There seems to be a popular Facebook “status” going around claiming that:
Lindsay Lohan, 24, is all over the news because she’s a celebrity drug addict. While
Justin Allen, 23, Brett Linley, 29, Matthew Weikert, 29, Justus Bartett, 27, Dave Santos, 21, Chase Stanley, 21, Jesse Reed, 26, Matthew Johnson, 21, Zachary Fisher, 24, Brandon King, 23, Christopher Goeke, 23, and Sheldon Tate, 27 are all Marines that gave their lives this week, no media mention. Honor THEM by reposting!
I replied sarcastically with, well, if all you watch is E!, then sure — you’ll probably see more of LL than of Marines who died in a war.
However, I decided to look up and find out if these folks did die this week and if they were even Marines for that matter. As it turns out (all dates listed are for 2010):
Justin Allen, 23, was an Army Ranger from Ohio who had a wedding date set for the upcoming November 20th, killed in Afghanistan on July 18.
Brett Linley, 29, was a Staff Sergeant for the Royal Logistic Corps (UK) and died on July 17 while defusing explosive devices, having already disabled 100 such bombs in five months.
Matthew Weikert, 29, died on July 17 in Afghanistan, as a member of the US Army (although was first a Marine for 5 years, and took a year break before re-enlisting).
Dave Santos, 21, was a Marine corporal from Saipan (a US territory in the deep in the Pacific, lattitude even with southern Vietnam, longitude even with northern Japan) who was “stabbled in the neck and killed by a fellow Marine.”
Chase Stanley, 21, was an Army soldier from California, serving in Afghanistan when he died on July 14, along with three others when an improvised explosive device struck their vehicle. The other three killed were those listed next —
Jesse Reed, 26, from Pennsylvania, was the Army driver for a vehicle searching for roadside bombs, having sent home as a memento a picture of himself and a few others sitting in a crater of one such roadside bomb only a week prior.
Matthew Johnson, 21, from Minnesota, was an Army soldier who died on July 14th (although the article linked says he died “Tuesday” which is the 13th), as an “engineer equipment operator and mine-resistant, ambush-protected operator during route-clearance operations.”
Zachary Fisher, 24, of Missouri was an Army Sergeant who died in the IED attack that killed the three men listed immediately above on July 14, was a disarmer of roadside bombs, and son to a retired Army Master Sergeant.
Brandon King, 23, an avid Spades player, was a Private First Class in the Army from the capital of Florida, killed while serving in Afghanistan on July 14th, “when insurgents attacked his unit with small arms fire.”
Christopher Goeke, 23, was an First Lieutenant for the US Army from Minnesota who died Tuesday July 13th defending an Afghan police compound. He was a West Point Military Academy graduate and had been married only 18 months prior.
and Sheldon Tate, 27, who was an Army Staff Sergeant known in his youth to be a prankster, died on July 13th, also in an attack on an Afghan police location, “assisting a young paratrooper to safety.”
They got the media coverage that their particular respective locales warranted, to the people that those soldiers mattered the most. In one sense, having your son’s story broadcast to the entire nation may not be what the surviving relatives want.