Thursday, March 30, 2006

He Is A True American Hero

LTC Michael E. McLaughlin, KIA 01/05/2006 is my husband, the father to my 2 beautiful girls, and the love of my life. Mike was killed in Ramadi at the Glass Factory while organizing over 700 Iraqi police recruits. He was told that previous recruiting efforts only brought out few Iraqi men and he would no way be successful. My husband was not one person to be told "things could not or would not happen". His efforts over the 6 months he was in Iraq brought close to 1000 recruits in 2 days. Mike was the Information Operations Officer as well as the Fire Support Office for the 2nd Brigade. He basically created the guidelines for the IOO position and made friends in Ramadi with the Sheiks, community members, etc. He was making a difference as are all of our troops fighting the global war on terrorism. Wearing this bracelet is one large way I can carry on his legacy and his memory. He is a true American Hero to me and everyone who knew him.


I Will Wear Their Names On My Wrist Proudly

The names on the bracelets were my friends from my unit who gave their life in Fallujah in Nov of 2004, and who perished in the CH-53 helicopter crash in Jan of 2005. Sgt Peralta gave his life by jumping on a grenade after being shot 6 times by insurgents in Fallujah. He saved four Marines from the blast and is currently up for the Medal of Honor. Peralta came to our unit from 1/8 after re-enlisting. He was a hard leader who was well liked amongst all of the Marines in our Company. We spent most of our time hanging out in the local bars of Wiakiki. Cpl Cohen was one of my first new guy's. He was killed by enemy fire when entering a room in Fallujah. Cohen was one of the nicest guys I have had the prvilige to meet. He would have done anything for his brothers. Cpl Grimes was an outstanding human being as well as Marine. I played on the Battalian football team with him. He had adopted the name "Grimesy" from those who knew him best. He was killed when his helo went down while transferring to another city. 1st Lt Travis Fuller was a Lt with Charlie 1/3. I was in Alpha and got to know Travis through my platoon commanders, who we would party with in town. Travis was a New Englander like my self. He was a quiet but awesome leader. He and Grimes were on the same helo. Thats my story, and I wear their names on my wrist proudly. Semper Fi.

Monday, March 20, 2006

I Will Let God Take Charge Of My Life

SFC Morrison was a friend of mine who died in an IED Explosion back in Sept. I email his wife and we have become good friends. Sometimes life seems so unfair and sometimes we question our Faith because we are so devestated by the circumstances before us that it overwhelms us but I know that we serve a Mighty General who will someday revile all this to us and regardless of the pain or the scars that this War has left in us we have made some wonderful friends along the way and with this experience I have learned to place my Faith regardless of the circumstance at the foot of the Cross and let God handle it for me because it is just too much for me to carry. I have learned that there is no substitute for the value of family and friends.

SGT Rita