In The Mailbox: 09.22.17
3 hours ago
Great soldier and a great man, had the honor to go through basic training and serving with him in Iraq, see you on the high ground brother.— Ernest Ramos
Staff Sgt. Russell J. Proctor, age 25, of Oroville, California, died on June 26, 2011, in Diyala province, Iraq, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.
He was assigned to the 4th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.
Russell was serving his third tour in Iraq. He entered active duty in June 2005.
Russell is the oldest son of Russell Proctor Sr. and his wife Renee, of Oroville, California.
Let us pray to God the Father, Jesus, all of the saints and all of the angels that Russell J. Proctor is in heaven. Let us pray that he is at peace and is with God. Amen.
Army Pfc. Dylan J. JohnsonDied June 26, 2011 serving during Operation New Dawn
Dylan J. Johnson, 20, of Tulsa, Okla.; assigned to the 4th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; died June 26 in Diyala province, Iraq, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. Also killed was Staff Sgt. Russell J. Proctor.
I told him from day one, 'You're supposed to bury me, I'm not supposed to bury you.' I told him, 'I love this country, but I don't know if I love it enough to give up a son for it.'
— Gordon Treber, father
Treber, who had recently married, died six weeks after arriving in Iraq for his first combat tour. He and two other soldiers drown when their vehicle crashed into a canal. One of Treber's last acts was to free another soldier from his seatbelt and give him his airpocket. "He knew there was not enough room for both of us to breathe," the lone surviving soldier said to a military news service.
In addition to his father and mother, Treber is survived by his wife, Tamila, of Fayetteville, N.C.; his stepmother, Nicole; two brothers, Gordon Treber Jr. of San Diego and Daniel Hunt of San Mateo, Calif.; two sisters, Barbara Hunt of Orange and Angel Hunt of Modesto; and his grandparents, Paul and Kate Treber of Colton, Ore., and Nathan and Thelma Jacques of Mohave Valley, Ariz.Do please read more about Army Sgt. James M. Treber here, here and here. And look at photographs here.
He could get anything with that smile. It made him one of the more popular kids in high school. He was definitely one of the cooler kids. We never figured him for a soldier.
— Shinae Kim, sister
Morrow was a machine gunner on a Humvee when he was wounded by an improvised explosive device in Balad. He died June 27. His body arrived in the United States on the Fourth of July, his father's birthday.
Jason Morrow had taken the machine gunner's role just over a week after the previous gunner, one of his best friends, had also been killed by a roadside bomb, said his father, William Morrow.
Cpl Jason W. Morrow, USMC, Operation Iraqi Freedom; Operation Enduring Freedom
Our son Jason Morrow had always wanted to be a Marine since childhood. He was granted his most precious dream on December 9, 2002. He lived his dream, loved his family, and protected the innocent to the fullest. He was liked by all who knew him; he loved those he knew. His love was baseball and hotdogs with his favorite team the Angels; he loved family events where he could be himself; and be a Marine, who are and will always be the BEST on this planet. He was loved by so many but no one loved him more than us; his family who knew him best. He will be missed but not forgotten. He will always be our HERO.
July 04, 2007
It has been a year since we met you at Ontario Airport. All I know is that your father and I stood in silence and wept as they brought you out from the flight with Old Glory on your casket. Your father and I have never felt such heart ache. I know you are safe now, I know you are in a better place now; but you are loved and still very much missed by your family. You had what most people never find in a life time, true friends. You would have been so proud of Tim, your brother from another mother. We miss you. Thank you for your wonderful memories that you left with all of us. We continue to miss you.
~ Kristin Morrow, Riverside, California
I do turn into quite the sloth. I’m saving every last bit for the send, and often I won’t talk. I go into a meditative bubble. Everything I eat, I’m imagining the food dissolving and going into the right muscles. I was in a similar state in 2002 when I free-soloed Super Couloir and made the first ascent of California Roulette on Patagonia’s Fitz Roy. I lived in a cave because I couldn’t deal with normal interaction. I couldn’t deal if I saw fear in somebody else—if they feel it, it enters me.The Aerialist, Dean Potter.
In Jeff’s, words, “it was a beautiful day in Yosemite. Dean had a high line set up there that he measured as somewhere between 99 to 100 feet. He had walked the line leashed a few times when I saw him untying from the tether. I figured he was just taking a break. Instead, he stepped up to the line and started walking it with confidence and determination. It’s hard to imagine what it must feel like walking across a rope with over a thousand feet of air below, but it was obvious to me that Dean was exactly where he was supposed to be…”
A painfully shy teenager who hadn't distinguished himself in school, Ceniceros gained confidence and a sense of identity in the Marines. His fellow Marines were his brothers. His dog, a Labrador mix named Tank, was usually wearing some kind of Marine Corps bandanna.
— Elizabeth Ceniceros, widow
Reps. Barney Frank (D., Mass.) and Ron Paul (R., Texas) don’t always see eye to eye on policy matters, but the Massachusetts liberal and Texas libertarian are teaming up to introduce a bill that would end the federal prohibition on marijuana, leaving it up to each state to set marijuana policy.
Petty Officer First Class
Naval Special Warfare Development Group
June 26, 2003
Retzer was wounded on June 25, 2003, after his convoy was attacked outside of Gardez, Afghanistan. He was transported to Bagram Air Base Hospital, where he died of his wounds on June 26, 2003.
Bronze Star with Combat “V” for valor (2)
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Joint Service Achievement Medal
Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2)
Good Conduct Medal (2)
National Defense Service Medal
Meritorious Unit Commendation
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Sea Service Deployment Ribbon
Retzer was part of a dedicated Naval Special Warfare team fighting the Taliban, a fundamentalist regime that a U.S.-led coalition knocked from power in Afghanistan in 2001, but has continued to conduct guerilla operations, particularly along the Pakistan border. Retzer worked to help ensure al Qaeda terrorists could not train in, nor launch strikes from Afghanistan since their lethal attack on the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001.
Retzer graduated from BUD/S in 1994. He distinguished himself as a SEAL operator during combat operations in Afghanistan between 2001 and 2003, earning two Bronze Stars with combat “V” for valor.
On June 25, 2003, Retzer was killed while engaged in a fierce firefight after his convoy was attacked outside of Gardez, Afghanistan. He received gunshot wounds to the head and chest, but lived 24 hours before succumbing to his injuries.
Thomas Retzer is remembered with the greatest respect and gratitude by his fellow SEALs, the Navy, and the nation.
Petty Officer Retzer’s service and sacrifice touched service members of all ages and experience:
A BUD/S student wrote gratefully, “Nothing but the utmost respect for the man and the family behind the man. Thank you for your sacrifice.
A SEAL just graduated wrote the family, “I just wanted to say that in searching for guidance within this job of ours, it is great men like your Tom that the men of the Teams turn to when looking for the way they should do their job.“
A fellow shipmate said Thomas Retzer was “a brave, proud, selfless man, a good husband and loving father,” and that “The sacrifice that he made for our country will not ever be forgotten.”
A Vietnam War veteran stated, “The sacrifices Petty Officer Retzer made and the deeds he performed shall remain alive in our memories for generations to come.
Retzer’s wife praised both her spouse and his fellow SEALs: “I am so proud of my husband and thankful to his very brave and steadfast teammates who continue the mission unseen. Tom was in good company.”
Dad, I did this for you.— Andrew Chris, at his father's gravesite before deploying
Chris' grandfather fought in World War II, his uncle was a special operations soldier in the Army, his father belonged to an Army airborne division and his brother Derek served in the Navy. A native of Alabama, he had lived in California for years.From Military Times:
Army Ranger Andrew Chris called his brother on June 22 to let him know he was headed overseas.
“He said, ‘This is the last time I’m going to call you from the States,’ ” Josh Chris recalled.
Andrew Chris died just a few days later. The Florence, Ala., native was killed along with another Ranger on June 25 when a vehicle packed with explosives on the side of a Baghdad road detonated.
“He went through some of the most rigorous training in the world just to be a Ranger,” Josh Chris said. “But he loved it. He’d go on a 20-mile hike with a 60-pound pack and call me that night and be in a great mood.”
Chris, who lived in San Diego, followed a long line of relatives into the military. Both of his grandfathers served in World War II, his father served in the Army, his uncle in Special Forces and his brother Derek in the Navy. Josh Chris said knowing that his brother died doing what he loved has made it easier to accept.
“He was spiritually and emotionally ready,” Chris said.
Pineda was born in El Salvador and came to the U.S. as a child. He was in the process of becoming a citizen. Pineda was rescuing casualties when he was shot and killed.Read more about Corporal Carlos Pineda in the LA Times and Military Times.
Ana Pineda said her husband was something of a romantic. The day before he died, she received a package from him -- a gold charm with her name on it. A letter she received after his death said, "The Marine Corps may have my body, but you'll always have my heart."
In addition to his wife, Pineda is survived by his mother, Silvia Hernandez; his stepfather, Jose Luis Hernandez; a half brother, Jose Luis, 7; and a half sister, Natalie, 5.
Muy, born in Long Beach, was the son of Cambodian refugees who came to the U.S. after the Vietnam War.Read more about Lance Corporal Veashna Muy at Military Times
The 20-year-old was among six troops killed in a suicide car-bomb attack on their convoy in Fallouja, Iraq. Five Marines, two of them women, and a female sailor were killed in the attack.