Troops Remember the Fallen

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For most Americans, the sacrifices made by service men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan are — after all these years — still out of sight and far away.

For colleagues, for comrades in arms, those sacrifices are as close as a man's last breath. A woman's last word.

Memorial Day honors sacrifice across many generations. But this Memorial Day weekend, with two grinding conflicts underway and plenty of sacrifice out there, we'll hear from those who know it firsthand.

This hour, On Point: Soldiers and Marines remember lost comrades in America's post-9/11 wars.Guests:

Maj. Trent Gibson, U.S. Marine Corps Officer Instructor for the Naval ROTC at Virginia Tech University. He was the company commander of Cpl. Jason L. Dunham, 22, of Allegany, NY, who was killed in Karabilah, Iraq on April 14, 2004, when he covered a grenade to save his comrades during a fierce firefight. Dunham was awarded the Medal of Honor.

Sgt. Jack Lewis, US Army veteran, he served in Iraq from September 2004 to July 2005, based in Mosul and Tal Afar. His comrade, Army Staff Sergeant Donald D. Griffith, Jr., 29, of Mechanicsville, Iowa, was killed in an ambush on March 11, 2005, during an operation in Tal Afar.

Sgt. Jason Christopher Hartley, New York Army National Guard, author of "Just Another Soldier: A Year on the Ground in Iraq." His friend, Army Specialist Segun Frederick Akintade, 34, of Brooklyn, New York, was killed on October 28, 2004, when his unit was attacked on patrol by insurgents in Abd Allah, Iraq.

Sgt. Talya Havice, an active duty Marine and NROTC student at Harvard University, she worked in intelligence in Iraq and Afghanistan. She was in Fallujah on June 23, 2005, when a convoy carrying many of her fellow Marines was ambushed, killing 6 and wounding 13. She is memorializing: Marine Cpl. Ramona M. Valdez, 20, of Bronx, NY. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Regina R. Clark, 43, of Centralia, WA. Marine Lance Cpl. Veashna Muy, of Los Angeles, CA. Marine Lance Cpl. Holly A. Charette, 21, of Cranston, RI. Marine Cpl. Chad W. Powell, 22, of West Monroe, LA. Marine Cpl. Carlos Pineda, 23, of Los Angeles, CA.

Sgt. Charles Pinder, Massachusetts Army National Guard. He was beside Sgt. Michael J. Kelley, 26, of Scituate, MA, when he was hit by shrapnel and killed on June 8, 2005, in Afghanistan.

Dan Murphy, father of Lt. Michael P. Murphy, 29, of the Navy SEALs, who died in Konar Province, Afghanistan on June 28, 2005, and was awarded the Medal of Honor, the only U.S. service member in the Afghanistan conflict to receive that honor.

This program aired on May 23, 2008.


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