Greetings RFTW family,
I wish you all a respectful and heartfelt Memorial Day.
I dedicate this newsletter to all those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country, and to my RFTW family members who, to this day, still struggle with the loss of their brothers/sisters who they served with.
Please bare with me as I do so through my selfish eyes as a father of a US Marine who served in the 2/8 in Iraq and Afghanistan and lost 16 of his brothers. My son Cory Dugas’ memorial back tattoo is pictured on the left. More work has been done since this picture. However, after all these years, it is still incomplete. The images of the 16 faces of his lost brothers continues to be worked on. His tribute should be completed soon.
Many of you may have seen the trip out west that some of our RFTW people and I just got home from. I was thrilled that I got to visit the memorial at Angle Fire for the first time. Really made our “Memorial Day” trip special.
I want to also dedicate this newsletter to two very special Marines to me. I carry their pictures and story with me on my bike 365 days a year. These two Marines are Cpl Johnathan Yale, USMC 2/8 and Cpl Jordan Haerter USMC 1/9.
These two young heroes were with my son in Al Anbar Province, Iraq when a terrorist bomber attack the camp. Jonathan and Jordan, of the now famous 6 seconds story, were at the gate and lost their lives stopping the truck rushing towards them. They saved my sons life as well as about 50 other Marines. It is because of their sacrifice and heroic actions as Marines, that I have my son today! They gave their lives so others may live. I WILL NEVER FORGET!!!
I know many of you have fought along side heroes like Jonathan and Jordan. My prayers are that they may be reaping their rewards for eternity in Heaven because they have already lived in hell. Also, for all of you to somehow be comforted in your grief and loss. I am so grateful for all who have served but today, we remember those who gave all. May they rest in peace and never be forgotten.
I will send out another newsletter shortly with updates and reminders about our upcoming Tennessee reunion in July. However, I felt it was appropriate for this newsletter and dedication to stand on its own.
Have I told you lately?………………….. I love and miss my RFTW family!
Honor, Hope and Healing
Ken “Six String” Dugas
Midway Route Coordinator