06 April 2012

8th Anniversary of 2-4 Marines Ramadi ambush

Today marks the 8th anniversary of the 6 April 2004 ambush in which 12 men of the "Magnificent Bastards" of 2-4 Marines were killed-in-action in the marketplace on the east side of Ramadi, Iraq. I never personally met any of these young men, all volunteer warriors who proudly served alongside their fellow Marines, but I know that I will never forget their names or what happened to them on that day.

As I have written previously, I had the honor of escorting Gold Star father John Wroblewski to the actual combat site in Ramadi on 6 Mar 2008. While at the site, John performed a memorial service for the fallen of 2-4, solemnly reading their names The names of the fallen read aloud by John Wroblewski 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 my hero, 2Lt John Thomas Wroblewski."

When John finished speaking the names of the fallen, he asked PSD Company and Major General John Kelly to give a loud "Oo-rah" in honor of these men. This raw, heartfelt cheer echoed throughout the alleyway and surrounding houses, bringing chills to my spine, before it faded into the palm groves surrounding us.

I have had the honor of speaking to 2 of the parents of the fallen Marines, but my words to them were inadequate to convey the heaviness that my heart felt at their loss. And while we can never replace the loss of these brave men, or the anguish of the families on their loss of a loved one, we can honor them by never forgetting those sacrifices.