Re: Friend of Wes on NBC Today show
- On Sun, 29 May 2005 00:21:49 -0700, Nick Arnett wrote
> Wes' dad called tonight to say that a friend of his will be talkingManaged to program the VCR. They were aboard the Kennedy in NYC, IIRC. It
> about him on the Today show Sunday morning from the Nimitz. Just
> checked listings... the show is on at 5 a.m. here!
was his sergeant and one of the guys he went through MOS school with, who was
also with him in Iraq. Made the whole thing just that much more real... and I
talked to his mom yesterday, who told me that their trip to Camp Lejeune a
couple of weeks ago to meet his friends and have a memorial was really good
for her. We know more about what he was doing and how he died, which is
important, though I can't really explain why -- it has to do with feeling so
distant from him, what he was doing, why he was doing it, etc. The more we
know, the less distant we feel.
Anyway, they said some of what we've heard from everybody who served with Wes
-- he kept up his positive attitude all the time, did whatever needed to be
My wife and I went for our morning walk yesterday around 10:45, which turned
out to be fortuitous. When came to the Santa Clara Veterans Memorial, were we
had a brick placed in Wes' memory (and had placed flowers on Sunday), the guy
who led the effort to create the memorial was there and suggested we hang
around because the American Legion would be doing a ceremony. About 50 people
showed up, they did some readings, a woman played Taps beautifully and they
did a 21-gun salute. We were much closer to the guns this time than at Wes'
funeral -- loud, very loud... a bittersweet sound. At least it wasn't a 21-
Since Wes' friends talked about it on TV, I'll share how Wes died. He was
trading places with his immediate superior, Wesley Campbell "Camp" Ross, in
the turret of his AAV when an RPG hit the two of them. Our Wes was hit
directly, died instantly and was thrown about 20 feet. They didn't find all
of his body, which is why I may have said here that I consider Fallujah to be
his second gravesite. The other Wes was very badly injured and is not doing
so well. He was in a medically induced coma in Germany for a while, then
returned to Camp Lejeune. He's living near there and is supposed to have
surgery June 8, according to (our) Wes' mom, to repair his skull, part of
which he lost in the explosion.
This has been a very different Memorial Day for me... We also spent a lot of
time with the grandkids, including a fun trip to Marine World.