June 22, 2006

Local Marine Marks Passing Of Comrades

Little did Marine Lance Cpl. Joel Myers know that June 15 would hold an even greater significance than the one he already had in mind as he placed a special tribute at the soldiersí memorial on the courthouse lawn in Memphis.

That day held special significance for him, as it marked the one-year anniversary of the horrific day in Iraq when he lost five comrades. Only later did he learn that June 15 also was significant in the history of the Iraqi Freedom Operation as this nation lost its 2,500th warrior in the effort.

Myersí focus was on his five fellow Marines that were killed in combat operations near Ar Ramadi, Iraq. He placed a memorial cross at the statue base in honor of Cpl. Jesse Jaime, LCpl. Chad Maynard, Lcpl Jonathan Flores, LCpl. Dion Whitley, and Cpl. Tyler Trovillion. The memorial featured a photo of each of the five young Marines that were killed when their vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device.

ďThey were in the vehicle right behind ours,Ē Myers recalled of the day. ďFor whatever reason we didnít trigger it, or the person didnít detonate the roadside bomb until their vehicle was over it,Ē he said.

Myers and his fellow Marines stood guard over the wreckage into the early morning hours as the bodies of the fallen Marines were attended to. They were offered little time to lament, as the next day they were engaged in a firefight while on patrol.

A year later Myers found time to lament the loss of his comradesÖ his friends. He spent several moments in silence at the memorial, saying goodbye to Flores, Trovillion, Whitley, Jaime and Maynard.

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