Cpl. Tyler Cone – February 22, 1988 – February 16, 2014
Cpl. Taylor Hopson – August 28, 1989 – July 19, 2011
Lcpl. Ray A. Spencer – date of death April 16, 2009 (age 20)
I wanted to do a special Hero WOD for my email list. I asked my son, if he could give me some names of Marines he knew who were killed in action when he was in the Marines. He was in the 3/3 Marines, India Company. He served from 2006-2010.
He told me none of the ones in his company (that he could remember) were killed in action, but many had committed suicide. He said he didn’t think that was what I was really looking for. But on the contrary, that was exactly what I was looking for. It was exactly what I expected he was going to tell me. My gut told me. I listened. I felt it.
Veteran suicide is a problem. An epidemic you could say. I knew that was what I wanted to write about on this Memorial Day, 2018.
A commonality with these guys is that they were super patriotic. Their dream was to become a Marine. It was the same with Spencer. I remember him always wanting to be a Marine. I can remember from the time he was little until he joined, he always talked about it. We tried to talk him out of Infantry. He was determined. He was going to be a Marine and infantry at that. I also remember how patriotic he was. He has always, always been that way. It was stressful when he went to Iraq. He went there twice. I worried all the time. I tried to not think about it. I tried to not think about what they were doing over there. I tried to just put it at the back of mind. It seemed like the time went fast so that was a plus. I’m sure the time did not go fast for any of them.
When you put faces to those names, it makes it even harder. To think of those families who lost their people, it breaks my heart. I cannot even imagine the pain they go through. I cannot even imagine if that happened to my child. I just can’t. The war at home is a real thing. The suffering. The demons. The trying to fit back in to society when you don’t even know where to start. The wishing you were back over there because that’s the only constant you know. The coming back home and using alcohol or drugs to numb things. The turmoil. The struggle. The hard.
Last November, I did a Facebook challenge. Every person donated $22 and we donated almost $700 to Mission22. Mission22 is an organization that is united in the war against veteran suicide. The War At Home. They bring awareness to veteran suicide. They also have memorials for veterans and veteran treatment programs. Here is the link to check out their work and donate or buy gear. http://www.mission22.com/#ourcause
If you know a veteran in trouble, help them, talk to them, listen to them, do whatever you can to help them. You will never regret doing that.
All three were in the 3/3 Marines. Hopson was in Spencer’s platoon and Cone was in his Company. There were more than these three. May they all rest in peace. Semper Fi.
p.s. I picked the title because the song Rainy Days and Mondays by the Carpenters was playing when I had the idea of writing this blog. It seemed fitting…