David was a member of the Marine Corp’s Sniper Unit Weapons Division. He joined the Marine Corp in 1994 at the age of 21. While in the reserves, David was called to duty to serve in South Carolina, the Philippines and Okinawa, Japan. He completed his commitment in 2003 and went on to earn a degree in Heating and Air Conditioning at Porter & Chester Institute then went on to be a member of the Local 777 J.A.T.C. and going to school.
In 2004 David re-enlisted in the Marines out of the love of his country.
In January 2005, David and his unit were deployed to Iraq. He would call home often to keep in touch. He would tell me that everything was okay and he was safe. I would find out later that our men go without often.
While in Iraq, David graduated from the Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 777 Apprentice Training. I was there to accept his diploma.
In the early morning of August 1, 2005, David’s unit had set up on a plateau at the Iraq-Syrian border to observe and gather information. It was just after daybreak when a group of insurgents ambushed David’s unit with semi-automatic weapons and on that fateful morning, David earned his second Purple Heart as he died alongside five of his brothers.
The following morning, I was waiting for my sister to arrive for a visit when a car pulled into our driveway. Two Marines exited the vehicle. As they approached I saw the Marines logo on the folder he was carrying. I uttered the words, “Oh no” to which he responded “Yes Ma’am” to which I replied “Oh no”.
I quickly composed myself as David would have wanted me to do. It wasn’t supposed to end this way, my son who was so young, so full of life, had his life ended in an instant by terrorists whose sole purpose in life is to hate.
My son chose to be in Iraq because he loved his country and I couldn’t be more proud of my son David and the choice that he made.