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This blog exists only as an archive. It is a journal that serves as a window into my life as a Marine combat veteran serving in Iraq and Afghanistan; it was written with no filter, no politics and no agenda. Please feel free to follow my journey from beginning to end. Welcome to my life.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

It's been a couple of days, here's a little run down of what has been going on.

- On Sunday my platoon memorialized Howey. The ceremony is something that is beautiful to watch because it really shows how much the toughest guys in the world care for one of their own, but I hope that I never see another one for as long as I live. I read Ecclesiasties 3:1-11. It was an excellent verse, it speaks of how there is a time and place for everything. A captain from another company was there and played Amazing Grace on the bagpipes, that's where a lot of guys lost their composure. By far the worst part is when the platoon commander calls roll.

Lance Corporal Disbro
"Here Staff Sergeant"
Lance Corporal Garza
"Here Staff Sergeant"
Lance Corporal Hilbert
"Here Staff Sergeant"
Lance Corporal Howey...

Lance Corporal BLAKE Howey...


and then taps sounds off in the distance.

Walking up to his memorial, with his rifle stuck bayonet down in a block of wood, with his helmet resting on top, his boots at the base, and his dog tags around the pistol grip was difficult, but it helped.

As soon as the ceremony ended, we put our gear on, loaded our weapons, pulled up our vehicles, and went out on a 3 day op. I guess thats how you honor him, just going out and doing it all over again.

-We went out on a 3 day op like I said. We headed to a part of our AO that we had not yet been, and that we suspected was housing alot of insurgents. To be safe, we had a dismounted team sweeping in front of our vehicles the whole way out there, looking for road side bombs and trigger men. After about 3 hours, it was my team's turn to sweep. We got out there and relieved the other guys, and about 400 meters down the road one of my guys yells out, "Wood, I think I have one".

"one what?"
"An IED"
"You sure?"
"I have copper wire leading from the canal and then it gets buried under the road"
"shit"..."back up"

We called it in and EOD (explosive ordinance disposal) came out about 2 hours later and did a controlled detonation for us. About 5 hours later, we finally got to our patrol base.

-The last big thing to write about. Last night I was checking some emails when my company commander and company 1st Sergeant came out and yelled at me to get outside. I thought I was in some kind of trouble, so I got outside and immediately stood at attention. Then the 1st Sergeant starts reading off a Meritorious Field Promotion Warrant. They had gotten permission to promote me to Corporal. It was awesome. My warrant is actually signed by the Commanding General of the 1st Marine Division.


  1. Congratulations, Jake!!!! We are so proud of you!!!

  2. Jake, you will never know just how proud I am of you. YOU are my hero.

  3. Ephesians 3:1-11 (New International Version)

    Paul the Preacher to the Gentiles
    1For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles—

    2Surely you have heard about the administration of God's grace that was given to me for you, 3that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. 4In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God's holy apostles and prophets. 6This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.

    7I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God's grace given me through the working of his power. 8Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    Jake, I have heard you spread the Gospel in person. I know that your comrades draw so much strength from your faith and your character. Your are a leader and a fisher of men.

  4. Buddy having known you for so long Itruly have never been prouder to call you a friend. Even in such a horrible situation you are able to keep your faith. We love you buddy and pay for you often

  5. Big Congrads Jake!! You are a Hero indeed!!

  6. Congrats! What an accomplishment!