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Re: Friend of Wes on NBC Today show

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  • Nick Arnett
    On Sun, 29 May 2005 00:21:49 -0700, Nick Arnett wrote ... Managed to program the VCR. They were aboard the Kennedy in NYC, IIRC. It was his sergeant and one
    Message 1 of 2 , May 31 9:01 AM
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      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 talking
      > about him on the Today show Sunday morning from the Nimitz. Just
      > checked listings... the show is on at 5 a.m. here!

      Managed to program the VCR. They were aboard the Kennedy in NYC, IIRC. It
      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
      done.

      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-
      RPG salute.

      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.

      Nick
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