04 March 2009

1st Anniversary of 1st visit by Gold Star Dad to site where USMC 2Lt J.T. Wroblewski KIA Iraq 6 April 2004

As the first anniversary of my and John Wroblewski's journey to Iraq approaches, I will be posting unedited video shot on 6 Mar 2008 of our historic visit on 6 Mar 2008 to the actual site where his son, USMC 2Lt J.T. Wroblewski, ten other US Marines, and a Navy Corpsman were killed in a Ramadi ambush on 6 April 2004. This video (shot by USMC Combat Cameraman Cpl Angel) was used along with my images for a 2008 Memorial Day special by Fox News on 26 May 2008.

I was honored to escort John Wroblewski as he made a 2nd attempt to travel to Iraq to perform a memorial service at the site where his son, J.T. and the other 11 men were KIA. Unfortunately, our first visit in January 2007 with Martha Zoller was unsuccessful, but this time we made it. My eternal thanks to the fine men and women of the U.S. military for working with us to make the journey possible. I was honored to have been a part of this historic 1st visit by any Gold Star parent to any site in Iraq where their son or daughter was killed. I felt we tried to honor the terrible sacrifices paid by the 12 men who were killed in that alley on 6 April 2004.

The names of the fallen are as follows: LCPL Benjamin Carman, LCPL Marcus Cherry, PFC Christopher Cobb, LCPL Kyle Crowley, PFC Deryk Hallal, PFC Ryan Jerabek, PFC Moises Langhorst, LCPL Travis Layfield, HM3 Fernandez Mendez, LCPL Anthony Roberts, SSGT Allan Walker, and 2nd Lt John Thomas Wroblewski.

My heart is also heavy with the realization that 6 April is only a month away - a date on which 12 brave men died together during a well planned ambush in 2004 in Ramadi, Iraq. This date will be one of sadness for those families that have lost sons, fathers and brothers. But 6 April should also be a day of remembrance of their noble sacrifice, as they selflessly laid down their lives while they fought alongside their Marine and Navy brothers. These men were also doing the job for which they volunteered, a job that most of them loved, proudly serving their country, the United States Marine Corps and U.S. Navy.

Our successes in Iraq were bought and paid for with the blood of our sons and daughters. We must never forget their sacrifices! Please remember them as they fought and died for all of us. Rest in peace brave warriors. Semper Fidelis!