05 April 2011

USMC 2-4 Echo Company Ambush Remembrance 6 Apr 2004

Seven years ago today, 12 young men of 2-4 Marines "Echo" Company lost their lives in a cowardly ambush in a marketplace on the east side of Ramadi, Iraq. They died bravely in the performance of their duties as U.S. Marines and the U.S. Navy. One of these men, 2Lt J.T. Wroblewski, is the son of my friend John Wroblewski. On 6 Mar 2008, John and I stood in the narrow Ramadi alleyway where his son fell in combat.

We were there along with US Marine Major General John Kelly, and USMC 2-8 PSD Company to perform a memorial service to honor the service and sacrifice of these 12 men who had given their lives in combat. John Wroblewski solemnly read the names of the fallen, "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 my hero, 2Lt John Thomas Wroblewski."

John then asked the Marines if they would honor their fallen brothers with an "Oo-Rah." Their resounding "Oo-rah!" echoed back from the surrounding houses and walls of the alley, and then faded away into the palm trees around us.

I cannot imagine the pain of losing a son, and it was gut-wrenching to see the anguish on John's face as he remembered his son while he stood where he died. As Americans, we must not forget these men, their families, and the other fallen men and women who died serving our great Republic.

Tragically, Major General Kelly's own son, 2Lt Robert Michael Kelly USMC, was killed in combat in Sangin, Afghanistan on 9 November 2010, and was laid to rest in Arlington Memorial Cemetery on 22 Nov 2010. Lt Kelly was posthumously promoted to 1st Lt US Marine Corps.

Take a minute: slowly, thoughtfully read aloud each name and think about them and the thousands of loved ones they left behind. Think about their Marine brothers and sisters they left behind. Try to put yourself in their place, if just for an instant. I would ask that you honor their memory today and silently thank them.


Anonymous said...

hello i am the machine gunner that was on top of the seven ton truck that was directly behind 2Lt J.T. Wroblewski humve i saw the whole thing....i just wanted to inform you that there where thirteen magnifisant bastards that lost there lives that day.... thank you for remebering us

Greg Janney said...

I am so sorry, and did not mean to leave anyone out. Who was the 13th man? Please contact me via email about the 13th man.

It was an honor to have returned to Iraq to honor those Magnificent Bastards that died fighting alongside their brothers. Would you consent to an interview? Send me an email, please. Thank you for your service!

B Thompson said...

More 2/4 here