Not too long ago, I signed up at the DOD website so that I could receive notices whenever a casualty was identified. (The identities of the casualties are released ONLY AFTER the family has been notified.) I did this to try to save my sanity, constantly wondering if my soldiers and marines were alright, etc, and because I was checking THIS website 50 million times a day, and searching thru the alphabetical listing for however many adopted "kids" I happened to have at the time. Now, I'm automatically notified each and every time... and it's heartbreaking, to say the least. (Links to subscribe are at the end of this post) KNOCK ON WOOD, I have never, to date, had one of my "babies" end up on this list. However, today my heart dropped like a rock and broke into a million pieces when I read the announcement I've pasted below (again, families have already been notified, the info is already public, or else no way would I post it). You remember I recently posted about one of last year's marines who found us again? He recently re-deployed to Iraq, and somehow after he got there, the Christmas card I sent him in 2005, when he was in AFGHANISTAN, somehow caught up with him there... (!!!!!) so he was able to write to us and let us know he was back out there. Well... the kid below is from his unit. Looks like different platoon or whatever... but STILL. Please pray for this kid's family.. and the safety of all of them... And yes, our marine will definitely get a whole bunch of the 4th of July cards I've been collecting... looks like these guys need the TLC and encouragement BAD.
'scuse me while I exit the room crying.....
The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Cpl. Michael A. Estrella, 20, of Hemet, Calif., died June 14 while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Base Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.