmo Martinez

SGT Mikeal Miller

Both were truly good guys, I really mean that. I'm sorry for their family's loss.
Link Posted: 5/21/2009 2:48:02 AM EST
This whole thread brings tears to my eyes....
Link Posted: 5/21/2009 2:50:39 AM EST
Major Dwayne Kelly. 432 CA Bn.
Link Posted: 5/27/2009 3:08:51 AM EST
[Last Edit: CAsoldier] [#42]
We lost another CA soldier

SGT AUSTON BLANKS  492nd Civil Affairs Battalion

Killed at a graduation party back home.

Go in peace brother.

ETA link and I hope the shooter gets death and burns in hell.
Link Posted: 5/28/2009 2:27:43 PM EST
We lost a great American, classmate, and friend in Afghanistan last week: 1LT Roslyn L. Schulte, USAF.

This comes close to describing Ros, but nothing will ever truly do her justice.
Link Posted: 7/12/2009 4:17:32 PM EST
[Last Edit: ScottyBallistic] [#44]
Lost my Cousin Sgt. Michael C Roy

 The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

           Sgt. Michael C. Roy, 25, of North Fort Myers, Fla., died July 8 while supporting combat operations in Nimroz province, Afghanistan.  He was assigned to 3d Marine Special Operations Battalion, Marine Special Operations Advisor Group, Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Roy was promoted to sergeant in October 2005. The Department of Defense lists numerous decorations, including a Navy Achievement Medal, a Combat Action Ribbon, a Navy Unit Commendation, three Navy Meritorious Unit Commendations, two Good Conduct Medals, the National Defense Service Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, a Humanitarian Service Medal, four Sea Service Deployment Ribbons and a NATO Medal-ISAF Afghanistan.

News link here

I want to thank all of our lost service men and women for protecting the freedoms many of us take for granted . You will never be forgotten........


Thanks again .

I will be flying out to Camp Lejeune Sunday .

For those that have expressed interest via email or here at AR15.com

Info as far as I know , The wake is Monday around 3pm and the funeral is Tuesday around 2pm

Link Posted: 7/27/2009 5:15:01 PM EST
Staff Sgt Kristopher A. Higdon
KIA 22 May 2007   IED
Bravo Co. 4th Bat 9th INF 2nd ID
"never forgotten"
Link Posted: 7/31/2009 7:03:46 PM EST
[Last Edit: foxherb53] [#46]

CONCRETE — An Army Special Forces officer from Concrete died Wednesday July 29 2009 in Afghanistan, according to the Department of Defense, making him the first known Skagit County resident to be killed as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Second Class Chief Warrant Officer Douglas M. Vose III, 38, was killed by “intense direct small arms fire” after insurgents attacked his unit while conducting combat operations in Kabul Province in eastern Afghanistan, according to a prepared release from the U.S. Army Special Forces Command. Additional details weren’t immediately available Thursday.

At the time he was killed, Vose was serving as a commander for Operational Detachment Alpha 0114 as a member of the NATO International Security Assistance Forces. Most of his immediate family — father, sister and brother, who is a U.S. Marine Corps officer — served in the military.

Over the course of Vose’s military career, he served in Iraq during the first and second Gulf War, in Kosovo in the former Yugoslavian Republic and previously in Afghanistan. Among his awards are the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star, given for heroism under fire.

His wife, Nicole, and two young sons, Aidan and Connor, live in Stuttgart. His two teenage daughters, Sharon and Noel, from a previous marriage also live in Germany. His mother Paulette lives in Oceanside, Calif.

I did not know him personally but I do remember him bagging my grocery's when he was a kid in high school. I didn't know what had become of him all these years, just another kid that left town for some other place.

Link Posted: 9/3/2009 12:20:29 PM EST
SFC Jason Fabrizi

4 deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Link Posted: 9/5/2009 7:19:09 AM EST
[Last Edit: Shoresy] [#48]

USMC Lance Corporal Joshua Bernard, 21, from New Portland, Maine. Died from injuries sustained on patrol in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

an AP photographer took a picture of LCpl. Bernard being tended to post injury and the publishing of that picture has not been well received to say the least.

Link Posted: 9/11/2009 8:47:00 AM EST
[Last Edit: Infantry26] [#49]
My brothers from Viper Co. and our Bn. Scouts in the Korengal.
SSG David Paquet

SPC Ezra Dawson

SGT John Penich

PFC Joseph Gonzales

SSG Kristopher Rodgers

SPC Marques Knight

PFC Michael Dinterman

SSG Nathan Cox

PFC Richard Dewater
Link Posted: 10/30/2009 10:11:59 PM EST
Just learned tonight that a Friend was among those killed in Afghanistan this week by IED
He was 20 years old with a one year old and a three year old
RIP Brian
Page / 6
Tacked Fallen Comrades (Page 3 of 6)
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