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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, December 16, 2008


Friday was our memorial service for the 20 men that we lost in Afghanistan.  There's really nothing to write about regarding it.  The weather was fittingly dark and gloomy, lots of friends and family of the deceased were present.  For my old platoon, Golf-3, many former members, now out of the Marine Corps, came back to help us honor the dead.  I hadn't seen many of them in a very long time.  Brian Wilson, who skipped his graduation ceremony from Texas Tech, Steve 'Machine Gun' Wherry and his wife, expecting their first child, Anthony Williams, rocking out in his grunge goatee (I expected nothing less), and many more all showed up to offer support.  

The magnitude of the number didn't really strike until the Sergeant Major called final roll.  The first three or four names he read out were met with instant "Here sergeant major", the final twenty that he called were met only with silence.  

"Sergeant Washington."
"Sergeant Michael WASHINGTON"

And the list went on for 19 more names.  The only sound heard in response were the sobs from the families behind.  

Dear God, where do we get such men?
What loving God has provided, that each generation, afresh, 
there should arise new giants in the land.
Were we to go but a single generation without such men,
we would surely be both damned and doomed.


  1. I'm sorry. These kinds of posts always leave me choked up. I'm sure the ceremony was befitting the honor these men deserve.

  2. Jake, I'm also sorry for your loss, and for the loss the families of these men must endure. I know, however, that memory of these 20 Marines will always be honored for the heroes they are. God Bless each of them (and their families and friends). I know I've said it before, but thank you (again) for your service to this Country.

  3. Jake, I can't adequately express my sorrow for your loss. Your words pierce my heart! As an Army Mom of a soldier who's about to be deployed to Afghanistan within days..just after the birth of his 2nd child....I pray that you are all home on our soil soon. Thank you and your fellow Marines for what you do daily in the service to our country! God Bless, Lisa/Cw2sMom

  4. Semper Fi. It was never just a slogan.

  5. Jake, I'm sorry for your loss. You and their families are in my prayers.

  6. May you and your fellow Marines, and your families be wrapped in the loving arms of God. May the souls of your brothers rest in God's lasting peace. I don't know what our country would do without men like you, and your families.

  7. Jake. We're thinking of you, the rest of Golf company - past and current, as you remember the fallen. I am deeply thankful for the service you have all given and most thankful to those that gave all.

  8. I am so sorry for the loss of your brothers, and for all the families left behind. I got goosebumps reading that post. Thinking of you and Golf company.

  9. The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 12/17/2008 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

  10. I am thankful for these young soldiers. My prayers are with their friends and families.

  11. Jake,

    Having been to my fair share of Memorial Services since we were posted to Ft. Carson...and unfortunately will be going to one next month of 3 of our own from my husband's Brigade, now serving in Southern Iraq. I think I can tell you that we get such men from the group that is willing to lay down their life for fellow man and brother warrior. Those that still believe in the principles that this country was founded on.

    I've come to the conclusion that while I can get through the volley of gunfire, and prehaps even the playing of taps. I will never get through the names at roll call without profound sadness and tears.

    Cheryl M
    Ft. Carson, CO