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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.

Monday, March 12, 2007


Yesterday my platoon lost another brother. We were conducting a platoon sized raid on a known insurgent meeting place. We came in fast and wrapped up 60 detainees. We had been there for a little over an hour, tearing the place apart looking for weapons caches and doing initial interrogations on key suspects.

I was with a fire team on the roof of a house about 150 meters away, trying to establish radio communication with COC when I heard a single snap ring out. I looked down and saw Lance Corporal Nathan Windsor go down. Immediately our platoon was under fire from about 4 automatic weapons positions. I got the RO to call in a 9 line medevac request and then myself and my machine gunner started firing on a vehicle that was being used as a mobile platform. After the radio call was sent up, I took my team off the roof and made the dash across the field under the cover of of our turret gunners.

By the time I got to Windsor he had been stabilized by our docs. He had been shot in the neck.

Our turret gunners were firing pure hatred out of their barrels. We expended over 5,000 rounds of ammunition, launched over 30 high explosive grenades and were still under attack. The people that came after us were not Iraqi. This was a complex ambush that only foreign trained fighters could have pulled off.

When I carried Windsor onto the bird he was still alive. Unconscious, but alive. Sometime after that God decided to take him from us.

He was 19. He was Blake Howey's best friend. We called them 'the twins'. They have been reunited.

We managed to get some of his murderers. Between 4-6 of them went down. But probably 10 got away.

Our platoon has been hit hard. This is the second brother we have lost in 3 weeks. Three others have been sent home for their wounds. Please keep praying for us. Windsor and Howey were good friends to a lot of the younger guys here. I knew Windsor since the School of Infantry, I was his Guide there. He was my first roommate when I got to the fleet. I am handling it okay, but others are struggling.

We few. We precious few. We band of brothers. For he who sheds his blood with me shall forever be my brother.

Lance Corporal Nathan Windsor
Selflessly gave his life on 11 March 2007
May he rest in peace


  1. We will continue to pray. Let us know what else you need.

  2. Dear Jake,
    I pray for the family and friends of Nathan. I pray for strength, comfort, faith, and healing for them, as well as for your comrades who were with him as he died. I pray for you and your entire platoon to keep the faith and know that God loves you and I love you. God's peace be with you and your comrades. Love, Mom

  3. Jake, we will always have your back in the prayer department. Please stay safe.

  4. Our thoughts and prayers are with you always! Be safe.

  5. Jake,
    We are praying for you. I am so sorry to hear about Nathan. Thank you for serving for our country and for keeping us safe. You are a true hero.
    May God surround you with His heavenly angels.nancy M

  6. I know you don't know me but I used to be Nathan's neighbor when I was in 7th grade... 3 years ago. The highschool he went to has been rocked. All everyone can think is that we pray, wish, hope, that every soldier will be safe. Thank you for what you and every soldier are doing for us.

    With all my admiration,

  7. S~
    We are praying for you and others who knew Nathan well. Know that many people around the world are thinking of you and Nathan's family... God bless.

  8. You are a Great man and a Great Marine, I was Brothers with Nathan Windsor, not by blood. But I loved him with all my heart, we Grew up together.

    I was also Friends with Blake Howey, We all hung out every weekend that you guys had off before you guys got shipped out to Iraq.

    please email me when you get the Chance and let me know how things are going over there, and I have some questions about some of the other men over there if you can help.

    I am flying on friday to Nathans Funeral...

    I will pray along with all of us out here who loved and knew Nathan Windsor and Blake Howey. We will All Pray for you Great and Honorable men that served with them at the end, and for all your brothers that serve along side of you.

    Please take care, watch each others backs.

    Thank you.

    ~Joseph Chavez

    my Email is, Joseph@Jarpro.com

    My brother and I are the Friends of Nathan that were going to make the video of your guy's time in Iraq.
    I believe I have some pictures of you and some Video futage of you with Nathan, that he gave to us to start on the Movie.

    God bless you

  9. Jake, thank you for your post! I am apart of the community where Nathan graduated in. Your words have meant so much to all of us here. I hope you are given the opportunity share your faith with all of your brothers. For me, your words were the first glimpse of the realities of the war it was like a nightmare in a far off place, reality sunk in for when I read your blog. There are many occasions, that I feel a burden to pray, yet my voice is silent. It is my weakness and this time my guilt. I will honor the memory of Nathan by praying for the safety of his remaining “brother”. Your work is a good work, your faith is a strong faith, 1 Timothy 6:12
    12Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

    God Bless.

  10. Jake- I hope you see how you help so many people ... in so many different ways. Thank you for being a Marine, thank you for being an inspiration, thank you for being you. Continue to help those who surround you now as we cannot physically be with you during these times...we miss you.

  11. Thanks for the post Jake. It is comforting to see and read the Marine brotherhood Nathan spoke of. Thanks for your service and your friendship with Nathan. If you can and wish to, e-mail Leslie and I. We can share Nathan stories. You and any Marine are welcome to visit our house or to get a tour of Nathan's resting place. Nathan's step-dad,


  12. I shed blood in Korea over 50 years ago as a Marine. I served as a company commander in 1/7 & 2/7 in Vietnam. Retired for over 35 years but still a Marine. Semper Fi to the newer Corps.


  13. Jake thank you so much for the post. I am Nathans cousin but we were more brothers then anything else. thank you for letting us know how it happened and if you can check a blog I put up about Nathan. its on my myspace at


    thank you for what you do over there. for those of us that have lost someone to the war it means alot more then it does to most people because we know the pain of that loss. I will be praying for you and your platoon as will my family Im sure. thank you again for everytihng you do.

  14. Hi Jake this is Rochelle Davis Im sure you don't know me but I am Nathans Girlfriend. I found out on Sunday myself but what Im here to ask you is if I can take what you wrote and post it on my web page for everyone locally who would like to know the truth about what happened. Im not sure if you can reply but if you can get back to me at the following email address that would be greatly appreciated.


    thanks so much, God bless.


  15. Jake, from a fellow Badger, stay safe.

  16. David Eckels/arsveritasSunday, March 25, 2007 1:39:00 AM

    Dear Jake,

    My son, Marine Cpl James Eckels, was good friends with Blake Howey, but apparently didn't know Nathan Windsor. Nevertheless, it appears that Blake and Nathan had a good friend in you. As the war becomes more personal to us, especially with these recent deaths, we commit ourselves to closing ranks and praying for a safe journey to those who are still in "the shadow of the valley of death" and hope for a clear mind and the wisest possible choices at all times for all of you. Semper Fi, Marine!

  17. Jake,

    James Eckles is the son of a high school friend of mine. Dave keeps me informed of James's status. It is through him that I came to know about Blake Howie and Nathaniel Windsor. Holding them and all my brothers in the Profession of Arms close to my heart, my wife and I have chosen Nathan and Blake's name to carry on. On 1 DEC 2008, Nathaniel Blake Lucas was born in to this world in Ocean Springs, MS. He has spent the last 7 days in the NICU recovering from lung problems. Like his two namesakes, he is a fighter. Here is my blog entry where we decided what to name our third son:


    Please send me anything about these two warrior/heros that I can pass on to my son.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and all warriors.

    William "Jeff" Lucas, MSGT (RET), USAF

  18. wow. i want to thank you for writing this. I knew him in middle school, and just now heard about his death. I wanted it to be a rumor,he was such a nice boy (never bullied anyone, which was rare in huntington beach), but i'm glad he had a friend like you. thank you for everything you've done for our country.

  19. S/Sgt I. J. Oshana, USMC (Ret)Tuesday, January 05, 2010 1:57:00 PM

    I was with the 2nd Bn, 1st Marines in mid 1952 until late 1953. I was deployed with my drill instructor, S/Sgt H. D. Herrington, of Bangor, Maine, who later went on to finish his career in Vietnam after 1962 when I mustered out. Just wanted to write and thank you for your service and your sacrifice and let you know that it also means a great deal to those of us who served. Semper fi, oohrah.