Thursday, March 09, 2006------------------------------------------------------------------------
See below for tributes to Army Sgt. Rickey Jones, 3/7 LCpl Adam Van Alstine and 3/7 LCpl Matthew Conley.
First I wanted to post a quick note about Airman Elio Carrion. He is doing well and recovering at home but ... just as many of us who saw the video hoped for ... the officer is being charged in this case! Click here to read about that. Thanks BRAD for this link and new info.
I am having such a hard time trying to do tributes for so many young soldiers that we are losing who have ties to me. Its left me with a 'heavy' heart and in a fugue state that I am finding hard to break. But I am going to try.
I attended the funeral of US Army Sgt. Rickey Jones yesterday in Kokomo, his home town, and the patriotism that I saw there did indeed awe me and raise me from some of the sorrow I have endured lately with the loss of more from the 3/7 and the loss of a friend's son. From the thousands of people that lined the streets and highways of the funeral procession with flags and pictures of their hometown hero, to the amazing sight of hundreds from various organizations like the Patriot Guard Riders, the Marine Vets, the Military Vets of Indiana and surrounding states standing guard outside the church during the entire service. Sgt Rickey Jones ... you did your country and its people an immense service by fighting for our rights. I am proud that our community came together as a whole to do a service back to Rickey and his family and show that we all honor his memory.
I wrote the following poem for them all.
Remember Me With Love
Even though my life was shorter
Than I ever dreamed that it would be.
I proudly stood up and fought for all
The things that mattered most to me.
My family, my brothers, my country,
All our freedoms and our rights.
I was there to help defend them,
Though the cost might be my life.
I knew that I might not come back
The way I was before I left
But I was more than willing to take that risk
For all the things that I loved best.
Some may call me hero now
For the cruel death that overcame
And separated me from my family
Left them with just my name.
But memories are fluid and precious
And the ones I brought with me
Of the people that all loved and cared
I can look down upon and see.
I lived my life with all the glory
Of a man that was once afraid
But faced those fears and conquered them
So grieve lightly, as to my rest I am laid.
For I am well ready for the freedom
For the Kingdom and for the Light
God welcomed me to His open Arms
I spread my wings and I take flight.
But know that I will watch still
Over those that cared and loved.
For one day I will welcome you home
Till then, remember me with love.
© 2006 MarineMom
In honor of the son/step-son of my friends, Rick and Debbie Fields, we will NOT forget:
Tribute to US Army Sgt. Rickey Edward Jones
Click here to view a slideshow of the procession
Akron man's soldier son dies in Iraq
IED blast claims Sgt. Jones
Akron resident Rickey Fields learned this week that his son, U.S. Army Sgt. Rickey Edward Jones, 21, Kokomo, was killed Feb. 22 in Al Hawijah, north of Baghdad, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Humvee during patrol operations.
Also killed were Staff Sgt. Gregson G. Gourley, Pfc. Christopher L. Marion and Pfc. Allan A. Morr. The four were assigned to the lst Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, lst Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Ky.
Survivors, in addition to his father, include his mother, Tenia Rogers, two brothers, Michael Jones and Jacob Hughes, maternal grandmother, Margaret Jones, and maternal grandfather, Ronnie Jones, and his wife, Mary, all of Kokomo.
Flags at the Akron Town Hall will fly at half-staff until after the funeral. Sgt. Jones’ name will be added to the military roster during the flag-raising ceremony on July 4.
In honor of my son's brothers in the 3/7, we will NOT forget:
Tribute to US Marine Lance Cpl. Adam J. Van Alstine
Lance Cpl. Adam J. Van Alstine, 21, was killed by an improvised explosive device in Ar Ramadi. A 21-year-old rifleman from Superior, Wis., Vanalstine was born Nov. 2, 1984, in Duluth, Minn. He joined the Marine Corps in 2004 and went to Iraq in September. Van Alstine's awards include the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Sea Service Deployment ribbon. He is survived by his sister, Dawn Meyers, of Cottage Grove, Minn.
News From 91.3 KUWS
Superior buries its marine killed in Iraq
More than one-thousand people gathered in Superior to pay their last respects to one of their native sons. Danielle Kaeding reports from Superior.
The 21 year-old marine was killed February 25th by a roadside bomb while on duty in Ramadi outside of Iraq. Family and friends of Corporal Adam Van Alstine gathered at Superior High School to honor him. Van Alstine’s brother, Michael Garrity said it’s a sad time, but he’s proud of Adam. “yeah, it’s hard…I just know he died doing what he loved doing and I’m really proud of him.” Van Alstine’s cousin Susie Mattson says she knows Adam was a quiet but important presence to many people in Superior. “Yeah, he’s gonna be missed….he wanted to be a marine since he was a little boy—it was his dream. He lived out his dream.” Family friend Nancy Thompson remembers Van Alstine used to hang out at her house all the time when he and her oldest daughter were kids. She says she knows she’s not alone in her grief. “It’s not just my loss, it’s a loss for the whole world…he was a good person.” Van Alstine had been overseas since last fall, and was just 15 days from being released from combat duty in Iraq when he was killed. He is Superior’s first war fatality since the Vietnam War.
Tribute to US Marine Lance Cpl. John J. Thornton
The 22-year-old Thornton was also killed in Ar Ramadi. He was born Nov. 19, 1983, in Phoenix, Ariz., and joined the Marine Corps in November 2004. A rifleman, he deployed to Iraq in September. His awards include the Combat Action Ribbon, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Sea Service Deployment ribbon. Thornton is survived by his mother, Rachel, of Phoenix.
Arizona Marine dies in Iraq mortar attack
The Associated Press
PHOENIX - A U.S. Marine from Phoenix has died in combat in Iraq.
Lance Cpl. John J. Thornton, 22, died Feb. 25 in Ramadi after a mortar attack.
Thornton was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Twentynine Palms, Calif., and his unit was serving with the 2nd Marine Division while in Iraq.
Thornton graduated from Tolleson Union High School in 2002 and joined the Marines in 2004.
His uncle, John Alvarado of Phoenix, said Thornton, "enlisted for eight years; he planned to make a career of it. The Marines was his whole life."
"He wanted to be a Marine since he was little," Alvarado said. "It was his dream."
He is the 63rd member of the military with Arizona ties to die in the war in Iraq.
May we salute each one of these young men who were willing to sacrifice the things they love to protect us all.
Semper Fi and May God Bless you.