Came across this in the paper and wanted to share, this gentlemen went to the same highschool I did and I'm proud of him and what he wrote, read on if you have a moment:
To The Great City Of Chicago:
I just read your article on the Marine from Chicago that passed away in the helicopter crash, and I would like to tell you about another Marine from Chicago. My name is Daniel Gomez. I am 22 years old. I am a United States Marine.
I am currently overseas in Kuwait and Iraq helping fight this war. This letter is just to inform you that there is someone from the great city of Chicago out here and that we need all your support.
I was born and raised in the city of Chicago. I graduated from Lane Tech High High School in 1999. I lived on Racine Avenue and Taylor Street until April of 2000 when my parents, my siblings and I moved to 2400 Silvercreek Drive (I am the oldest of four).
However strange it may sound, I do not know my neighbors or anyone in my neighborhood. Why, you might ask? A few months later -- July 25, 2000 -- I shipped out to Marine Corps boot camp.
Since I've been in the Marine Corps, I have only been able to go home for about one week at a time. Once, I was only given 24 hours to go home for my little brother's 8th grade graduation. It might have only been 24 hours, but it was worth it. From March 10, 2001 to March 25, 2002 I was in Okinawa, Japan. I was with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (31st MEU). It was hard being away from my family and friends. But it was worse when I did get to come home, for it was for a funeral. My girlfriend had passed away. I wish I could have called her my fiancee, but I never got a chance to ask her to marry me. I was waiting to come home to ask her.
Right after, I was ordered to report to the 1st Force Service Support Group (1st FSSG) in Camp Pendleton, California. From April 2002 to January 2003, I was in Camp Pendleton preparing for our deployment. In late January 2003, my unit and I were finally in Kuwait.
Now that a lot of Marines are out here helping to liberate Iraq, we are hearing of many antiwar protests across the country. Just a few moments ago, I heard of one in downtown Chicago.
I understand a lot of Americans do not wish for war but unfortunately, it is needed. For instance, at first Saddam had stated that he did not have any missiles of mass destruction. But yet, for the past several nights, I have not gotten get much sleep because of missiles being launched at us -- some which contained unknown gases and chemicals.
We were fortunate to have practiced our drills over and over that we all made it safely to our bomb shelters in time. Now we (the U.S. troops) need our fellow American's support behind us.
We are all out here giving our lives for you all, so that you all may enjoy this great freedom that most take for granted. If you search deep down inside and still wish to protest, please do so, but do so peacefully.
I once read, "It is the Marine, not the reporter, that gives us the freedom of the press. It is the Marine, not the poet, that gives us the freedom of speech. It is the Marine who defends the protesters' right to burn the Flag. It is the Marine who salutes the Flag, who serves under the Flags, and whose coffin is covered by the Flag."
Is it not now time to demonstrate that we support our troops? Were it not for the brave, there would be no land of the free.
Just a few days ago, we had our first fallen American, a Marine. I pray we all come home safely. But I know that if I have to, I will give my life for this country and all it stands, and so will all the Marines that are out here with me. I also pray that we all return home soon, whether it is to San Diego, St. Louis, New York City, Franklin Park, Chicago or any other great city or town across the country.
But I am prepared to be here as long as I have to. My Staff Sergeant, Staff Sergeant Godfrey G. Marille who is also out here -- his wife just had a beautiful baby girl. He has yet to see her, but I bet he can't wait to finally hold her in his arms.
I know most of us won't be coming home to a hero's welcome. Nor are we asking for one. We don't consider ourselves heroes. We are only doing what is our duty to our country.
If I am fortunate to return to United States alive, once I am able to go home, I will try my best to get to know my neighbors and as much of my neighborhood as I can. Especially because I have seen a few who fly the Marine Corps Flag high and proud over their homes. And to them, I would like to say thank you.
Lance Corporal Gomez, Daniel
The World's Finest
United States Marine Corps