Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Mark Metherell

Mark and Sarah hiking

I just learned about Mark Metherell through Hugh Hewitt:
Mark Metherell was a Wheaton graduate, a former Navy SEAL, and a civilian training the Iraqi Security Forces when the evil guys got him and his trainees in an IED attack in Baghdad.

I have met some of Metherell's extended family over the years in Orange County, california. He is part of an extraordinary band of servant leaders, and his commitment to the new Iraq does not surprise given the family in which he was raised. He was a graduate of Wheaton College, and at the memorial site his friends have created for his wife and little girl, his platoon commander from SEAL Team Five has written a memorial that you ought to read.

It is so obvious from the memorial site that Mark Metherell was back in Iraq because he loved the Iraqi people and wanted them to remain free. He is an example of the very best that our country produces, and the piece by Michael Yon in Friday's Wall Street Journal on the extraordinary progress being made in Iraq is a testament to the significance of the sacrifice made by Mark Metherell and his family.
Do read the Michael Yon, WSJ piece and spread it around, by email, by flyer, by word-of-mouth.
What? Too lazy to click the link? Maybe this teaser will help:
when David Petraeus came to town it was senators – on both sides of the aisle – who battled over the Iraq war of 2004-2006. That war has little in common with the war we are fighting today.

I may well have spent more time embedded with combat units in Iraq than any other journalist alive. I have seen this war – and our part in it – at its brutal worst. And I say the transformation over the last 14 months is little short of miraculous.

The change goes far beyond the statistical decline in casualties or incidents of violence. A young Iraqi translator, wounded in battle and fearing death, asked an American commander to bury his heart in America. Iraqi special forces units took to the streets to track down terrorists who killed American soldiers. The U.S. military is the most respected institution in Iraq, and many Iraqi boys dream of becoming American soldiers. Yes, young Iraqi boys know about ""
From his former SEAL platoon commander's post:
Many times I thanked God for Mark- and this was before I became a Christian. He was always unflappable, always on top of things, never complaining, always upbeat and ready for anything. The nicest guy in the world but tough as nails. I later came to realize that a big reason he was different was his Christian faith. He was down to earth, easy going, but at the same time his actions were without reproach, both on and off the job. I’ve had several friends who were killed in the past 6 years, but hearing about Mark hit me particularly hard. He was a great man, a shining light in a dark world, and will be missed.
This forum pointed me to a temporary blogsite and website dedicated to his memory.

The memorial service for Mark will be at Mariners Church in Irvine, California this coming Saturday, April 19th, at 10am in the main sanctuary. Please visit for directions.

The family has requested that people attending the service dress casually, NO SUITS, and if you must wear shoes, please wear flippity floppities, or flip flops as they are commonly called.

A paddle-out at Brooks Street to Second Reef in honor of Mark is planned for Saturday around 4pm. Please meet at the Vanderveen’s home, 494 Brooks Street, with your board or at least a set of trunks (we have some extra surfboards) to help us remember Mark in the water on a reef he knew well.

The family has asked that donations in honor of Mark be made to either:
1. Naval Special Warfare Foundation:—This is a fund for the widows and orphans of Navy Special Forces veterans killed while serving their country
If I can get time off from work, I'd very much like to pay my respects there. Please check out the website. It is full of details on the life of a man who represented and embodied the best of who we are as a nation.

*UPDATE* Oops! I just realized I can't make it. I won't even be at work. I have a prior commitment to be at a festival over the weekend, which includes on on-stage demonstration.

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Blogger Karen said...

It is an excellent article, as Michael Yon always is. The caliber of our military personnel always leaves me in awe as their stories come out.

I just purchased his book and look forward to reading it.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008 7:27:00 PM  

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