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Corporal James Heath McRae, USMC:
On July 24, 2007 CPL James Heath McRae, 22, was killed by an insurgent IED attack. He was driving the fourth vehicle in a convoy through the Diyala province of Iraq.
CPL. James Heath McRae, 22 is from Springtown in North Texas. He left college and joined the Marines because he felt a calling to serve his country. His mother said he felt he needed to repay his debt to his country by joining the military.
James was born July 6th, 1985 in Springtown Texas. He learned how to fix fences, work cattle and how to repair boats and car engines from his father. He loved to go fishing in the gulf of Mexico and on the stocked ponds of the family ranch.
James wasn’t just a country boy, he also loved music. He played trombone and guitar and was good enough to earn a music scholarship to Weatherford College which he attended for one year.
James’ sister Amy said “my brother was and is a hero, along with the other marines, those who are here and those who are gone. They will forever be in our hearts”.
HN Daniel S. Noble, United States Navy Corpsman:
On July 24, 2007 HM Daniel (Doc) Noble was killed by an insurgent IED attack. Doc Noble was the drivers side passenger in the 4th vehicle of a 43 vehicle convoy passing through the Diyala province of Iraq.
Doc Noble, 21 of Whittier California, is in the Navy but assigned as one of several corpsman to Kilo Battery. There is a very special bond between the Navy corpsman and the marines. The corpsman is responsible for quickly assessing a marine’s injuries, stabilizing them and preparing them for transport. Many times their job is performed while under fire from the enemy.
A couple of days prior to Doc Noble’s death his convoy was escorting busses full of Iraqi soldiers. The bus behind them was hit by an IED killing several Iraqi soldiers. Doc Noble pulled several of the Iraqi soldiers to safety as he was being fired upon by insurgents. Kilo battery came together quickly and took out the insurgents before they could cause any more harm. Just another day of saving lives and protecting their brothers (even Iraqi brothers).
Daniel joined the Navy on October 4, 2005 following in the footsteps of his grandfather and godfather. His uncle Kelly Thomas said his nephew had the wisdom of someone twice his age and said Daniel wasn’t concerned about joining the Navy at the height of the Iraq War. “He just thought about helping people, “Thomas said. “He had a true spirit of giving”.
Daniel was originally hoping to join the Seabees, but broke a hand just before he was scheduled to start basic training. After recuperating, there were no Seabee openings so he made a quick decision to become a corpsman which he loved.
Corporal Matthew Zindars, USMC:
On July 24, 2007 CPL. Matthew Zindars was killed by an insurgent IED attack. Cpl. Zindars was the gunner in the 4th vehicle of a 43 vehicle convoy. The driver (Cpl Heath McRae) and driver’s side passenger (Doc Daniel Noble) were also killed. The convoy was passing through the Diyala province of Iraq.
Cpl. Matthew Zindars, 21 is from the southern Wisconsin city of Watertown. Matthew graduated from Watertown High School in 2004. He joined the Marines at age 18 while he was still in school.
An outdoor-loving former football player, Cpl. Zindars liked snowboarding, rock climbing and hunting. He also loved weight-lifting in his spare time.
His father Ken Zindars said his son was “the salt of the earth”. “He was a great kid and never gave us any trouble”. He said his son always wanted to be in the military and was “pretty proud to be a Marine.”
Matthew volunteered for a second tour in Iraq because all his Marine buddies were going back and he wanted to be there for them.
“Matthew said if they were going back, he was going to go with them,” his father said. “They think of each other as brothers,” he said. “They eat together, sleep together and protect each other. “They were very tight.”
Semper Fi brothers. It was an honor to have served with you.Lance Cpl. Robert A. Lynch, USMC:
Lance Cpl. Robert A. Lynch, USMC, 20, is from Louisville Kentucky. He died on July 24 while performing convoy duty in the Diyala province of Iraq.
Robert graduated from Seneca High School in 2005 and school officials spoke highly of him. “He was a hero for us,” Michael McWilliams, a counselor at Seneca, told The (Louisville) Courier-Journal. He did a lot of things for us and a lot for our ROTC program.
“He’d tell me all the time, ‘Mom, I’m going over there to fight for you,,’ ” his mother, Angela Robinson, told WLKY-TV.
Lynch’s brother, Michael, also fought in Iraq. “I would be honored to go the same way my brother went,” Michael Lynch said. “I’m so proud of him.”
“Robbie was a little bit of a jokester. He put a smile on your face, but when it came time to get something done, he was the first to jump in and stand shoulder to shoulder with you,” said retired Marine Col. Richard Maloney, who taught Lynch in ROTC courses at the school.
Mike Smith, pastor at Eastside Praise Ministry Center, said he baptized Lynch about a year and a half ago. “He was so charming and kind,” Smith said. “There was a side of him that truly believed in what he was doing. He was convinced his life in this capacity was really going to make a difference.”
Gov. Ernie Fletcher has ordered that flags at all state office buildings be lowered to half-staff until sunset on the day of Lynch’s funeral. Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson issued a similar order through July 30.
Just stumbled across this thread and wanted to add my 2 cents.
In memory or GMG3 Daniel Homicki, killed 17 May 1987 onboard the USS Stark (FFG-31).
For those who are too young to remember, the Stark was struck by two Exocet anti-ship missiles fired from an Iraqi F-1 Mirage. Both missiles penetrated the port-side hull, the first failing to detonate, but spewing flaming rocket fuel in its wake. The second exploded in crew quarters killing 37 sailors and injuring 21.
Dan Homicki was from Elizabeth, New Jersey and had cross decked to the Stark from the USS Jack Williams (FFG-24), putting him onto a Med-IO deployment far ahead of when he would have been slotted for it. He did this to replace a lost Gunners Mate on the Stark and so that he could rotate a year early to a choice shore duty billet at the Naval Weapons Station in NJ to be with his wife and their new daughter.
Less than 4 years later, as USS America prepared to launch its' first offensive strikes of Operation Desert Storm, I stood on the aft mess decks looking at the racks of ordnance heading up the elevators to the flight deck. Other guys were laughing, joking, and writing all kinds of things on the casings, but all I could think of was my friend, Dan. I scribbled a small message, 'This one's from Gremlin', and left before anyone could see that my eyes were full of tears.
Not a day goes by that I don't read or see something about the guys (and gals) over in that sandbox hell and think about Dan. If the US had gone after Saddam back in '87, maybe (just maybe) we wouldn't be there now.
May all of those lost rest in eternal peace.