06 March 2014

6th Anniversary of Ramadi Memorial Service for 2/4 Marines KIA on 6 April 2004 by GSD John Wroblewski

Today marks 6 years since Gold Star dad John Wroblewski and I, along with USMC Major General John Kelly and 2/8 PSD Company Marines stood in a narrow alleyway off Route Gypsum in Ramadi, Iraq to perform a solemn memorial service for the 2/4 Marines of Echo Company that were killed in action there on 6 April 2004.

It took me 14 months of planning after our failed attempt to reach Ramadi in 2007, but we were finally able to stand in the market place where 12 men of 2/4 Marines were killed in the 2004 ambush, so we could honor their memories in this memorial service on 6 March 2008.

Since then, I have written a book about our 2 trips to Iraq to honor the fallen, and have signed a contract to publish "A Father's Journey to Iraq." I am in the process of interviewing the Gold Star parents of these fallen heroes to be included in the book so that readers across the nation will know these men not just as names on a page, but will realize that they were sons and fathers, and left behind grieving family members who cherish their memories.

It is up to us to help keep them alive through those memories, to let their families and their Marine brothers know that we will never forget them or the ultimate sacrifice that they made that day. On 6 April 2014, we will again remember the fallen, their families, and their Marine brothers when we gather at Camp Pendleton, California for the 10 year remembrance.

I hope to be there to meet the Gold Star parents and families of these fallen men, their 2/4 Marine brothers, and other distinguished guests to honor the memory of the 12 men killed on 6 Apr 2004, as well as the other 22 Marines killed and 255 wounded during that Iraq deployment, which was the bloodiest of any other Marine unit deployed to Iraq. Please join us to keep their memories alive. You can visit the 2nd Battalion 4th Marines Facebook page for more details on the reunion: https://www.facebook.com/2dBattalion4thMarines

Here are the names of the fallen men of 2/4 Marines Echo Company that were killed in action during the 6 April 2004 ambush, as read by Gold Star father John Wroblewski during the 6 Mar 2008 memorial service pictured below: "LCpl Benjamin CarmanLCpl Marcus Cherry, PFC Christopher Cobb, LCpl Kyle Crowley, PFC Deryk Hallal, PFC Ryan Jerabek, PFC Moises LanghorstLCpl Travis Layfield, HM3 Fernandez Mendez-Aceves, LCpl Anthony Roberts, SSgt Allan Walker, and my hero, 2Lt John Thomas Wroblewski."