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The work ahead will also require continued sacrifice. Yet we can be confident, because history has shown the power of freedom to overcome tyranny. And we can be confident because we have on our side the greatest force for freedom in human history: the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. (Applause.)When I heard that part of the speech I knew somebody was going to report the rest of the story. The LA Times did so - on page one:
One of these men was a Marine lieutenant named Ryan McGlothlin, from Lebanon, Virginia. Ryan was a bright young man who had everything going for him and he always wanted to serve our nation. He was a valedictorian of his high school class. He graduated from William & Mary with near-perfect grade averages, and he was on a full scholarship at Stanford, where he was working toward a doctorate in chemistry.
Two years after the attacks of September the 11th, the young man who had the world at his feet came home from Stanford for a visit. He told his dad, "I just don't feel like I'm doing something that matters. I want to serve my country. I want to protect our lands from terrorists, so I joined the Marines." When his father asked him if there was some other way to serve, Ryan replied that he felt a special obligation to step up because he had been given so much. Ryan didn't support me in the last election, but he supported our mission in Iraq. And he supported his fellow Marines.
Ryan was killed last month fighting the terrorists near the -- Iraq's Syrian border. In his pocket was a poem that Ryan had read at his high school graduation, and it represented the spirit of this fine Marine. The poem was called "Don't Quit."
Ryan McGlothlin was set for life: a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the College of William & Mary, a doctoral research fellowship in chemistry at Stanford University, a bright future on the cutting edge of science.He had entered Officer's Candidate School in Quantico in October 2003 - after the invasion of Iraq.
He gave it all up to join the Marines. On Nov. 16, at age 26, he was killed in Iraq.
"My son told us, to our faces, 'I won't vote for Mr. Bush, but I'll take a bullet for him,' " Donald McGlothlin said in an interview Wednesday.
Upon graduation, McGlothlin won a doctoral research fellowship in chemistry at Stanford. But two years into his doctoral program, after winning a medical waiver for his childhood wheezing, he left Stanford for Marine Corps Officer Candidate School, followed by six months of advanced officer training. He was the honor graduate in his class of 220 second lieutenants, his mother proudly noted.
"As a Marine, he found his niche," she said.
His father said McGlothlin was livid about the Sept. 11 attacks — "just furious that someone had attacked American citizens on our soil." Initially, he said, his son thought the U.S. should have focused its attention on rooting out Al Qaeda in Afghanistan — "cutting off the head of the beast and disabling the beast's ability to come back."
His unit participated in training exercises in Australia and Egypt before arriving in Kuwait in mid-October and was moved to the Forward Marine Base in Al-Alsad in the Al-Anbar province, Iraq, shortly thereafter. Ryan's platoon took part in Operation Steel Curtain, launched to eliminate the presence of terrorists and insurgents along Iraq's border with Syria. Ryan was killed by small arms fire in the town of Ubadi while he and his Marines were attempting to rescue some of their wounded brothers.Five days before his death he wrote his parents a letter they received after his funeral:
"I know this war is not the most popular one back home, but people must understand that to pull out before the Iraqi army is fully ready to assume responsibility for the security of their own country is not only irresponsible of us but would ensure the persistence of terrorism," Ryan wrote. "If you walk through these cities and see how terrified the Iraqi citizens are of the terrorists and how thankful they are that we finally came to their cities, you could not possibly consider doing this job incompletely."His family requested donations to the Marine Semper Fi Fund in lieu of flowers.
Here is an article describing the fight in which 2nd Lt. McGlothlin lost his life.Posted by Jeff at December 16, 2005 09:57 PM
The defeatism of the Left never surprises me, it is that America has such men as these that always amazes me. As long as there are such men America will remain a city on a hill.Posted by TJ Jackson at December 16, 2005 10:39 PM
I read the story in the LA Times yesterday. The guy was amazing in his conviction of what is right. We need more Americans like him.Posted by Crazy Politico at December 17, 2005 01:21 AM
I read all the negative press, and feel so down and hopeless. Then I read of men like these and know there is hope for this country's future, and I am comforted. God bless his family.Posted by Maggie45 at December 19, 2005 02:09 AM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(4) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)