Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom

Remembering the servicemembers who died in the service of their country.

Marine 2nd Lt. Therrel Shane Childers

30, of Harrison County, Mississippi.
Killed in action in southern Iraq. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, Calif. Died on March 21, 2003.

He fell in love with the Marines at the age of 5, when his father, a Navy Seabee, took him on a visit to the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran. "He saw those Marines in their dress blues guarding the embassy, and he wanted to be one himself," Joseph Childers recalls. He was one of the first ground casualties of the war, killed on March 21 while leading his platoon toward an oil-pumping station in southern Iraq.

Source: MSNBC/Newsweek


1990 Harrison Central High School yearbook photo in Gulfport, Mississippi.

Please send information, photos, and corrections for Marine 2nd Lt. Therrel S. Childers.

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Contributions to the Families of the Fallen

Messages:

Leave a message in memory of this servicemember, and/or to the loved ones left behind.

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"11/11/17 Thought of you so often yesterday on the birthday of the U.S.Marines and today on Veterans Day. We miss you so much."
Aunt Judy of South Point, OH

"11/3/17 I have so much I want to tell & Show you Shane. Mostly I want to hug you. I raised you and your siblings saying to never to do anything you will regret later on. At the time I felt I was following that rule myself, but lately I wish I had hugged you more than I did. Out of the 3 of you, you were the one that said "enough Mom" but I still wish I had hugged you more as you screamed "enough". almost 15 years and I still long to hear your voice and give you a hug."
Judy Childers of Powell Wy

"I check in every so often to see if anyone has added new comments. If I could ask, I really would like to see dates of the entry."
Judy Childers of Powell Wy

"To Shane and his family,

You are in our thoughts and prayers, specially today."
Rafael of Parrish, Florida, USA

"Love and miss you bro.
Citadel Class of 02"
Corey White of Vancouver WA

"Very moving tributes, never met your son. I am a Marine, Semper Fidelis to your son and your family. Thank you for the sacrifices you have given."
Robert Gaspar of Escondido, Ca.

"Shane, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers today. Thank all of you for your service and sacrifice. You are never forgotten."
Shannon of Quantico

"Dad and I put flowers on your grave today. Been 13 years, and I still have trouble believing you are really gone. I know it is true, but I don't understand how it can be. You had so much more to contribute to the world."
Mom

"That's good to know. I plan to talk about Shane for a very long time."
Judy (Shane's Mom) of Powell Wy

"Hey Sir!! I haven't written on here in over 10 years. What an *, lol. Anyway, I wanted you and the others that know you, to know that you're not forgotten. I heard somewhere that we die twice. Once in the physical sense and the other when the people who knew you stop talking about you. You, Sir, still have many years left. I hope and pray that many have learned from your leadership. I've still yet to meet a Lt. that met your demeanor. You set the bar back then and it still haven't been reached. I'm thankful you set the standard that you did. One of these days I plan to visit the Citadel and see the halls that you roamed. Until then, Semper Fi!!"
Sonny Morgan of Harrisonburg, VA 20FEB2016

"Lest we should forget, you were a good leader and friend."
Christopher Treichel of Washington D.C.

"Shane, tomorrow a group of young Marines will get to know you through my words about what a great human being and Marine you were. You are never forgotten...

To Shane's family. My condolences to you this Memorial Day."
Shannon Conrad of Quantico, Va

"LT, I wear a bracelet with your name and contribution on my wrist every day. We never met, but you impacted my life greatly. In March of 2003, I sent you home. You were treated with dignity and respect. Thank you for your sacrifice and impact on my life."
Robert Ardy of Arizona

"It is 2015. Lt Childers leagacy still lives within all of us who have served with him. Your time with us served a purpose beyond comprehension. I am grateful to have known him and will forever remember him. Great people are never forgotten."
Shelton Tapley, Jr. (Senior Corpsman 1/5 Alpha Company) of Little Rock, Arkansas

"Its 2015 now but shane you will never be forgotten from your friend that went to lizana elementary school all the way thru high school with you. You will an allways will be a hero an a warrior for our american way of life we all take for granted every day in which u gave your life for ,so thanks again my friend an god bless your family."
Joey lind of Saucier, miss.

"Shane, thank you for serving our country. I told my 5 young children of your sacrifice this morning. You will be remembered. It is a great country we live in and I hope to raise my boys to serve and be the kind of leader you were. I will continue to pray for your family as they must miss you immensely. God bless the USA."
Brenda of Soldotna, Alaska

"Happy 239th and Veterans Day Brother. Semper Fi"
Clay Bringhurst of Arizona

"I am retiring on Thursday brother. I still remember our talks at the MECEP prep school and at TBS. You made a difference in so many people's lives. God's continued rest for you my friend. I'll see you on the other side."
Matthew Reis of Camp Lejeune, NC

"Shane,
Thinking of you this Memorial Day. Ran the platoon up 1st Sgt's Hill behind Mateo last week in honor of you. Also, saw your name on the 5th Marines memorial wall.
Wish I could have met you, we have a lot in common: MECEP, The Citadel, Rifle Platoon Commanders, etc. Take care brother, Semper Fi."
Lt Kyle King of Camp Pendleton, CA

"Shane,
Just recently went back to Geneva to show my kids where we used to live. We were invited into the house by one of the Marines and I was able to stand in the exact spot where you and I got into a wrestling match. It was funny because I remember years later while you were at the Citadel you brought that up and said it bothered you that day because I ended up throwing you down pretty hard. I told you "Well Shane, I told you to stop or I was going to embarrass you, but you just kept going". You paused on the phone for a moment and said "Well, I guess you're right." We laughed and made amends that day on the phone and I had never known until that point years later that I had upset you. But that was you. Hated to lose and wouldn't stop, even though I was bigger and a skilled wrestler. Anyhow, I got to tell my kids all about you. It was a day of good memories and you were there with us. Miss you brother."
Shannon Conrad of Afghanistan

"11 Years...So much has changed, yet you are still on my mind. Always will be."
of US

"You are truly missed. You always will be. Semper fi"
Levi Haley of Gulfport, MS

"You are truly missed. You always will be."
Levi Haley of Gulfport, MS

"3/22/14
11 years ago we were in Texas, we had spent a couple of days in Lubbock at Zenda's with Don and Pete. We were preparing to return to Ft Hood and wind up our trip when we heard on the news. A Marine Officer had been killed. They were not giving the name and it was that way all day as we returned to Ft. Hood. At dinner that night Richard got a call and he looked across the table at me for a split second as if to say "NO!". Then he went out side where he remained until the Marines from Waco found his house to notify us. We felt we wanted to spend the 11th anniversary with Don and Pete so we did. Seemed natural to be with them this year as you were remembered. The fact that we have to remember you and are not able to hug you and talk to you seems so unreal even today. I want to wake up from the night mare and have it all over.
Mom"
Judy Childers of Powell Wy

"Still think of you often. Semper Fi brother!!"
Steve Whitten of Yucca Valley, Ca.

"Cant believe it was 11 years ago. Semper Fi Shane! Miss ya man."
Capt Kris Otten of Norfolk, VA

"Yes sir its will 11 years its crazy you were a passionate officer of the Marine Corps you were an excellent leader in every since of leadership you challenge me as an radio operator you ask me question in and out about being and radio operator its sad your not here now wish you and Gunny Borh was here right now to correct the world cause lord knows we need it one thing I took from you and remain to find there is median to every thing rest easy brother and keep command"
Kourtney Redmond of Chicago, Il

"An all american hero...i was the asst ao for 1/5 never will forget 21 march 03. working the evac....rip."
shaw we ret usmc...shawwe_68@yahoo.com of leesville, la

"You are kind of what's happening here and here can apply for it., Phentemine375 Reviews, 735183, Phen375, 13816,"
Leeccbhh

"5/27/13 Shane: Your Aunts Mary Judy & Nat decorated your memorial bridge in WV. You will never be forgotten! Love you forever"
Aunt Nat of OH

"10 Years,
Miss you bro!

Citadel Classmate"
Corey White of Camas WA

"10 years. We will never stop loving you and we will never forget you, your hugs, your intensity, your laugh and the way you made us feel special for whatever the reason- even if there was no reason. I am where I am because of you. I'll see you on the other side when it is time, until then keep an eye on me and give me a push when I need it."
Jonna Stumpo of Sunbury, OH

"Ten years have passed, our family has changed but one thing remains, our love for Shane is forever and we miss him every day."
Aunt Judy of South Point, Ohio

"You will never be forgotten and always missed. Here's to you brother!
Semper Fi"
Kaz of Harrisburg PA

"10 years. My Grandson carries the name "Shane" in your honor. You'd love the little guy.

My favorite verse from Proverbs 3:5-6 provides me with comfort and I hope it does for all that knew you:

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart.
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all ways acknowledge Him,
And he shall direct your paths."

Semper Fidelis"
Steve Whitten of Yucca Valley, CA

"3/21/13 Shane, 10 years ago on the day your Grandma Alma Childers heard the news that you had been killed, she quoted 2 Sam 18:33 "...thus he (King David) said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!" She loved you so much she would have traded her life for yours. 10 days ago, On Monday 3/11/13, your Grandma Alma passed from this life to eternity. I'm sure you were at the gate to welcome her with a big Shane hug. Love you forever."
Aunt Nat of Willow Wood OH

"10 years and we still think of you every day ... we miss you and love you..Thank you for your sacrafice"
Jessica Whitten of 29 Palms, Ca

"Shane, I always think of you."
Bill Hendry, Sr. of Tamarac, Florida

"Not a day goes by where you are not in my thoughts. RIP miss you brother"
Matt of Denver, CO

"Never forgotten"
Joel of Las Vegas

"Not forgotten brother...10 years."
Fellow MECEP

"You were our hero on Mt. Shasta and Mt. Whitney, checking on everybody through the blizzard and leading the way on our hikes. I'm honored to have been your hiking buddy and friend."
Janet Deen of Loveland, CO

"Sir. Just finished reading your story. You are a credit to our Corps. I am humbled to have worn the same uniform. Rest easy Brother. God Speed and Semper Fi."
Eric USMC of Toledo Ohio

"Miss you Bro!

Semper Fi"
Corey White, Citadel Class 02 of Camas WA

"You are gone but not forgotten Shane. Thank you for your service and sacrifice. To the Childers family: I hope you all are well. Please know there are folks all over the world who think of Shane on a daily basis.

Sincerely,
Shannon"
Shannon of Naples, Italy

"I will never forget you. You are burned into my head forever. You are a true hero. I will never forget the helicopter taking off that day. There is no greater love than a man who lay down his life for a brother. You are missed. I often think deeply about all the heroes I have served with around Veterans Day. Brothers forever. Guard the streets brother I see you again someday. God bless you and your family for the sacrifices you and they have made. I am so grateful. Semper Fi."
Phillip of Texas

"Today, June 19, 2012 on Shane's 40th birthday, there will be a ceremony to dedicate a bridge in Cabell Co, WV, in honor and memory of Lt Therrell Shane Childers USMC, KIA 3/21/2003 in Iraq. The bridge is on St Rt 10 at Merritts Creek, near Salt Rock. Shane was born at West Hamlin WV, a few miles away, and attended 1st and 2nd grade at Merritts Creek Elementary. His Grandma Alma and aunts & uncles still live in the Salt Rock area. The signs will be a reminder to all who pass over the bridge of one who gave all for his beloved Marine Corps and his country. We will never forget the boy, the man, the Marine. Happy Birthday, Shane!"
Aunt Nat of Willow Wood OH

"June 19, 2012 on what would have been Shane's 40th birthday - He will never be forgotten."
Aunt Judy of South Point, OH

"Just found this site sir. I still remember that day like it was yesterday. Thank you for the leasdership you provided that I still use today. God Bless you sir!!!"
Sgt . White of Santa Clarita

"Remembering Shane on this Memorial Day."
Aunt Judy of South Point, OH

"Thinking of Shane, a brother Marine and MECEP, today. Your sacrifice is not forgotten on this Memorial Day. Thanks for keeping me and my family free. Semper Fi"
Kevin Cooley, MECEP Class 1988, Citadel Class 1990 of Arnold, Maryland

"Not a day goes by that I do not think of Lt. Shane Childers. Lt Childers was my Platoon Commander and I was one of his nieve boots(new Marine). Lt. Childers is an inspiration to me. His courage is a model for me to strive for everyday I live my life. Semper Fi!"
Sean Lamb of Dallas, GA, U.S.

"i'm glad to have known that there are still people who are willing to die for the country.semper fidelis."
livia sanchez of philippines

"i'm glad to have known that there are still people who are willing to die for the country.semper fidelis."
livia sanchez of philippines

"9 years...feels like yesterday but forever at the same time, much like those eternal 8 seconds!
So much has changed, yet you are still the same in my mind. xo"

"Another March 21st has come around. Can't believe it's been 9 years. I'd like to think that somehow, from the other side of Heaven, you've been there all along. Helping me through PT; heard me when I ask you questions; believed in me when I've struggled. Just wishful thinking I guess. I'm sure Heaven needs you to lead on the other side. Still, there are quiet moments when I feel like I'm not alone."
JP of Colorado

"Thinking about you brother. Semper Fi. I'm sure you have things well in hand in Heaven."
Steve Whitten of Twentynine Palms, Ca

"You are not forgotten...
Semper Fi!
MECEP Prep Class of 98"
Mike Rosen of Washington State

"3/21/12 Although Shane left this world 9 years ago today, he is still an inspiration to those who knew him and so many who didn't. I'm always amazed but not surprised by how many lives he touched. I love you Shane, and miss you always."
Aunt Nat of OH

"3/14/12 As we approach the 9th year, I suppose Dad and I have almost learned to accept you are no longer able to call home, but we continue to miss you as if it were the first day. Think often of when you were a little boy and all the duty stations we moved to as you grew into the man you would one day be. Still enjoy visiting this site and see what your friends have to write. We will always miss you and long for the days we could talk with you."
MOM

"Thank you so much for our freedom, our thoughts and prayers are with your family. I to have a son in Iraq he will be returning in May. God Bless You and Your family."
Christine Jessup of Moncks Corner, SC

"I'm sorry I never found this site until now, but I knew of Shane's unselfish sacrifice. Shane was a great man, Marine, and Citadel Brother. God Bless."
Clay Bell of Virginia

"Sir.... Still, years later, I'm now just as ever so incredibly proud of you! Proud to have served under you, and to have been a part of your life. You are the 2nd. Platoon Leader now forever. Continue to take care of them. Whoever they may be and wherever they may go, guard and protect them. Gone Sir, yet not forgotten!"
Cpl. Mabery of Houston

"I had the honor of preparing Lt. Childers for his return home. I did not personally know him, but I think of him often"
Kurt of California

"Thinking of you.
8 Seconds :)"

"I wanted to let you and the people who honor you here know that my husband, a retired marine, is wearing your bracelet as an inspiration as he trains to run the MC marathon this October. He says, if Shane could give his life, I can run a marathon in his honor,"
Mrs. C of Califronia

"Sir,

I was just thinking about your sacrifices tonight. I think about that day in Iraq everyday of my life."
Jesse Odom of SC

"Serving with you Marine back when you were a young corporal On the USS Tortuga was an honor. You are a hero. God bless you and your family."
Tony Griffin Cpl '90-'94 U.S.M.C. of Bar Harbor, Maine

"Serving with you on the USS Tortuga back when you where a corporal was an honor my friend. You are a hero. God bless you and your family."
Tony Griffin Cpl '90-'94 of Bar Harbor, Maine

"Time may pass but you will be forever missed, thought of and never forgotten! xoxo"

"Happy Birthday, Shane.... love you"
Aunt Nat of OH

"Remembering Shane with love and pride. Aunt Nat"
Natalie W of OH

"Semper Fi Brother.
Kevin H."
of Guatemala City

"Thinking of you on Memorial Day, Shane"
Tobias Schroeder of Washington, DC

"To the family of Lt. Childers. God bless you all on this Memorial Day 2011. Your sacrifice is not in vain."
Justin Kane of Clinton Twp. MI

"Thank you Shane and Thank You Childers Family. Thinking & praying for you on this Memorial Day 2011."
Steve Whitten, MSgt USMC Ret. of Twentynine Palms, Ca.

"With the amazing work of our military, we got him!!! With the recent news of Osamas death, i couldn't help but think of Shane, his family and all the sacrifices that have been made. God Bless!!!"
Erin Glanville-Wozneak of NYC- 5/1/2011

"Semper Fi Brother. I first heard about this in a Reader's Digest article at the Dentist Office years ago. I remember the first day we set foot on Parris Island and all the jokes we cracked sitting on our foot lockers at the end of our bunks at Parris Island. You were and always will be a Model for Marines. Semper Fi."
Thomas S. Conti (Sgt. USMC- Former) of United States, Florida

"I wear a bracelet with your name on it every day bro. Thank you.

Blake Grice
The citadel class of 2001"
Blake Grice of The citadel

"Remembering the sacrifice Shane made eight years ago today. I miss him more than I could ever express. LOVE FOREVER,"
Aunt Judy of South Point Ohio

"Shane, I thank God for the wonderful memories... 8 years has gone by, a lot of things have happened in our family in that time, both good and bad, but nothing so tragic as the news of your death. There is a Shane shaped hole in our family that will never be filled. Love you forever!"
Aunt Nat of Willow Wood OH

"Shane, it's been 8 years and I can still remember the day I found out what happened like it was yesterday. I really wish I could've gotten to known you, but from all the stories from the rest of the family tells me all I need to know. Semper Fi!"
Abram of Jason, NC

"Thinking & praying for you and your family Shane. Semper Fi"
Steve Whitten, MSgt, USMC Ret. of 29 Palms, Ca

"March 19, 2011.......This time of year, I can't help but think of what we were doing and where we were 8 years ago. The memory of that day is beginning to fade, but the pain of being told we would never see you again isn't. Love you Shane"
Mom of Wyoming

"As we approach the anniversary of your death...Childers, you are not forgotten...never will be.
Semper Fi!
MECEP Class of 1998"
Mike Rosen of Washington State

"Shane I miss you sooo much!!! It has been almost eight years since you died... But that doesnt change the fact that I love you and miss you very very much. To U.Joe and A.Judy... I am thinking and praying for you during this hard time for his anniversary. :)"
Summer of PA

"I recently finished reading Shane Comes Home which was recommended to me by my cousin, a retired USMC officer, who said 'every American should read this book ' -- I could not agree more. As soon as my kids are old enough to truly grasp what it means to have character - I am going to share Shane Childer's story with them in great detail."
Todd, Citadel MBA '04 of Charleston SC

"I knew Shane when I was a teenager living on South Fork in Saucier,Ms..I am honored to have known him..you are missed.."
Nora of Saucier,MS

"Nov. 22, 2010 Was on Facebook last night, and pictures of you came up that Sandy had put on Facebook. I see those pictures and the last 8 years do not seem like they can be real. I miss you so much, I miss you calling and talking to us about what you have been up to, where you are going next and......you. Dad and I was coming home from Cody Friday and as we came into Ralston he said "This about where Shane got stopped for speeding 8 years ago. Wonder how many tickets he got over the years". I told Dad I didn't know but I would gladly pay the fines for you if you would just get one more while coming home to see us. This Thanksgiving I am once again grateful for having the privilege to have been your mother. Love you."
Mom

"Veterans Day 2010. Remembering Shane with love and pride for who he was and what he accomplished in his short time on earth; missing him, as always."
Aunt Nat of OH

"Sir,

This isnt the same as talking to you out in the field, but this will have to do. Ive actually thought about your sacrifices tonight. Ive drank myself to tears because I know what kind of person you are / were. It has been a while but I will never forget your sacrifices. It has been a few years now. You were a leader. You still lead me today. I try to emulate your characteristics as a kind and compassionate human being - but hard as steel. Anyway, ive had a good night tonight with my wife and little girl. I started to feel guilty after I got on the scotch and rocks - I think that was your drink. We are getting ready for Christmas (we put up the tree). I wish you were putting up a tree with your family. Some people forget about what people like you have done for our country - but I never will. Ive known many people in my life - you are one of few that has made a positive impact on my life.

Thank you Shane

Your hard charging 1st Squad Leader... Jesse"
Jesse Odom of Greenwood SC

"Citadel 2000 here- wear a kia bracelet with your name on it every day of my life."
Citadel 2000 of Charleston sc

"Shane,

Myself Kevin McGannon USMC 1978 to 1985 and my wife Susie McGannon stopped by your gave site on Aug 23, 2010 I cleaned it off for you. You are always my hero.

Sincerely
Semper Fi
Kevin McGannon"
Kevin McGannon of North Ogdedn Utah USA

"Think about you and your family daily. You were such a positive impact on so many folks. Great job Shane! You touched and changed the world you lived in."
Shannon of Italy

"Just thinking about you again bro...
As I do often!

Citadel 02"
Corey White of Ft. Sill OK

"trying to get in touch with a member of the Childers family. I would like to particularly get in touch with Judy. Please email me at erinwozneak@gmail.com"
Erin Glanville of NY, NY

"i will never forget ur eyes piecercing into mine as doc tapley and doc valtierra and i were there in our last moments, i feel the pain and hope to survive. maybe im just out of words but i will always remember what i saw in your eyes as you taught me what life meant.
to your family; my deepest condolences and love.

Sgt. Brown, C.M.
USMC ret.
3rd AABN. C COMPANY 3RD PLT."
BROWN, C.M. of San Diego, CA

"Thinking of you this Memorial Day, Shane. Posted a little tribute to you on my facebook page. It's been 7 years since you passed. You left a legacy behind, from books, to scholarships, to a lifetime of memories for those who knew you. You are forever written in history and will never be forgotten!"
Barbara Thibodeau of San Diego, CA

"Remembering Shane on this solemn holiday weekend and always."
Aunt Judy of South Point, OH

"Remembering Shane, today as always."
Aunt Nat of OH

"Hey, Bro,
Its been a long while since you went home. We still think of you and hope to see you one day again. Semper Fi!
your friend,
SSG Coney Southerland"
SSG Coney Southerland of Little Elm, TX USA

"I wrote a message for you some time ago, I just wanted to let you know that I have been restoring a 1973 Chevrolet Nova with a Big Block 454 in it, a true racing machine this has taken me the last 2 years to complete, I am dedicating this build to you Shane...RIP"
Ulrik Henningsen of Denmark, Europe

"Please do not think this is a disrespectful attempt to try to make a name for myself, but I have begun a blog that details the lives of the Military members that have given their lives for this great country of ours. I hope my efforts do not offend anyone. I am writing the entry for Lt. Childers right now, but I must admit, there is nothing I can write that would be as meaningful as something coming from a friend or family member of his.

If you are interested in helping, the website is www.thetrueheroes.blogspot.com If you would like to send me a story, or an entire entry about him, I would be honored to post it. If you are interested in assisting, the email address is thetrueheroes@gmail.com.

Either way, please know that I respect and appreciate the sacrifice of this great Marine and every military member who goes to war for this country. I have deployed for the Air Force, but I know that my efforts do not pale in comparison to those of this great American."
Bruce Scheel of Rochester, NY

"”Honor and Remember” - “Project Compassion” We love our Soldiers! We love our country and we cannot express enough love and compassion to the families of our fallen heroes. War does not discriminate – It breaks our hearts to see the faces of the fallen. We want to give this gift to the hero’s Mother, Father and/or spouse. We are a 501c3 nonprofit organization! Almost 2,100 portraits have been completed and shipped to the parents and or spouse - at no cost as this is a gift from one American to another!
This is a gift! We have wonderful sponsors who help with the costs, and want you know that everyone here at Project Compassion does and will always CARE.
Contact us directly at Projectcompassion@manti.com or go to www.heropaintings.com . If you have already had a portrait completed, we pray that you are enjoying the portrait and God Bless You.
Sincerely and Respectfully,
Kenna
Projectcompassion@manti.com
”Honor and Remember” - “Project Compassion” We love our Soldiers! We love our country and we cannot express enough love and compassion to the families of our fallen heroes. War does not discriminate – It breaks our hearts to see the faces of the fallen. We want to give this gift to the hero’s Mother, Father and/or spouse. We are a 501c3 nonprofit organization! Almost 2,100 portraits have been completed and shipped to the parents and or spouse - at no cost as this is a gift from one American to another!
This is a gift! We have wonderful sponsors who help with the costs, and want you know that everyone here at Project Compassion does and will always CARE.
Contact us directly at Projectcompassion@manti.com or go to www.heropaintings.com . If you have already had a portrait completed, we pray that you are enjoying the portrait and God Bless You.
Sincerely and Respectfully,
Kenna
Projectcompassion@manti.com"
Project Compassion - Kenna of Manti, Utah USA

"These tears will never stop, though I know you'd tell me to!! Missing you today, Shane, and I always will."
Jonna of Sunbury, Ohio

"Remembering Shane today, thanking God for the memories of our time with him before that tragic day that changed our family's lives forever: 3/21/03. Praying for other families that have been through similar loss."
Aunt Nat of Willow Wood OH

"What can I say that hasn't been said over the past 7 years! I miss him, his countless friends miss him, and those of you whose misfortune it was not to meet him, you really missed him.

No book especially "Shane Comes Home" captured who he really was. Our family has many wonderful memories of him that remain with us.

I am so thankful the LORD gave him to us for those 30 quick passing years."
Aunt Judy of South Point, Ohio

"For those of us who were fortunate to have had Shane in our lives, was a blessing from God. I think of you often my friend. 7years... Semper Fidelis"
Steven Whitten - MSgt, Retired of 29 Palms, CA

"Shane,

Today someone brought up your name and it made me remember what a great guy you were. The timing is ironic . . . I remember how intense you lived and it inspires me in many ways.
In every day actions, your memory lives on thru me.

Thank you for being a great friend."
Capt Ivan Bejarano of Jacksonville, NC

""To the family of Therrel Shane Childers ,I am so sorry for the loss of your love one.He died a hero.May you know the peace and understanding that only comes from God. Hopefully we will all meet in Heaven one day where we will rest in the arms of Jesus. If you need someone to pray with you or talk to please call or write my pastor at Gateway Community Church,Rev John B Pearrell 11677 Brown Bridge Rd. Covington Ga. 30016 phone 770-787-1015""

"Semper Fi."
Sgt of USA

"I served with Shane in 2nd L.A.R Battalion in 1992. He was a very good man and he didnt deserve what happend. I think to myself that could have been any one of us. My heart goes out to his family and all the one serving overseas right now.. Lewbo"
Mitch Lewis of kc,mo

"To the family of this fallen hero, I would like to say thank you for raising your son to be such a magnificent person. I wish so badly that I could have met him. After reading the book Shane Comes Home, I realized that Shane Childers is my hero and inspiration, not only to join the Corps, but for life in general. I know that I will get to meet him some day, but until then I hope that the good Lord blesses his family. Of course he must be guarding the gates of heaven!
SEMPER FIDELIS"
Kerstie of Springfield, MO

"I don't visit this site much because it upsets me so much. It is great to see so many honor my brother, especially the memories of him. Shane was a great brother and will forever be missed. I heard it said that "you never get over your grief but learn to live with it". I am learning that it is true. Love you Shane,"
Sandy of Fort Carson, CO

"Family of 2nd Lt. Shane Childers, and Shane, You have made the biggest impact on my life reading your story and knowing who you were, though not personaly. Since that time, I have always remembered you and what you stood for. Being a MARINE made you the toughest and the only thing that stood between us and those who fought to take our freedom away. I wish in the months to come to better understand what made you what you were. Why you did what you did. And most of all I want to follow in your path and be who you were and was going to be. I will always remember you for your valor and bravery in rough times. I will be a US MARINE. SEMPER FI !!!!!"
Blake of Rochester, MN USA

"I remember Shane back in 1989 when I lived as an exchangestudent in Gulfport, I meet Shane at Harrison Central High School, he was an honest, intelligent and very open person. Already back was he determined to join the US army and fight for his country a true patriot
May you rest in peace."
Ulrik Henningsen of Virum/Denmark

"With the coutnry thinking of September 11th, I can't help but think of you this week and how much September 11th changed all of our lives by taking you from us two years later. I don't think I will ever accept that you are really gone, not really. I am so proud of you."
mom

"Its been a while since we shared the glory of life together. I just hope I can life up to your expectations. I think about you every day, and miss you very much"
Bradley Nerad of Mosinee Wisconsin

"Shane was true hero."
Pete C of San Clemente, CA

"Everyday I look at the picture of shane we got from his memorial in camp pendleton. I still cant believe youre gone and its been over 6 years... I miss you shane and often feel you around... I wish i could see those big brown eyes of yours and get a big hug from you. You are my hero... I love you and miss you!"
Janna Whitten of 29 Palms, California

"Shane,
You were a warrior and a great friend through MECEP Prep and TBS. I found out about what happened while reading a Marines Times outside of Baghdad and simply could not believe it. I am honored and humbled to say that I was your friend. Semper Fi"
Capt Shane Murray of Helmand, Afghanistan

"Happy Birthday Shane."
Capt Quinby of Al Asad, Al Anbar Province, Iraq

"Happy Birthday sir. You are never forgotten. Rest easy, you've earned it. Until we meet again sir. Semper Fi"
Espo of Pasco WA

"I too am remembering Shane today on his 37th."
Aunt Nat of Willow Wood OH

"Remembering Shane on his birthday. I miss him so much. So many happy times before the tears."
Aunt Judy of South Point, Ohio

"Yvette Childers, I will ask my husband if he thinks you could be related. Could you send me your email address? You can use the address i use for my buusiness which is judy1910@live.com"
Judy Childers of Powell Wyoming

"Shane, we miss you so much. Semper Fi!"
Dave Denial of San Mateo

"I have been researching the Childers family tree. My father was LT. Houston Childers, USN who died in 1984. He was a career navy man. He married Marie Childers and Houston was born in Gulfport, MS. I am wondering if my accidental finding of this site has found family? Are you related to me? I am the daughter of Houston and Marie Childers. No matter what, Childers has always been a family of patriots. Thank you Therrel for your sacrifice!
L. Yvette Childers"
Yvette Childers of Dallas, Texas, USA

"Praying for your family this Memorial Day and remembering your son and his bravery. I too have lost a son, a lot younger and in different circumstances, but I know the feeling of loss is quite similar. And I know how easy it is for others to forget as time goes by...we Moms don't forget though and I just wanted you to know that even though I don't know you personally, I am standing with you today and thinking of your precious child."
Jenny Doriot of Elizabethton, TN

"I read about this brave soldier in Lt. Cash's book, "Table in the Presence". I am a disabled Vet myself and felt it was only appropriate to leave a message of gratefulness for his service to my country. His sacrifice will always be remembered."
Jennifer of Redding,CA.

"It's never easy to get over the death of someone, and for them to be taken away tragicaly makes it 10 times worse.
No-one will fill the place in your' hearts from where he sat. But at the same time he will always be there.

R.I.P
Love shown from the people of Ireland."
Iain McGowan of Sligo, Ireland

"Just feels like he is deployed and will come home any time. Can't beleive it has been 6 years since we got word he will never come home. Still want to talk to him and hear his voice. Like Nat i can still see that smile.............that beautiful contagious smile."
Mom

"6 years. I can still see Shane's smile, feel his quick strong hug, hear him say "I'm good to go". He'll always be in my heart."
Aunt Nat of OH

"Joe & Judy,

Just wanted you to know, the Childer's family is in my thoughts & prayers. I sure miss this guy. I hope to visit Powell sometime in the future."
Steven Whitten, MSgt Ret. (AmEmbassy Paris,92 & AmEmbassy Nairobi,95) of Twentynine Palms, Ca.

"To Shane's family,
My name is Ssg. Coney Southerland. I served with Therrel in Corps with 2d LAI Bn. I was in Ft. Lewis, WA. Heading to Iraq when read about his death. I wanted to say that he was a damn fine Marine and a good man. It was an honor and a privelage to serve alongside him. He is with our Lord, guarding heaven's golden shores.
I wish you and yours peace and fond memories.

Semper Fidelis
SSG. Coney Southerland
56th BSTB, 36th Infantry Div.
Texas Army National Guard"
Samuel Coney Southerland of Dallas, Tx, USA

"Dear Childers Family-
I just finished the book Shane comes Home. Thank you for letting his story be told. Shane is what this great Nation is made of."
Bob of Buffalo

"Thank You, from the Childers family"

"Dear Childers family.
My name is Andrew Ciprotti. I served with Lt Childers in Iraq. I had only met him a month or so before we crossed int Iraq. I was actually his amtrac driver.I just wanted to say that it was An honor to serve under him.He was one of the greatest Marines I ever had the privalage to serve with. There is not a day that doesn't go by that I dont think of him or that day at the pumping station.He got me through that first night. I'll never forget him tapping me on the shoulder saying cip you're doing a great job keep it up.I know after we lost him that first day he had become our gaurdian angel he guide'd us all the way to bahgdad and I truly believe that. SEMPER FI LT CHILDERS MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND ALL OUR FALLEN BROTHERS AND SISTERS"
Andrew Ciprotti of scituate massachusetts

"Thank You Shannon, we also went to a Marine Ball, along with other parents who have lost their sons and or daughters in Iraq. After 5 years, that is getting easier but we still have trouble accepting that Shane is gone. The phone will ring and we can't help but hope it is him calling, that this has all been a big mistake."
Judy Childers of Powell Wyoming

"Mr. and Mrs. Childers,

Tonight we will have a cake cutting ceremony to celebrate the 233rd Birthday of the Marine Corps and to honor those fallen while protecting our life and liberty. I served with Shane and will be with many Marines tonight who served during the same time frame Shane did. I assure you he is in our hearts and minds and he will be honored and remembered tonight at the ceromony. Semper Fidelis."
Shannon of Iraq

"Looking Up, Life Truly Goes On

We now accept that life goes on,
that we won't see our son again
come diddly-bopping down the road
in the physical, our gung-ho Shane.

It's been hard since he's been gone,
no more to climb our earthly heights,
to run barefoot on the riverbanks
and sleep outside on starry nights.

He will not ride another mule
nor trod the Appalachian green
nor read the latest indepth book
on how to be the best Marine.

He won't scale again Mount Shasta
for the fifth time, or the sixth
nor jingle a sleigh across the snow
to feed our cattle in a fix.

Lest we spend our days in tears,
we faced the truth our son is gone,
that we'll not watch him hop his bike
and peddle off to greet the dawn.

We'll never hear his laughter deep
nor bounce his children on our knee,
for he died before they came along,
doing his best to keep us free.

We'll choose to fill this gaping hole
his tragic death has gouged within,
with nothing but Shane's goodness,
unless the wound should do us in.

We shall not scan the mountain peaks
and expect to see him through the haze,
staring down from the summit there,
for "up" to Shane, was the better gaze.

By Nancy L. Meek ~ July 6, 2008"
Nancy "Lilripple" Meek of Charleston, SC

"To Shane, your family, and friends... As a Marine and a US citizen I thank you for your sacrifice. I just read the book, Shane Comes Home, telling your story. I feel as though I really got to know you and your family. I am deeply saddened that we lost such a fine Marine and an even better man. My heart breaks everyday as I watch the news and learn that there has been yet another life lost for our freedom. You were the first of the now over 3,000 stories of lives lost. You are a true hero, and my heart goes out to you and your family. You are now guarding the gates of Heaven... Know that you are deeply loved and missed. I would like to travel to Wyoming and visit your resting place as well as meet your folks, we will see. Semper Fi, Marine!"
SSgt Chris Morris USMC 1994-2001 of Gainesville, VA

"You will not be forgotten."
2Lt. Ben Norris, USMC, Citadel 08' of Charleston, SC/USA

"To the Childers Family,

Even though it has been years since Shane's ultimate sacrifice, I feel compelled to share with you my heartfelt sorrows for your loss. Please accept my humble condolences.

I knew Shayne since his selection for MECEP. We were both physically competitive during the MECEP Preparatory school at San Diego. We also crossed paths during The Basic School. He was attending IOC as the "Class Commandant" while I was part of Charlie Company about 3 months behind him. Although I am not an infantry officer (I'm a Combat Engineer Officer), I fully appreciated Shane's tactical prowess and intense desire to succeed! He, in my professional opinion, set the bar for all infantry officers... all officers to meet. He was the epitome of dedication and service to God, Country, Corps, Family, Friends then self.

I frequently think of Shane and his impact on the people that he influenced and am still saddened by his loss. He was a humble man and a good friend. Thank you for his contribution to the world."
Capt R. White (USMC) of Okinawa, Japan

"I didn't know the man, I guess I wish I had. I just stumbled on this site, and I guess all I can say is thanks to Shane and his family. I am a vet and have lost friends in the line, and I know how much it hurts, but I also know the sense of pride thinking about them brings me...thanks again Shane."
John Daley Jr of Stow, Ohio, USA

"Memorial Day, 2008
Another Memorial Day is here. So many people have written such beautiful words about you. You must have been as much of a hero in civilian life than as a Marine. I am proud to share your last name. Your parents must be so incredibly proud of you. Thank you for believing that freedom is worth fighting and dying for. We must never forget.
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
www.IraqWarHeroes.org"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"there are some good pictures of a younger Shane Childers at www.freewebs.com/wiseguysmarines"
Cpl Cowles of S.D.

"Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.


When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there, I did not die.
(Mary Frye )

We Love You Shane"
Jessica (Whitten) Pruitt of Joshua Tree, CA

"March 21, 2008
Shane gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not let our fallen heroes be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to all who knew Shane. "Some gave all."
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
www.IraqWarHeroes.org"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"This same day every year, I still find myself reading the messages on this page and tearing up. I don't know if they are tears of joy or tears of sorrow. But know that we do miss you. Janna and I are probably going to go and get memorial tattoos for you tonight. What better way to celebrate your life then a tattoo :). We love you and miss you every day Shane."
Jenny of 29 Palms, CA

"Today marks 5 years.

I miss you and think about you every day. You are in our hearts forever Shane

I love you."
Janna Whitten of 29 Palms, CA

""There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved"
George Sands

If you were lucky enough to have had Shane in your life, you know happiness.

On your anniversary, again I stand and "Salute" with a heavy heart."
Steven Whitten, MSgt, USMC Ret. of Twentynine Palms, CA

"I have looked at this site so many times and have thought of Shane so many times ever since he was killed in action. I never wanted to write until I saw the message left by his mom saying she felt good hearing about the memories of Shane. I served with Shane, then Sgt. Childers at 1st LAR Delta Co. 96-97 , We were roomates in the barracks together and were very close. Though we were very opposite in the way we were brought up and our personalities were different I loved being around him because he loved the Marine Corps so much and had so much energy. We deployed together and I would have to scream, cajole, threaten and whine to get him to go out on liberty. He would always be working on different things to improve his marines and his platoon. Once i could get him off the ship there was no one funnier and cooler to hang out with, he had a dry sense of humor and an infectious laugh, Shane and I had many good times overseas both on libbo and in the field. On that Shane was one of the best field Marines I ever knew, I would look forward to him coming over to my LAV at night after a training exercise, and him and I would smoke cigars and drink MRE coffe/cocoa mix and just bull * and laugh. ( I havent cried about Shane in years but I just broke down thinking about those memories)

Shane I miss u so much my friend, I remember when u went down to a school at MCRD in 98 to start getting ready for the MECEP program you were going through. I was a drill instructor at the time with 3rd Bn. I remember you coming to my room in the barracks and telling me there was going to be a ceremony for your school the next day and you wanted me to attend, I told you I was pushing a platoon at the time and it would be hard but I would try and make it, I remember telling you congrats and giving you a hug and telling u we would celebrate if i could get away from my recruits, well that was the last time I saw or talked to you. You wenrt off to the Citadel and I did another 2 years in the Corps then got out. I guess I always thought we would see each other again, you know how it is Shane, in the Corps u always expect to see a fellow brother jarhead again. I got out and moved around for awhile,, just to much to tell during those times, I remember the war kicking off and my thoughts being with all you guys, I was working construction in Los Angeles. It was a Saturday and I worked a half day, an ex girlfriend of mine picked me up and was driving me home. All I could think about was the war and my brothers there fighting it, as we were pulling up to my house the radio said they had the first 2 casualties of the war. The first Therrel Childers.. I was shocked got out of the car and collapsed on my drive way in tears,, I was so torn up,, told me girlfriend to go away I need to be alone,, I sat in my room for hours and asked why wasnt I over in the dirt with you with the Marines,, what if I had stayed in the Corps I know i would have found u before the push into Iraq something i could of said or done,,, anything,,,,
I went out that nite to a local bar in Hermosa Bch (L.A.) with my girlfriend, I was watching the t.v. and seeing the invasion. A guy went up to my girlfriend and ssaid " wow , he is really intensely watching that" she said "he was in the marines" . so this joker comes up to me and says "Semper Fi" I said " what ? are u a Marine or were u in the Marines?" he said " no bro i just thought thats what u say to u guys" I said" * you *ing cheesedick , you dont say that phrase ever , get the * out of my face or im gonna beat your * you * bird!" needless to say Shane, he scurried away like a typical civilian turd. Shane that following Monday I went down to the prior service recruiter and started my package for reenlistment in the Marine reserves and a year later I was in the dirt with the boys where I belonged, I had 40 in the platoon when I got there and left with 40 Im happy to say. Shane there wasnt a day I was in Iraq that I didnt think of you. Did you hear me when I talked to you out on the MSR's? or in Fallujah or Ramadi? or flying out of TQ? I hope so. I miss you my friend, everyone u ever served with misses you, Every time I see one of the guys from old Delta we end up talking about you for hours and laughing so hard at all the shenanigans and horseshit we used to pull all the nicknames and crazy * that happened in the field,, thanks Shane for being my friend, thanks for being a damn fine Marine, and thank u for being my guardian angel in Iraq getting me back in one piece,, I love u brother, I miss u.."
Leo McSweeney of San DIego, Ca.

"Shane was the true MARINE. We served in A Co. 2nd LAI. and spent years together. He is a true friend and was the guy who would help anyone. If you look for an American, that was Shane. Thank you for your sacrifice so we can be free.

CPL Armenia USMC 90-94
716-531-0581"
Steve Armenia of Buffalo N.Y.

""For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it." Matthew 16:25

I had set out on a trivial mission this evening, but have now completely lost myself in this website. Judging from the remarks posted here, this gentleman has clearly accomplished the mission God set before him. ...and God said, "This is my Son, whom I love. With him I am well pleased." Matthew 3:17.

RFM
USMC officer 1991-1995
24 MEU (SOC) (Somalia)"
RF Morris of Dallas, TX

"Merry Christmas Sir. Ive been thinking about you and your family today, and wondering how they move on. As I watched my 3 1/2 year old son open his presents, it made me think of your sacrifice and lessons you would teach us. Today and always you are in our minds and prayers. And always trust that you will never be forgotten. Its still hard. Thank you for your sacrifice. You are the true HERO. Until we meet again. SEMPER FI SIR."
ESPINOZA of PASCO,...WA

"Shane,

I think about you often bro! I think about French class at school...I think about the BBQ...
Im angry, frustrated, sad....

Ill see you later"
Corey White Citadel Class 02 of Camas Wa

"I just want to clear something up concerning the following message to Shane. Janna Whitten, is the daughter of a friend of Shane's and not his sister by blood. She and the rest of her family considered Shane a member of their family but there was no blood tie. So I don't want anyone to read her message and think when she says 'mom and dad are no longer together', she means Shane's biological parents, who raised him. We are together and doing fine. It has been 4 1/2 years now since Shane died. 5 Years since he spent his last Thanksgiving with us. We miss him dearly but we have accepted his death. As hard as it is still, to believe he is truely gone physically. We have our memories and through them he still lives with us. Shane had 3 nieces and 2 nephews at the time of his death. He now has another a niece, named after him and very much like him. Which is a joy to our family and helps ease the pain of losing Shane. Life truely goes on."
Shane's mother of Powell Wyoming

"Shane, its been 4 years since we lost you. and i still miss you more than words could ever explain. its the day before thanksgiving and god i wish you were here. you served your country well. im proud of you. If only you knew how often we think of you. And at times i just break down and cry. Youre my hero.

I just wish I could see your face again and get one last big hug from you.

ill never be okay without you here. SO much has changed shane, jessica has 2 babies now! shane you were gunna be an uncle! you should see the girls, they are beautiful. funny thing is, brenna was born on september 11th. Me and Jenny always say, a life is brought into this world on that day for all the lives lost. you lost your life because of what happened on that day. Mom and dad arent together anymore. jenny and i have our own apartment. jessica is married.

Its not fair :( and i know its me being selfish, but i want you here to experience everything with us.

Happy Thanksgiving brother.

i love you and miss you."
Janna Whitten of 29 Palms, Ca

"To the Family and Friends of 2nd Lt. Therrel S. Childers:
I will stand in grief with this youn man's family to honor him. For every fallen HERO there is a bright star that shines in the evening sky to remind us of the cherished gift we were given – even if for too short a time.
My heart breaks again as I sign yet another guest book of another courageous young man who gave their life so selflessly. I wish I never found myself in a position to have to sign another guestbook for the rest of my life, but I promised Brent that neither he nor any like him would be forgotten and so I will continue until the day there is no longer the need.
We lost our son SFC Brent A. Adams on 12/1/05 and it seems like yesterday. I wish so badly there were things I could say to you right now to make the pain you are still and forever feeling go away, but I know first hand there simply are no words that will bring you the comfort and peace your heart aches for. Just know that you are not alone. My heart, thoughts, and prayers are with you all as you go through this tragedy moment by moment and as you mourn this loss forever.
We don't know each other, will probably never meet, but will forever be united in the loss of our Heroes. We have, unfortunately joined a group none of us wanted to join, an ever-growing group of families in this situation. May God grant you peace and strength to get through this and be able once again to smile at a memory rather than have only the tears that flow so easily now. To be so proud of your loved one and so saddened at the same time is a mix of emotions very difficult to deal with as our hearts both burst with pride and pain together.
I am sorry that I never knew your son personally. While they can never be replaced, neither will they ever be forgotten. You must trust that sometime, someday the loving memories you have will help to sustain you and help you go on. This courageous boy will forever be your Angel watching over you all for the rest of your lives. It's what brings me some measure of peace and comfort and I hope it will you as well.
To his family and friends in pain, I offer this comfort: When you find yourself in that dark sorrowful place, think not only of how you will miss him, but instead recall the years, days, hours and minutes gifted to you by his presence. The one thing that cannot be taken from you is your wonderful memories that now will mean more than ever.
If you ever want to talk, I'm only an e:mail away and would love for you to tell me more about your Hero.
God Bless Therrel and his family who gave all and God Bless this site for setting up this site where families can so quickly share their condolences and prayers with others like themselves.
Pam and Bill Adams (SFC Brent A. Adams, KIA, 12/1/05, Ramadi, Iraq)"

"LT. Childers, just wanted to let you know that yesterday was 11/10/07. I went out to celebrate the Birthday. Like always you were remembered. Not a day goes by that I regret joining the Corps. You are truly missed by you PLT. You made us the best. Happy Birthday Marine. Happy Veterans Day."
Todd Espinoza. esposniper@yahoo.com of Pasco, WA

"To some degree, I have allowed my wish that your death was not real to be true in my mind, and that somehow, because it said 2nd Lt., it wasn't you. These days, I find my mind wandering back to those that I served with in Alpha Co. 2nd LAI 90-93, and am deeply saddened in my first real internet search for my memories, I find you here. When I read it in the NY Times, I knew it was you and I cried instantly. Of course I thought maybe it wasn't, but I knew. You were indeed, as these testimonies say, the perfect Marine. To his family, you must be an amazing group of people, in all of my time in the Corps, I never met anyone like him. He always said he was going to Mustang. Many have said it, few have done it. I see the names of men I know, especially during our time on the Med. Float, what great days. You stayed on Lt. Childers and you gave the ultimate sacrifice, clearly you lead from the front. Carry on, Marine. Wherever we are we carry you in our hearts.

To anyone who reads this and knows me, my name is Cpl. Larry Whittle, I served on a AT LAV in Alpha Co. Second LAI, Please feel free to contact me at Lwhittle68@hotmail.com"
Larry Whittle of Walla Walla, WA USA

"Shane and I go back farther than even we knew about. Served in LAR together in the 90's. Went to TBS together, and went to war together. I couldn't believe it when I heard he had been killed. I didn't think you could get a guy like him. The only thing that made it ok was knowing that he went out doing what he loved. He was a hell of a guy, a hell of a friend, and a hell of a Marine. One finer you're hard pressed to find. Remember him."
Captain Tom Hollman of MCB Hawaii

"Hello all Devil Dogs out there. My name is Kirby Cowles and I served with Shane from 90-94. Alot of people who served with him in LAI and beyond will be going to Philladelphia,PA (remember Tun Tavern?), this year for the birthday, so if you are interested about "BS"ing about Shane's days as a PFC and beyond with lots of old and new buddies go to www.slightlypsychotic.net to find out more. SemperFi to all! My number is (605)360-9645 if I can help with any information. OOrah"
Cpl Kirby Cowles of Sioux Falls, S.D.

"I want to make a promise to the Childers family. I have been named this year’s recipient of the Lt. Therrel Shane Childers Memorial Scholarship at The Citadel. I feel there is no greater honor as a Marine, a MECEP, and a Citadel Graduate. I never knew Shane, but I feel like he is my brother. I will proudly carry his legacy of courage throughout my career as a leader of Marines. He will live on in every Marine I lead and serve. It is my duty; one that I accept with the most humility and honor. That is my promise. I thank you for giving the Corps a true Leader, thank you for your sacrifice. You are always in my prayers. Semper Fi."
SSgt Giardino of The Citadel

"Mr. and Mrs. Childers, I first met Shane in Nairobi Kenya. I am a former MSG and was guarding the Embassy in Sudan when I went to Kenya for training. He was an awesome brother and I am very sadned with his loss. When I heard his name mentioned on the radio that day, I had to pull over and shed many tears. A stellar Marine and daggon fast at running for sure. He is deeply missed. I just got his book and will read it next week. Thank you for giving our Corps a true leader, warrior, and great brother. I will be thinking of you at all times, as I do Shane."
GySgt Michael Flowers of San Diego, Ca

"Shane,
Thank you for always being there for me in times when I needed you the most...
I love you and miss you every day for the rest of my life! You are my Hero!"
Arlene Guthrie of Newport Beach, California

"Randy Robets, I kept having the feeling I needed to go to the cemetary this week, I will go out there and get the coin. Thank You. If You had wanted to you could have called us and came by or met us in town, we are in the book."
Judy of Powell Wyoming

"I just returned from Powell yesterday, Shane has such a beautiful resting spot. This was a mission I have spent a great deal of time thinking about. It was very emotional for me to finally realize its completion and to have time to reflect on this Hero. Joe and Judy I left a PGR coin for you. You can leave it or take it home. Please know you will always be in my thoughts and Prayers."
Randy K. Roberts of North Texas

"I just wanted to let this family know that for the last couple of years your sons name has been worn on mine or my brothers wrist. he is ex military and he ordered a rememberance band to wear..and received your sons. Though we've never met, you all are a part of our family."
Christy Childers of Easton, MD

"I served with Childers on embassy duty in Geneva. He was an outstanding Marine, and he was guided by a very sincere sense of personal honor and duty."
Tobias Schroeder of Indianapolis, IN

"Shane- Still thinking of you and missing you every day since March 21, 2003. We will be in Charleston next month, visiting memorials with your name on them and I am sure we'll stop in at Tommy Condons where I will look over my shoulder to see if you are there at the bar. Life is not the same without you, but you are an inspiration as always. When life got tough, you were always there to give a supportive and encouraging talk- identify the problem and eliminate the fear. It always seemed easier said than done, but once resolved, it was pretty simple.
We've put together a memorial page also on myspace- myspace.com/shanechilders"
Jonna Stumpo of Columbus, OH

"Shane, I sit here reading all the wonderful things about you and it brings tears of joy to my eyes knowing that you are such a well respected and loved individual. We Miss you terribly and David and I are forever talking about you to our friends and family.
To Joe and Judy, time passes and the pain eases but the memory lives on in your hearts."
Liz Bias of Olive Branch MS

"I miss you so much! I find comfort in the face of your 2 year old niece, Catherine Shane. She is tough, independent and has a smile that warms my heart when I get sad. She enjoys helping her older brother practice his batting and catching. You should see her spread those feet apart and bend at the knees when she tries to catch or throw the ball. It reminds me of when you were catcher on your team. I can still remember my hand stinging everytime I caught one of you balls. I wish you could spend some time with your nieces and nephew now. I love and miss you so very, very much!"
Sandra Brown of Mitchell, SD

"Bobbi J. Mc Nurlan
Please read the book by Lt. Carey Cash. "A table in the presence" He was the Chaplin for Shane's unit, and it is an excellant book. It talks about God's presence while the unit was in Iraq."
Judy and Joe Childers of Powell Wyoming

"Joe and Judy,
I have been reading the book on Shane, Shane Comes Home. When I first got it, I thought it was going to just be another tragic story about how a soldier died. But this story has touched my heart. I have a sister, a brother, and a cousin all in the service. My sister is going to be going to Iraq in 2009 when I graduate. I think this book has changed my outlook on her going over there. When she goes, I'm going to give her the book for her to read. Your family has my prayers. I also think that your son must have been a great guy."
Bobbi J. McNurlan of Martinsville, Illinois

"Lt. Childers, I am currently reading Shane Comes Home, I wish I would have had the honor to serve with you sir. Semper Fi."
Sgt. Johnson of Broken Arrow, OK

"To "North Texas Ride Captain, Denton Texas"

When you get to Powell there are actually 3 places that Powell has placed Shane's name on. One of course is the cemetary East of twon on Lane 9. The second is south of the VFW, on Fair Street, on the south side of town. It is a memorial that Powell did for those from Powell who served in 'Dessert Storm' and did not die. Powell did not lose any in that theater. The third is West of town, at the cornor of Hwy 14 and Road 10. There is a memorial for all those from Powell who have served in any war and gave their lives for their country. Just thought you may be interested in knowing this. Hope you have a good trip and thank you for writting."
Shane's mom of Powell Wyoming

"Joe and Judy I met your family when I read the the book about Shane. You have been in my thoughts and prayers for the last year. I will be traveling the Beartooth on 1,August. I am going to make a side trip to Powell to vist Shane's memorial. I will leave a Patriot Guard challenge coin from North Texas for this HERO. We will nerver forget these Heros. Forever in our prayers.
North Texas Ride Captain"
Coach of Denton Texas

"see you in that golden castle in the sky.wolverines forever!"
chris patton of lizana ms

"see you in that golden castle in the sky.wolverines forever!"
chris patton of lizana ms

"see you in that golden castle in the sky.wolverines forever!"
chris patton of lizana ms

"I lived in Nairobi from '93 - '96 and knew Shane as a Marine Security Guard. When I found out he had passed, I was immensely saddened to know that the world had lost such a kind and wonderful human being. He complimented me one time for having such good morals and for that I will never forget him. He had a way of making people feel good about themselves. I will never forget him. I will always miss him. May God rest his soul."
Jennifer Wojticki of El Centro, CA

"Today is Shane's birthday, June 19,2007. His Aunt Judy and I went to the Memorial Arch in Huntington WV and placed a white rose at it's base and released a white balloon into the sky in memory of Shane. How we miss him but he will never be forgotten.
I will always remember happier times when we celebrated special occasions with Shane, such as his 16th birthday at his Aunt Mary's and my birthday (I believe it was 2002) when he cut my cake and served it to me.
Happy Birthday, Shane!"
Aunt Nat of Ohio

"To the Childers family. Know that Shane was a hero & all of the US love him and respect the sacrifice he's made for our country. He seems like the type that would give the shirt off his back for a friend. Know that you are missed by many & we all respect & love you. May God bless this angel whose now in heaven. Shane, thank you for defending our country, you've made the ultimate sacrifice and for that I say God bless you. You are my hero! Sincerely, Marlena Martin. marlenamartin@hotmail.com"
Marlena Martin of Killeen, TX

"May 22, 2007
To Joe and Judy Childers. Shane gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not let our fallen heroes be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to you. "Some gave all."
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
www.IraqWarHeroes.org"
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"May you always remember him for the hero that he was"
Lorene Meacham of Monument, CO, USA

"In 2000, Shane and I were students together at a French language school at Middlebury College. We were in the same class, and I remember he came often to my dorm room for help with his French. No one was allowed to speak English during the camp, but Shane would come into my room at night, close the door, and just vent! He would tell me (in English - really, he didn't speak French very well in 2000; I was astonished to read that he went on to major in the language!) about the trouble he was having with the courses. He really struggled. I think the school probably overestimated his level, and the teachers were (perhaps unduly) hard on him. Also, some students mocked his military look and attitude. At the time I didn't know all that he had seen and done, but now that I've read some of that, I'm sure it must have been very strange for him to be in a position where people didn't respect him, where he wasn't immediately successful. He was sort of picked on by some of the students and teachers, and that can't have been easy for anyone, let alone for a Marine! Anyway, I helped him where I could with his homework, lent him books, etc. I remember he was so... focused! He was very militaristic ('good to go', he'd say, and other Marine Corps lingo), and he worked very, very hard. He posted index cards all over his room to help him study. Where some students - even from Ivy League universities - dropped out when the going got tough, Shane was determined, even when it was completely an uphill battle for him. You had to admire that. At the farewell dinner, he said he really wanted to get a photo of the two of us together because I had been a good friend. I have that photo in a scrapbook back with my parents in Colorado, and I'm so glad he asked to have it taken. I understand from reading articles about Shane that he was a 'Marine's Marine' and an exemplary solider; I would only add that he was also a really good, nice guy. I regret I didn't stay in touch with him after Middlebury, but I do think of him still, as this message evinces. I don't know who reads these postings, but if anyone wants to get in touch, my email is spiralspecs@yahoo.com. Thanks for letting me share some good memories of him."
Elliott King of London, England

"Never will i forget what you have done for these Marines Sir. Living with your spirit and motivation every day. Miss you very much. You were a true brother."
GySgt Nerad Bradley A of appleton, Wi

"As fellow Citadel parents who lived through those same days, and whose sons remembered passing "Mr. Childers" on campus, we honor Shane's example before our sons, his sacrifice for his nation, and the noble parents who raised this hero. May your example inspire us all to live lives bigger than ourselves and produce American sons, and daughters, worthy of this nation. God bless you and comfort you. May the words of these precious men and boys, who knew him, and who wish they did, grow warm and strong in you as you make the road to Shane."
An '00/'02 Citadel Mom of North Carolina

"Doc Tapley
From what we were told of Shane injuries, there was nothing more that could have been done for him. He was bleeding internally, if he had been bleeding externally.....perhaps there would have been more that could have been done. Our family has always been John Wayne fans and have watched all of his movies. The one titled 'El Dorado' has a scene in it, where John Wayne's character shoots a young man, and the young man tells John Wayne, "it is no use I have been gut shot, and pa always told me there is nothing that can be done for a gut shot". I have thought of that scene many times over the past 4 years. It was just meant to be, it was Shane's time to go. I have always felt, that we are all on earth for a purpose and when we have served that purpose we move on to our next assignment. He has moved on to his. We all miss him, but he left his mark on everyone he met. He impressed everyone that not only met him but has read about him. We all should be so lucky to leave such a mark on others.
We know his friends are at times uneasy about contacting us, because they don't want to upset us. I want to say that it does not upset us, to hear his friends talk about their memeories of Shane. It makes us feel good to know he enjoyed life and friends who truely cared about him. We enjoy hearing those memories. Thank You"
Judy Childers of Powell Wy

"Mr. and Mrs. Childers,

I am HM1 Tapley, at the time I was the senior corpsman for 1/5 Alpha company. I like to extend my condolences to you and the rest of your family. I am truly sorry for your loss. I will always remember the chats we had prior to the start of the war, responding to him on that day and the month of march for the rest of my life. He had touched so many lives and his spirit will live with me forever.
There is not a day that goes by that I do not think about Lt Therrel Shane Childers and asking myself almost daily was there something more that I could have done to save him.

Doc Tapley
Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, Ca"
Shelton Tapley, Jr. of Sun City, Ca

"Yes, you have that right. Another anniversary, but the wounds are still as deep. So hard to believe, someone like Shane could be gone. He is gone, yet he lives on in so many people from the influence he had on them, even some who he never met."
Judy Childers of Powell Wy.

"Another anniversary has passed, but the wounds are still deep. Our love to Shane and the Childer's family."
The Sokol's of 29 Palms, CA

"They say the good die young and the great die even younger; now a Legend is born. Words can not even explain our brotherhood, family and friendship. Shane will live on in all of us and also help us to grow. I tell my kids so many stories about him. I am currently a Supervisory Instructor at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center and what I tell my students when they ask about his photo in my office is:

He will always be missed and his Legend is loved.

www.kgomes.org
kirk@kgomes.org
kirk.gomes@dhs.gov"
Kirk Gomes of Brunswick, GA USA

"Hey my Boy, I know you are with us everyday I feel you.. I miss you my boy! Yes, I am trying to get over loosing you!! I will have a Moose Head Beer for you tonight. Rest easy"
ROBIN WHITTEN of 29 Palms, Ca

"Shane, on your anniversary you are continually in our hearts & minds. Through us you live on. We miss & love you. Semper Fidelis, Lt. Childers God Bless"
The Whitten Family of Twentynine Palms, CA

"Dear Shane - It's 2:30am on March 21, 2007. I can't believe it's been 4 years. I never really knew you but my heart aches and my eyes cry for you and for your family's loss. May you continue to look down on us and give us your strength to face another day. Thank you for the ultimate sacrifice. You will not be forgotten. Semper Fi."
Peggy Childers of Carson City, NV

"LT. Childers, this time of year is always hard for me. Rememebering the hours prior and up to the point in when it happened just seems so unreal. I never thought it could happen to you, you were so hard, you made us hard. I know if we could go back in time, anyone of us would gladly change places with you, because thats the kind of leader you were for us. And so because of that I have never stopped telling people about you, or your story. And I know you still live on in your Marines because we are still family. We will meet again sir, one day, we will."
Todd Espinoza of Pasco, Washington

"Shane....
I miss you and think of you all the time.Not a day passes where you are not in my thoughts.We all miss you and think of your warmth and caring love you always gave us...as well as your great sense of humour and understanding of others.It's already 4 years, yet it seems like yesterday.
Always remember i'm thinking of you...
God Bless you..."
Rebecca Dwyer of Geneva,Switzerland

"This is the story (chapter one in a book I am writing for myself) about Lt. Childer's death in Iraq. Lt. Childers is the best Marine and one of the best people I have met in my life. This story may be disturbing to certain parties. I am writing a book for myself to help me deal with my inner feelings about my time in Iraq. My personal and professional encounters with Lt. Childers are in other chapters. Any comments or concerns can be sent to me at jodom5@peoplepc.com I have read other articles and books about Lt. Childers and none of them are completely accurate. I was actually there, beside Childers, during his final moments. This story is told from my perception on the battle field while I was in Iraq.

Jesse Odom

The days have come to pass. I am alive, but as I fall into memories of war, my essence fades into an empty shell of nothingness. My contents have been exhausted into an unforgiving hell. Sadness and hatred consumes the empty space, tormenting me with unending flashes of pain, death, and hopelessness. The war for me will end with my life. The physical presence of war may soon cease to exist, but the memories will remain. I am at war with them. They are engraved into my soul.
My legs trembled and my stomach was tight. My eyes watered from the sandy Kuwaiti wind. I gazed at the streaks of fire pouring into a location predetermined by our generals. The impacts of the artillery rounds were an enigma. I only knew they were landing in Iraq. My marines were mystified, as was I. Our fate was rushing in at twenty miles an hour. The fiery oil facilities lit up the night sky, but the smoke encompassed everything. I was ready to face a fierce and determined enemy, dug in and battle capable. We were going to have mass casualties. Marines were thirsty for information. I had nothing for them. We neared the border of Iraq. We got what we had asked for. A war!
Tons of steel, trustworthy men, and a sturdy M-16 gave me a peace of mind. I missed my fiancé more than ever at that point. Would I see her again? Did we train hard enough during our time in the Kuwaiti Desert? I hope my men have the mission engraved in every molecule of their very fiber. I jumped at every burst from the artillery. I knew it was ours, but every sound reminded me of the situation we were in.
Eighteen warriors, an assortment of weapons, boxes of ammunition, packaged food, several gallons of water, and enough gear to endure prolonged combat were crammed in every crevice of our twenty ton amphibious vehicle. Amphibious? That was ironic. Traveling through the desert in a vehicle made for the sea, a large chunk of steel that can push itself through the Pacific or travel through the unforgiving Kuwaiti terrain. We put good use to those vehicles though. The Personnel Assault Amphibian Vehicle (AAV) can travel through water at 8.2 miles per hour or on land at forty-five miles per hour. We call them tracks, and they are not to be underestimated. They tower the Army’s Bradley Fighting Vehicle and carry massive firepower and hard-* marines. They are very intimidating vehicles, especially if you’re in the cross hairs of the mounted fifty-caliber machine gun or 40mm automatic grenade launcher. Nevertheless, we all had a love-hate relationship with the track and the crew that operated the massive machine, a relationship that will unfold throughout this text and our journey to Baghdad.
The border came at us like a speeding bullet traveling at a painfully slow speed. Try to figure that line out. We were all on edge. We just knew that we were going to get a breath full of deadly poison or be the victims of a weapon of mass destruction. That is what we were there to find. Our gas masks were held closely to our sides and the chemical protective suits smothered and restricted our every move. I did not want to die in that suit. It would have felt like being buried alive, or dead of course. During our initial movement toward the border, we got a little taste of the gas mask. A scud missile was reportedly inbound. I was fortunate though. I was the track commander. That meant I had about four square feet of legroom. I felt bad for those trapped in the back of our armored sardine can. Imagine being at the bottom of a “dog pile,” wrapped in three layers of thick-tight clothing, and breathing through a straw while wearing a tight rubber ski mask. It’s kind of like that. The bad part is enduring that state for a relatively long period of time.
We finally made it to the Kuwait-Iraq border. Combat engineers had bulldozed lanes and cleared land mines prior to our arrival. They marked the “safe” path with illuminated chemical lights. I was cagey moving across the border. The engineers had cleared a path, a couple M1-Abrams, American tanks, led our “war train,” and we had a few other tracks in front of our machine. However, I just knew we would be the lucky marines to find that hidden landmine. Fortunately, we weren’t lucky. After my longest few minutes in history, we made our way pass the bright green lights and into Iraq. We were the first “sizeable” ground unit in Iraq. Our mission, secure the black gold!
Communication was chaotic. It seemed like ten people were trying to talk over the same radio frequency. The words that I did hear were words of frustration and comedy. It was actually funny. I heard several lieutenants frantically trying to convey information, an eerily calm company commander, an over serious and off subject first sergeant, a comical company gunny, confused platoon sergeants, and a frustrated tank commander. Gunny would spout out comments like, “here comes the Barnum and Bailey Circus Show,” referring to two lost British trucks. God rest gunny’s sole. On top of the confusion over the radio, I was trying to convey and receive information from the marines in my track.
My company, Alpha Company of the fighting Fifth Marines, was set to secure an oil pumping station. All members of the Fifth Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team Five (RCT5) at that time, had a role to secure some oil facility or some piece of ground. We were supported by artillery and multi-million dollar flying technology. Alpha company was also tasked to secure a rock quarry along our route to the oil pumping station. As we began our journey to the quarry, we encountered an obstacle.
Other than the burning fires and smoke, up to this point, Iraq seemed relatively peaceful. That was until I heard a distinct sentence from the tank commander through the jumbled communication frequency. ~ “I see dismounted Iraqi troops and a vehicle.” ~ I then heard other commanders delineating similar situations. We were semi-surrounded by four Iraqi tanks, two troop carriers, and an unknown number of dismounts. I only saw two vehicles and a few dismounted Iraqis. Our company commander ordered Alpha Company and attachments into a wedge formation. Moments later our massive tracks and tanks unloaded hell. I don’t think we even received a shot. Not that I know of anyway. We didn’t receive a shot from the enemy, but we were damn close to being killed by another track, our guys. They shot at a vehicle perpendicular to our front. I may be over stating this, but I believe if they had of fired a few more degrees to their left, we would have received armor piercing fifty-caliber rounds.
I was more concerned about friendly fire than the dead Iraqis and the slaughtered vehicles our marines had just created. Within minutes, our company had fired hundreds of rounds and had expended a ~hundred thousand~ dollar rocket. The rocket had misfired at first, but the second time was a charm. The rocket blew the hell out of a vehicle hundreds of meters away. Other than the blood spilt by artillery, missiles, and air power, we had spilled first blood in Iraq. War seemed fun to us at that point during our journey. For many of us, we were living out our childhood fantasy. That firefight built a foundation of over- confidence and complacency. We were young and cocky.
After the firefight, we made our way through the mysterious terrain. The Iraqis had set many facilities ablaze prior to our arrival. Marines acted as if they had seen such scenery their entire lives. We passed mangled bodies and men holding white flags. Marines casually threw up two fingers to symbolize peace. This excited the Iraqi men, even though they were standing amongst Iraqi corpses. Saddam’s depiction of American troops was fast becoming legend. We were not there to kill every person in our path. We are peacemakers. For some Iraqis, we were now fellow humans.
By this time, all fears of the unknown seemed to have been lost. Our commanders had sketched Vietnam battle exaggerations in our minds. We were expecting to fight battle hardened Iraqis in trenches. Instead, we were throwing up peace signs and joking about bloody brain matter scattered across the road. I started to feel sorry for our branded enemies. Many emotions traveled through my mind as we made our way to the quarry.
After traveling a few hours, we made it to the quarry. This was it, time to dismount and fight. Our company of tracks positioned themselves lineally with less than a hundred meters between each vehicle. The company commander, Captain Sokol, gave the order to dismount. Marines scattered out of each track and moved on-line facing the quarry. I gathered my gear and positioned myself to the rear of my squad and attachments, two assault men carrying anti-tank weaponry. It was a barren rock quarry. However, we began to move across the rocky terrain to affirm this assumption. Our tracks pulled back from their positions and left hundreds of marines exposed to the open terrain. We moved on.
I noticed several round cylinders covered by sand and rock matter. I halted my squad, first squad, and inspected the objects. They appeared to be land mines. I called my platoon commander and told him of the contraptions. Lieutenant (Lt.) Childers poked one of the metal objects with his bayonet. He looked at me and said “its nothing.” He then proceeded to pick the object up. It was nothing more than small wheels. I felt stupid, but I was taking no chance. After Alpha Company cleared the quarry, we pulled back to the tracks and mounted up. We then headed for the pumping station. Things were going well for us.
We moved through Southern Iraq all night. We saw many burning buildings, burning oil pipes, burning trenches filled with petroleum, corpses, white flags, and ruble. The artillery and air support had left no rock unturned. As the sun came up, the commander shifted the artillery fire to the outskirts of the pumping station compound and then seized the bombardment entirely.
We positioned ourselves as planned. We faced a large group of buildings and didn’t see a soul. An old Iraqi flag flew high in the center of the buildings. We were at our objective. We could see massive oil tanks, machinery, abandoned artillery pieces with stacks of shells, other military equipment, and what seemed to be an abandoned town. Alpha marine infantrymen dismounted and assumed a tactical offensive position.
The various units in Alpha had segmented the town. Each unit had a lane to clear. Captain Sokol gave the word to clear the compound. Each platoon began to clear their lane. Each platoon also broke their section into smaller sections. First squad, my men, would clear the middle portion of second platoon’s section. Our first obstacle was a small building. I could see men from my platoon and adjacent platoons begin to clear the town. I sent my first fire team to enter the small dusty concrete building. My other fire teams and attachments covered every square inch of Mejia’s team’s movement. I joined Mejia’s team and proceeded to clear the building. Mejia was a subordinate, a peer, and a friend. He was the leader of my first fire team. We kicked in the door and successfully cleared the building. It was full of abandoned military equipment, guns, rocket-propelled grenades (RPG), and other miscellaneous items.
As we continued to clear our section, I began to hear machine gun fire to our left flank. Members of Alpha Company, not second platoon, fired at an Iraqi soldier carrying an AK-47. The Iraqi soldier was fleeing via motorcycle. Excited and trigger happy marines fired at the man until he fell off of his transportation. This would later become comedy relief in the days that followed. “Why in the hell did the guy try to escape, and why did he keep his weapon on his person I do not know.” His stupidity caused him a lot of pain. The Iraqi man threw his hands up and made his way to Alpha Company’s position. He had been shot through the face and was wounded in various locations on his body. He was our first prisoner and patient. We treated every injured Iraqi that we encountered.
We continued to clear our segment, ignoring the sporadic bursts of machine gun fire. First squad and every other marine in Alpha, including attachments, began to hear explosions. At the time, I did not know what was going on because I heard most of them from several hundred meters away. Later I found out that some members of Alpha were throwing grenades around every corner, into every hole, and in every building before marines in those particular squads would clear that relevant area.
Second platoon continued to clear the right flank of the town. We continued to hear the explosions. I finally realized that marines were using grenades to clear dead space. I figured we would have better use for our grenades later into our journey to Baghdad. I did not feel threatened enough to order “frags” out. I did not want to needlessly endanger my men with deadly fragmentation grenades. Our squad cleared each building with textbook tactics. It was quite easy. Nobody was shooting at us. We finally reached the end of our segment. A paved road had been chosen as the end of our lane. It was at this time when I found out that one of the many explosions was from a landmine. Corporal Gross, a weapons platoon marine, had stepped on one of these deadly contraptions. However, it did not kill him. Marines later told me that it tore his boot to shreds, broke some bones, and ripped some of his flesh from his lower extremities. One of the leaders of Alpha Company called in a medical evacuation (medevac) for Corporal Gross.
Eventually, every member of Alpha Company made it to the paved road. Lt. Childers gave second platoon the order to remain in a tactical defensive position. Subordinate leaders, aka, fire team leaders, accomplished this task while Childers gave the squad leaders information. Furthermore, Staff Sergeant (SSGT) Nerad, the platoon sergeant, Sergeant (SGT) Mercer, second squad’s squad leader, Corporal (CPL) Wilson, third squad’s squad leader, and I, Corporal Jesse Odom, conveyed information to Lt. Childers pertaining to the sections we had just cleared. We passed on information such as the amount and type of Iraqi military equipment we had encountered in our segments. Lt. Childers also gave us a pat on the back for accomplishing our first real task. After the chat with our platoon commander, we began to pass information to our squad members and began to inspect their defensive positions. Some time during this inspection I heard a crack. Lance Corporal (Lcpl) Tedder of third squad shot a round into an approaching hostile vehicle. I got behind a nearby track and assessed the situation.
Early in 1945, during WWII, 25,851 Americans were wounded and 6,821 were killed or reported missing in action in thirty-six days while assaulting and conquering the small island of Iwo Jima, Japan. I cannot fathom the physical and emotional pain inflicted on my brothers in arms that were in any way associated with this bloody battle. I can barely relate to these brave men and women who faced an inevitable death by fire and metal with an unrelenting courage. Few modern day troopers can. But we have not changed. We are still those brave men. We seek to emulate their actions in any combat situation. But combat has changed with technology. We will probably never have to charge a twenty-two thousand-man defense, but we know we would. I was hesitant to write this book. We did not assault Iwo Jima or endure months of bloody trench warfare. But our modern military actions and small combat war stories should not be lost in time. We should embrace our new military and medical technology and celebrate modern combat low loss of life by understanding the new face of battle while remembering those thousands upon thousands who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. Without them, we would not reap the new fruits of combat, kill and not be killed. They gave America and the armed forces the freedom to thrive. I thank you.
A vehicle barreled down the road that lay perpendicular to our defense. We began to receive small-arms fire from the Iraqi truck. It was a small pickup truck holding several armed men. Dust flew up from the impacts of the AK-47 fire. Second platoon marines unleashed a wall of lead into the speeding truck. Hundreds of bullets pierced the truck, but it amazingly staid on course down the road. It traveled at a reckless speed.
Several marines positioned themselves to fire at the truck. I got extremely pissed because some marines did not stand their defensive grounds. They took an uncoordinated offensive posture, which was a little dangerous. I kneeled beside the armored track. I was trying to stay away from the trigger-happy Devil Dogs. I didn’t want a bullet in my back. Marines are vicious. In this case a little careless. Every marine wanted a piece of the action, especially me. But I was not going to violate the principles of common sense. There is nothing wrong with trying to violently kill the enemy, but don’t kill your buddies in the process. Most of these marines were new Devil Dogs or as we sometimes called them, boots. They were just warriors to me, a little crazy at times, but warriors. The bloody-shredded-truck passed my position and veered to the right side of the road. It came to a dead stop. Marines still shot from every angle. Many didn’t realize that it was only the first official day of the ground war. I guess they thought that would be their only chance to shoot another person for a justified reason. We all wanted to put metal in enemy flesh. I had placed carefully aimed shots in the side of the truck when it passed, but I was in a safe and practical position to do this.
After the truck had came to a stop, I noticed a marine slowly positioning himself on the ground. He was just feet from me. The Marine curled into the fetal position. He grasped his stomach with both hands as he lay on his side. I ran to the marine and noticed it was Lt. Childers. He spoke in a mild-unruffled voice. “I’m shot.” “In the Gut.” I rolled him on his back. I began to tear away at his gear and clothing. He spit his Copenhagen tobacco on his chin. He moaned and gave me a look of disillusionment.
His groans began to fade. Seconds later he stopped. I thought he was dead. His breathing had stopped. To this day, I do not know why he had stopped breathing. He had been shot in the stomach. I brushed the tobacco off of his lips and chin and took a breath of air. I slightly tilted his head back and pushed a breath of my air into his lungs. He then made a loud gasping sound and began to breathe. During all of this, I called several times for a corpsman. Finally, after about a minute, “Doc” Calzado arrived.
Calzado took a knee and began to ask questions. We began to strip more gear and clothing away. I slightly pressed my hand against the bloodless bullet hole on his stomach. I didn’t know what else to do. Calzado found the hole in Childers’s back, on the opposite side of the hole in his abdomen. At this time, another platoon corpsman, “Doc” Glanville, arrived. Glanville stood above us. At this moment, we heard several machine gun bursts. Another vehicle was barreling down the same road. We were in the enemies kill zone. Glanville, the senior of the two, told me, “we can’t work on him here.” I could barely hear Glanville’s words due to the unbelievable amount of firepower the tracks and marines were laying upon the second vehicle. Glanville was right; it was too dangerous. It was at this moment Lt. Childers spoke his last words. “It hurts.”
I stood above Lt. Childers, grabbed his arms, and slung him over my shoulders. I did not feel the weight of his body. Adrenaline rushed through my veins. I carried him several feet until we reached the rear of the armored track. It was like a scene from a movie. Earsplitting machine gun bursts and small arms fire captured the moment. But this was reality, our untouchable hero was dieing. I was afraid the movement was going to kill him. I laid him on the rear ramp of the sardine can. The firing had stopped. We stripped more of Childers’s gear and clothing. The corpsmen cut away at straps and pant legs. Childers was now wearing his USMC physical training shorts. I could see urine on these silky-like shorts. I held tears back. As the corpsmen, now three of them, worked to keep life in Childers, I kneeled at his side.
I took notice of my squad’s position and the situation, which was in complete control. I trusted Corporal Mejia’s judgment when I wasn’t present. He was an experienced and mature marine, as were most of the marines in my squad. No other person in our platoon was injured. The second vehicle only made it about half the distance the other truck did. The massive 50 caliber track mounted machine guns were all ready for the second vehicle along with a platoon of infantry marines. The bullets ripped into the vehicle and its cargo, several armed men.
Lt. Childers began to make heartbreaking noises. Tears slowly emerged from the corners of his eyes. They slowly ran down the side of his face. The tears made trails on Childers’s dusty cheeks. He was in pain. His body was rejecting his fate. I knew he was going to die. Staff Sergeant Nerad hovered over us while we cared for Childers. The Corpsmen were also fighting Childers’ fate. Their work and efforts gave me a heartfelt confidence in their abilities during the rest of the war. Nerad’s eyes watered. He gave me a look of disbelief. Childers was one of his close friends.
The lack of blood worried us. He was bleeding internally. In an attempt to prevent Childers from biting his tongue or clogging his airway, we tried to place a plastic medical device in his mouth. He didn’t say a word but he fought us with his mouth and neck. We stopped. He just wanted peace. I tried to comfort him. I stroked his face and told him that he was the greatest platoon commander ever and that I was there for him. “Corporal Odom is here for you Sir.” He slowly faded as I talked. I couldn’t take it anymore. When I left, his eyes looked like glass. They looked cold but mysteriously peaceful. His breathing had slowed to almost nothing. Only a barely audible whimper emerged from the depths of his lungs. I walked away only to turn back around. The designated ambulance track arrived. I helped put Childers on a pole litter and we placed him in the rear of the track. He perished moments later. He was the first person to die in the Iraq War.
I was sad and furious. I saw Childers for the last time on this Earth. He was gone. I walked to Lcpl Cecil, a marine in my squad, and pushed him to the ground. “What in the * did you do?” At this point in time I did not know if enemy or friendly fire had killed Childers. I wasn’t able to piece the evidence together. I knew we received fire from the trucks, but I also thought that Cecil fired at the enemy from behind Lt. Childers. Everything happened so fast and I had an ambiguous depiction of the firefight in my mind. Cecil replied, “I didn’t shoot him Corporal.” That was what I wanted to hear. I don’t know if he even fired a shot, but he was kneeling behind Childers during the fight. Even if Cecil had of shot Childers, technically he wouldn’t be at fought. Childers walked in front of Cecil to assess the situation.
I sat down after I passed information to my squad and assured they had ammunition and water. Corporal Kowalski, Corporal Mejia, and Lcpl Wetzel really made my job easy. They were damn fine fire team leaders. Prior to my conversation with my subordinate leaders, I told Staff Sergeant Nerad that Cecil may have had shot Childers. He looked surprised but never said a word. He was still in shock. Moments later we found out that a marine from second squad actually saw the deadly blow to Childers’s abdomen. Lcpl Lamb of second squad told everyone that an Iraqi had shot Childers at the moment the truck passed. We were relieved. I apologized to Cecil. I had let my emotions get the best of me.
I could not believe that the Iraqis made it as far as they did. They managed to stay on the road for at least an eighth of a mile. Furthermore, I cannot believe the Iraqis did not plow into us. I really don’t know what they were thinking. My perspective of the incident was different from every other marine on the battlefield. It happened so fast and no one expected it to happen. I guess that’s war. After initially assessing Childers’s situation, I knew that my men were in position, had proper fields of fire, and were in a defensive mindset. I knew that I could tend to Childers without the thought of negligence in reference to my primary duties as a squad leader.
The first truck looked like a small and older Toyota. Three Iraqis were in the front of the truck and others were in the bed. It was tan and covered with bullet holes. If I had to guess, I would say that we had fired four hundred rounds into the truck. I then knew any person with enough determination or drugs in their system could endure countless wounds and continue to fight. We later found drugs on several of the dead and wounded Iraqis.
When the first truck came to a stop, Corporal Cash, a headquarters Alpha marine rushed to the vehicle with his weapon at the ready. Marines told me that they heard a shot. Corporal Cash killed an injured but armed Iraqi. Marines began to pull the dead from the pickups. Ironically, not all of the Iraqis were dead - at that time anyway. Some may have died later. I did not clear any of the trucks, but those that did said it was nasty. Men were shot in the body, on every limb, in the neck, and in the head. Guts were hanging out, limbs were nearly severed, and a man had lost his manhood by a fifty- caliber bullet.
We all casually joked about the mangled men in the following days. None of the Iraqi corpses bothered us. We weren’t exactly nice to the survivors; we did not baby them. We had to give them aid according to the laws of the Geneva Convention. However, they were enemy prisoners first and patients later. Imagine having a bullet hole through the back of your neck and out your face. Now imagine being handcuffed while you’re enduring the pain and losing blood. We eventually gave them the aid they didn’t deserve. That’s after we made sure they were harmless.
Alpha company lost that foundation of over-confidence and complacency built upon from our firefight near the border. We were all on edge and ready to kill anything that posed as a threat. We were not going to let those bastards take another Marine life. A while after Childers’s death, Marine snipers spotted several Iraqis. They spotted them hundreds of meters away. Soon after they had spotted the Iraqis, the Iraqi men began to walk our way. They came in twos and threes. Some of them simply walked with their empty hands raised and others carried white flags. I would have done the same thing if I were in their position.
The artillery and air strikes really took a toll on their moral. Corpses surrounded them. Many of them had been forced to fight. They had to fight the Americans or face death along with their families. As they neared our positions we shouted out small Arabic phrases that we had learned in Kuwait. These men were very compliant, but we still took every precaution. We were worried that one or more of the men were strapped with explosives. We instructed the approaching Iraqis to lay on the ground with their backs facing the sky and their arms spread to their sides. They kept pouring to our position. In most cases, one marine would cover several Iraqis while another searched their clothing and bodies. We put all of their belongings in plastic bags and labeled each one. Many of them had some type of drug in their possession. We used zip ties to secure their hands. The wounded were cared for. We treated these guys a little better. They were not the guys that tried to kill us.
After a while, we had several prisoners in our possession. We set up an area to hold the prisoners. They were held for interrogation. Many of the men thanked us while others gave us hateful looks. I tried not to dehumanize these men. I knew many of them were victims of Saddam’s Regime. It was hard to do the right thing, to treat these men with some decency. An Iraqi had just killed our platoon commander. Our commanders stressed the importance of treating the Iraqi people with respect. Prior to the war, Childers also drove this concept in our heads. “We’ll only make our job harder if we act like a bunch of thugs.” “We will create enemies when were trying to win their trust.”
We were there to make peace. Our regimental motto was and still is “make peace or die.” Some of the youngest and angriest marines didn’t give a damn. We were at war and our lives were at stake. They made sure our prisoners had no comforts: no cigarettes, no talking, and no praying out loud. I did not yell or push the prisoners around like some, but my instincts stereotyped all of the Iraqis as Saddam followers and our enemy. However, I knew our only enemies were Saddam and anyone who prevented us from making a peaceful and democratic country.
None of the marines really knew why we were there. Were we there to find weapons of mass destruction, destroy a terrorist country, to bring justice to the victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks, to control their oil, to free the people, to fight a personal battle between the Bush family and Saddam, or to spread democracy? We heard them all. Prior to crossing the border, we were to locate any and all WMDs. That’s what we had heard on the news, but our commanders stressed other reasons. It really didn’t matter why we were there. We were there because we were ordered to, regardless of noble or selfish reasons. We were there for each other. The marines really didn’t talk or care about any of the political implications. They just wanted to do what they had trained to do. Kill!
Our training barely encompassed the peace-making concept. Marines are made to kill effectively and efficiently. Ironically, there is a lot of killing in order to make peace. I guess that’s one way to look at it. The situation in Iraq is difficult. When there is no distinct enemy, like Hitler’s army during WWII, things get complicated. Saddam had no stable military. It fell apart shortly after our arrival. If Saddam had of created a stable and cohesive military, I believe things would have been much easier. We were trained to defeat units, not individual martyrs living amongst civilization. A handful of martyrs can be just as effective in terms of disturbing the peace as a battalion of infantrymen, and they can be a lot harder to exterminate.
We had been in Iraq for several hours. The situation had deprived us of sleep. I had been up for more than twenty-four hours. I still couldn’t believe that we were at war. Wars were for dads, grandpas, and great grandpas. War was a great Hollywood flick. War was the history channel. We were killing people and people wanted to kill us. It was only the first day. What did Baghdad have in store for us? Why didn’t we see these great warriors in uniform we had heard about prior to our arrival, the so-called men that had been fighting for thousands of years? Where was the Republican Guard? Were they on the outskirts of Baghdad ready to show youthful warriors of America how battles are fought? We were all confused and thirsty for information. My family back home knew more about the overall situation. Did we have it easy? Did a unit further down south storm Normandy Beach? We lacked information.
We finally tagged all of the prisoners and waited for further instructions. Alpha marines sat in the defense. We all thought and talked about Childers. Second platoon had seen the worst in Alpha at that point in time. We had been in a small firefight and lost a great Marine. Things got quiet. I knew everyone was daydreaming. I was. I hadn’t spoken to my fiancé in months. I missed her so much. Sheena is the love of my life and I thank her for supporting me through the war. I wrote her every time I had the chance to do so. I knew I wouldn’t receive a letter or talk to her on the phone for at least two weeks. Mail wasn’t exactly priority at that point in time. However, military leaders worked hard to get it to us. Good moral makes more effective and proficient marines, for most anyways. When my marines received letters in Kuwait, their performance increased as did mine. …It’s just human nature… That is unless you’re a die hard, metal eating machine with no emotions.
We were miserable. Our rubber chemical protective boots were full of sweat. We were tired, sad, and bored. We had been sitting for a while in the defense. I moved from position to position talking to the marines in my squad. I talked to my fire team leaders and fellow squad leaders about new roles due to Childer’s death. We all knew the next few months would be tough.
Eventually, another platoon in Alpha had come to relieve us from our defensive duties. We were instructed to gather around one of the massive tracks. The battalion chaplain and his assistant pulled up in their humvee. He talked to us about our platoon commander’s death. After the Chaplain had left, we began to prepare our weapons and gear for the journey ahead."
Jesse Odom of South Carolina

"Lt. Childers, I came upon your story in an article dated four years back. A little late, I know,and I'm sorry, but I felt the need to say thank you. Thank you for your sacrifice. Thank you for your service and courage that which allows us here to rest safely in our homes at night, because soldiers like you stood ready to defend us until the end. May you never, ever, be forgotten. God bless."
Steven M of Irvine, CA

"Feb. 2007

This past weekend, I thought of Lt. Childers as I paid my respect to the service members buried at Arlington National Cemetery. It has been almost 4 years now since the unforgettable moment when I saw Lt Childers in our surgical company. I am glad that I found this site to let the family know that Lt Childers was treated with dignity and respect as he laid in our ambulance. I recall that our Chaplain prayed to him as soon as he was done attending to the critically wounded. As we transported Lt Childers he was always treated with respect. I vividly recall all Sailors, and Marines in my company, particulary me was saddened, angered by what happened. Even though I do not know Lt Childers personally, I felt this sense of great respect towards him. He had a sense of an honor and respectable man even as his body laid there lifeless. Even in death he commanded respect. A true Marine!!!
I still talk about my respect towards him until today. I will not forget Lt Childers. God Bless to the family and God Bless Lt Childers."
LT Jimenez, USN of San Diego/Philippines

"Shane, You don't know how often we think about you. Your picture sits on top of our entertainment center. Just the thought of you gone always brings tears to my eyes. I can remember when I first found out. I was playing double header for my highschool softball team, and between games my dad went home and saw your name on tv. They came back to tell me. I cried, but it didn't really hit me till maybe a year later when I read your book, and saw our last name in it. It hurts so bad. Ya, we were young, but my sisters and me have so many memories. Carpenter and Tibby just came to town a couple weeks ago, and we talked about you. So many memories come to mind when we talked about our times together. I just want you to know that you are still in our prayers, and we absolutely miss you. And I want you to know that I am so proud and grateful to have known you. You were the true meaning of a marine. I love you Shane and truley miss you."
Jenny Whitten of 29 Palms, CA

"To Cpl. Cash, Thank You for your account of how things went down. It has been close to 4 years now since we lost Shane, gradually we are able to put the pieces together as to how it all went down. We are also comforted by the fact that Shane made such a lasting impression on so many."
The Family of Lt T.S. Childers, KIA 3/21/03

"Dear Joe and Judy,
It has been a long time since I have seen you, but I remember visiting you in W.Va. and Shane as a little boy. If you remember me, your dad and my papaw were brothers. I followed his career though our Aunt Debbie and hoped to have an opportunity to see Shane again as an adult and speak in French with him. Every thing I heard via the family grapevine, and everything I read about Shane emphasized the outstanding young man and Marine he was. I often think about him, and his committment to his county and to his Corp. I wish I could have met him again. God Bless you Shane.
I know there is a special place in Heaven for our soldiers."
Pamela Brown of Mcdonough, Georgia

"To the family of Lt Childers, I served with the Lt in Iraq in OIF-1 Tho I was not in his platoon I had HUGE respect for the Lt because he was a Mustang. I had no idea I would play a role in the events of the day he died in Iraq. After the scumbags pulled the ambush on his platoon they punched threw our lines and made it back about 75 to 100 meters into our parimiter, Gunny Bohr directed us in headquarters to direct our fire on the vehicle until it no longer posed a threat. After there second time of waiving the white flag(First time was the ambush) Gunny had to hit me in the back of the helmet to get me to stop firing at them. He then had Cpl White, Cpl Gauthier, Two British Marines and Myself go over to take prisioners and collect intel. upon approaching the vehicle not all of the Iraqis came out of the vehicle and gave up, one in the bed of the truck decided to come up with a weapon, before I could blink I put 8 rounds threw the side of the truck and dropped him right there. After the shooting over at our parimiter we were on auto pilot and just doing what we were trained,(Up until this point we still dident know that they had hit Lt Childres let alone that it was mortal.) It has taken me this long to talk about this and its not comfortable but I would like for you to know I think that the Lt was a great man and when the Chaplin came up to me and asked how I felt, it was after the news about the Lt got to me and I can tell you now, I had no remorse(Still Dont) about killing the bastard that was part of the group of men who shot the Lt. I hope this will give you a lil vindication that not all of enemy that day got away after shooting him.
To Lt Childres:
Sir, Say hi to my dad up there he was in the Marines in WWII. P.S. Id be proud to be in your guard detail in Heaven if I ever earn my way up there. FOREVER RESPECT, FOREVER LOVE AND SEMPER FI SIR."
Cpl Cash of Tacoma Wa

"LT Childers, its me, Espo. I know you already know, but they executed Saddam. I remember sitting in the desert the night we crossed over, just hours from the invasion. As we sat there and watched as the night came and the Iraqis started tourching their oil fields on fire. You came down the line and talked to 2nd plt, however you could fine us, in groups of 2-4. You gave us the motivation, the courage, and desire to want to do the right thing, which we did. I wish you were still here to see what we were a part of. I'll remember that night and what you said to us that night, for the rest of my life. You are still rememebered. Semper Fi, Sir."
Espo of Pasco, WA

"Lieutenant Childers,

My name is David Ryan. I am a Cadet in the University of Alabama at Birmingham Army ROTC program. I will soon be a commissioned Second Lieutenant just as you were. I am reading the book, A Table in the Presence, and I just wanted you to know how thankful I am for your service to this country and more importantly the leadership you provided for your men. It obvious from this book that you exemplified everything an officer should be, and I pray that I would lead my future soldiers into combat as passionately as you did. You have set the example for all officers to follow. I can't wait to meet you in heaven.

In Christ,
David Ryan
Philippians 1:21"
David Ryan of Trussville, AL, USA

"Shane,

I know you're watching me from heaven, so I don't think writing this message is really necessary. But I just thought you should know, I will never forget the "Fab Four" atop the Empire State Building. That picture of the four of us (French, Bejarano, you, and me) atop the Empire State Building, which is forever immortalized in our TBS cruise book, is something that I will hold on to for life to remind me that I was in the presence of greatness for the seven months that I worked with you. If there is one thing that I will never forget in this world for as long as I am alive and fighting in the Marine Corps are your words to me: "WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ON THE THIRD DAY OF THE ATTACK?" as your response to me when I complained about my light-headedness caused by lack of chow during the weeklong war at TBS. Ever since then, I never ever complain about even the smallest things that causes discomfort in my job as an officer of Marines. Thought you should know that "Crazy Frankie" Novotny and I still toast to you whenever we drink together. "HERE'S TO YOU, SHANE""
Capt Romm Gatongay of 29 Palms, CA

"Shane, it's taken me years to find the words....there are many paths in the woods and all eventually lead to the same destination. i often reflect on childhood days when we were wild boys, you, sam and i.long excursions into the wilderness, living off the land, until it was time to go home. or better yet, recon missions to the house across the river, guarded by the angry gardener. i still go to the little biloxi river from time to time, with my own two boys in tow, so that i can hear their voices echoing in the forest. life isn't long and you lived yours to the fullest.
goodbye my friend."
josh o'malley bronco2krawler@aol.com of lizana, ms

"Good evening, sir! I remember the day when doc placed you in that track. Ill never forget it. It took me awhile to make sense out of the whole thing, but one thing remains clear. You were one of the best Marine officers that i have ever come across during my time in. I only wish I had an ounce of the audacity and courage you did. Because of you, i strive to tell my wife and my children on a regular basis that i love them and when my son is old enough. i will tell him about you. rest in peace, sir! Semper fi!"
j.h.

"Mr Cortes I'm sure your buddy is looking down with pride. That looked awesome. My best friend is a Marine & just returned from Iraq. My thanks to both you and your freind who gave his life to keep this Nation safe.
Semper Fi!"
Chuck of Ohio

"I have payed homage to Shane thru a Tattoo. We served together on Embassy Duty in Nairobi, Kenya. He taught me what true Marine Corps Leadership was all about. The lessons I learned from him still continue to carry me through today in my life.

Please tune in tomorrow, October 17th at 10 PM (est) to TLC's "MIAMI INK" to see the Tattoo. He is missed and I hope that people who knew him can appreciate why I did what I did.

J. W. Cortes
GySgt USMCR
www.myspace.com/jwcortes"
J. W. Cortes of Brooklyn, New York City

"Shane-
Semper Fi. You were always an exemplary Marine. Kirby, you are correct, today is a good day to die, my friend."
Todd Thompson of Washington, NC

"Dear Shane, The Last time I saw you was when you came to meet the family on your way to Camp Pendelton and I remember you saying that your goal as an officer was to be like "Sparky" aka Lt> Renforth and be a leader instead of an orderer. YOU WERE ALWAYS A LEADER. yOU DIDN'T KNOW ANY OTHER WAY. were on Sgt. Elliot's vehicle with Durham and I remember hearing about your childhood in Mississippi and how you said you always knew that you would be a Marine.We were together a s classmates, roommates,crewmates and friends for a long time and every time I think about what you said about being a dad someday , I try to be a better one. Thank you for everything you gave me and I hope you hear the thoughts from everyone about you every day. Hoka Hanna Heya Shane. We will always miss you, but never forget you Flash."
Kirby Cowles of Sioux Falls,S.D.

"Dear Shane, The Last time I saw you was when you came to meet the family on your way to Camp Pendelton and I remember you saying that your goal as an officer was to be like "Sparky" aka Lt> Renforth and be a leader instead of an orderer. YOU WERE ALWAYS A LEADER. yOU DIDN'T KNOW ANY OTHER WAY. were on Sgt. Elliot's vehicle with Durham and I remember hearing about your childhood in Mississippi and how you said you always knew that you would be a Marine.We were together a s classmates, roommates,crewmates and friends for a long time and every time I think about what you said about being a dad someday , I try to be a better one. Thank you for everything you gave me and I hope you hear the thoughts from everyone about you every day. Hoka Hanna Heya Shane. We will always miss you, but never forget you Flash."
Kirby Cowles of Sioux Falls,S.D.

"Lt. Childers,
Sir, I would like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for our Country-not just in OIF, but also for your service in Desert Storm as well. And to your family, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

Semper Fi Devil Dog!"

"August 4, 2006
Shane's life and legacy still live on. I just finished reading the book, "Shane Comes Home," by Rinker Buck. It is a beautiful testament to Shane's amazing life. It also honors the many family and friends who helped shape him and his memory. Shane lived BIG, something we should all try to emulate."
Jane of Lincoln City, Oregon

"The Childers Family,

I served with your loved one in 2nd LAI Bn 92-94. I knew him well being a new Marine. He took me under his wing and I credit him with who I am today. He was well liked among other Marines of the Platoon. We were sort of rebels always painting our helmets black...even though our C/O wanted them olive drab or swimming through the alligator-infested pond that we weren't supposed to swim through..thanks Gunny Snyder! He always looked after his Marines, me in particular. My sincere condolences to everyone. I will always remember Cpl. Childers (The rank I remember him by). Thanks Bro"
Cpl. David Esparza - Los Angeles County Police Department of Los Angeles, CA. USA

"Vanessa, If you are a Childers.......we are related. If you would like to email us please do so jchilders@tritel.net"

"My thouhgts and prayers are with you my fellow Childers Family. I remember the day clearly when they came on the TV and said that Shane had died. Although I do not think that we are related, we share the same name. In 2003 I was just another citizen watching and holding on to every minute as everything hit the fan. Although I never knew him, it hurt to see that he had passed. Now three years later I am married to a wonderful man in the Army who is stationed in Iraq. I am sure Shane is up there watching out over his family and I would like to think that all that have passed are looking out for thier fellow solider, I pray they are looking out for my Husband.
To the family , I am deeply sorry for your loss and I hope that time eases your pain, for I know it will never really go away. Thank you Shane for giving your all! God Speed!"
Vanessa Childers Ferguson of Fort Carson, Colorado

"Remembering Shane on his 34th birthday."
Aunt Judy of South Point, OH

"Good Morning Sir. Today is 6/18/06 Father's Day. I am celebrating the day for 2 reasons. 1 - Im a father and 2- my son turns 2 today. Everday I watch my son grow I think of you and your sacrifice. You made us the best and because of your sacrifice I was able to come home and start a family. Today and everyday I think of you sir. Semper Fi and OOrahh"
Todd Espinoza of Pasco WA

"Your Son is a son of America
One of the Proud and the Few
Your Son volunteered to do the things
Other men would not or could not do

Your Son was Semper Fidelis
Always Faithful to the end was he
Your Son was a shining example
Of what a man is supposed to be"
Ed of Brookfield, Wisconsin

"It has been over three years since you have passed. I still watch the clips I taped when we served together in 2nd LAI. Shane Childer's you are with out a doubt the finest Marine I have served with or met. I continue to share the memories I have of you with my family and freinds. Thank you for your service to our country. Semper Fi Marine! KAZ (LAI Bn. 1990-1993)""
Kasey Kazakavich of Harrisburg, PA

"Who is this true American?

Who is this true American? Please answer honestly.
Who is this true American - that refused to flee?

Who is this true American? Who proudly holds the tag?
Who is this true American - who stands behind our flag?

Who is this true American? Who doesn't run and hide?
Who is this true American - that holds their tongue inside?

Who is this true American? Who's the color bearer?
Who is this true American - that is fighting terror?

Who is this true American? Who faithful represents?
Who is this true American - pledging all allegiance?

Who is this true American? Who pays taxes freely?
Who is this true American? Who is this one really?

Who is this true American - that loved so much they cried?
Who is this true American? Who's child has fought and died?

©2006 louis gander / June 2006
gander, 901 watson ave., madison, wi 53713
All Rights Reserved - Reproduction Without Written Permission Is Prohibited"
louis gander of verona, wi USA

"my name is Todd Espinoza. I served with LT. Childers in Iraq. I was in 3rd Squad, 2nd Plt. He was behind 3rd squad when it happened. I barely found this sight and I think it's great to honor his memory. LT. Childers always pushed me to be a better Marine. It was a hard pill to swallow, but 2nd Plt was the best in 1/5 because of him. He will never be forgotton. I have family in Powell and one of these days when I can pull myself to go up there I will. I saved one final salute for you sir. He was a great man. If anybody has questions you can also contact me at: esposniper@yahoo.com Tell we meet again sir,

Semper Fi"
Todd Espinoza of Pasco, WA

"i am reading the book about lt. shane childers. i am so sorry for his loss. my thoughts are w/ all who have made this sacrifice"
t.giagni of albany, n.y.

"To the Childers':
It's been over three years since Shane's passing. I have had the opportunity to talk about your son and his selfless, servant leadership to many Marines and people in general, since that time. I have so many great memories of Shane during our time in Geneva and our many conversations all the way up until he deployed to the Gulf. What a hero you have as a son! I hope I get a chance to meet you both one of these days. You must be fantastic people to have raised such an upstanding human being. My thoughts are always with you and your entire family."
Shannon Conrad of Warsaw, Poland

"Long after the uniform has been laid aside,the last order given, the final salute returned, the last handshake shared, and the occasional tear brushed away by a determined hand; long after that, it still runs in your viens, lives in your mind, dominates your will. Long after that you feel the call. The esprit that can only be shared among brothers. Among individuals bonded together by the truest of ideals.
"Once a Marine, always a Marine""
Msgt Paul Woyshner of USMC

"Three years today I received a phone call that changed my life and changed our family forever. I refused to believe that the first Marine killed on the ground in Iraq could be our Shane. Shane, who had spent his life preparing to be the best Marine possible; Shane, who had spent years at the Citadel preparing to be the best officer; Shane, who had spent the last years of his life preparing others to be the best Marines they could be. He was so proud of his Marines, so proud to be a Marine. How could he be gone? Shane was so intense, so alive, so present, it just didn't seem possible.
He left such an impression on so many across the earth, and now he has left this earth for another place, and knowing Shane, he's enjoying the adventure, savoring the experience, making even more friends along the way.
We will always miss him, especially when those family gatherings come around. There will always be a void that only Shane could fill, but what wonderful memories we have!
I can only thank God for the 30 years we had him with us and trust God that He knows the reason Shane was taken so soon. I pray for God's peace and comfort for all the families who have lost loved ones in this war, and for His protection for all our military sons and daughters.
Shane's Aunt Nat"
Aunt Nat of Willow Wood OH USA

"Shane,
Three years have passed. You are sorely missed. Your spirit burns everyday in our hearts and minds. Keep charging Marine. I'm know Post 1 is secure. Love ya Son"
The Whitten's of Twnetynine Palms

"Three years later we still remember you and the impact you had on us all. We will each carry special memories of you until the day we die, when at last we see you again. But we know that you are never far from us as long as we keep your memories alive. Thanks for watching over us. God bless you, Marine!"
Barbara T. of Florida

"Sir,

You are, by far, the finest example of what a Marine officer should be. I hope that more officers coming out of OCS will follow your example. Semper Fi, sir!"

"Dear Shane,

When I arrived in Kenya, you were there. When I arrived at Quantico for OCS, you were there. When I got commissioned an officer, you were there. When I got married in Florida, you were there. When I arrived at TBS, you were there. Where ever I was, you helped me, you made me a better Marine, and a better man. Because of you, I had someone to look up to throughout my life. When I saw your name appear on the TV screen I could not believe it. I have denied your death for all this time. I could not face it. I could not understand how YOU could have died. I am truly sorry, Shane.
I know that when I arrive in heaven, you will be there.

Good bye my friend.
Until I see you again"
Capt. Trevor Thibodeau of Orlando, Fl.

"It is difficult to believe that three years have passed since Shane called family and friends just before leaving California for Kuwait. Shane is never far from our minds, he will always be in our hearts, and we miss him so very much especially at family gatherings. I love him so much and miss him more than words can express."
Aunt Judy of South Point, Ohio

"I miss you my friend."
Top of 29 Palms, Ca

"Shane was my best friend during Elementary School in Lizana, Mississippi. I have many fond memories...exploring through the woods, swimming in the river, riding bikes for miles, building "Ft. Choctaw" behind his house, and a million laughs all the while. Life was simple back then. We would stay up late at nightand talk about what we wanted to be when we grew up...

I received a call from my mother while I was returning from an anniversary trip with my wife on March 23, 2003. I remember it so vividly. We were driving through Knoxville...."A good friend of yours has been killed in Iraq, I wanted you to know before you see it on the TV" she said....

I knew it was Shane before my mother even told me....

Shane was always a go getter, a man of action....never afraid. He made me brave at the tender age of ten. I can only imagine how brave he made his troops.

To me, Shane represents all of those things that make life beautiful: friendship, honor, duty, compassion, dedication...I thank God for Shane's life and the opportunity to share so many great times during our "Wonder Years".

To Shane's mom and dad I pray Christ's peace and joy. Thank you for raising up such an incredible son. Thank you for loving me and my family when we were in Lizana. Your home always felt like my home.

Thank you Shane! You are a true legend! I will share your story with my children and my children's children...

God Speed!"
Scott Moore of Nashville, TN

"THE FINAL INSPECTION

The soldier stood and faced God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.

"Step forward now, you soldier,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My Church have you been true?"

The soldier squared his shoulders and said,
"No, Lord, I guess I ain't.
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can't always be a saint.

I've had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough.
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny,
That wasn't mine to keep...
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills got just too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God, forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place,
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears.

If you've a place for me here, Lord,
It needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't, I'll understand."

There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints had often trod.
As the soldier waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.

"Step forward now, you soldier,
You've borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell.""
Sgt. Ross of Mississippi

"I picked up the book “Shane Comes Home” while shopping at a local bookstore. I could not stop reading it and was amazed the more I read about Shane’s life. I have spent more time learning about Shane, his life, and the profound impact he had on so many people. I know his story will continue to reach people and touch them just as it has me. His parents must be proud beyond words. I wish Shane’s friends and family all of the warmest memories during this time."
Jason Rowe of Huntington, WV

"Merry Christmas From Heaven

I still hear the songs
I still see the lights
I still feel your love
on cold wintery nights

I still share your hopes
and all of your cares
I'll even remind you
to please say your prayers

I just want to tell you
you still make me proud
You stand head and shoulders
above all the crowd

Keep trying each moment
to stay in His grace
I came here before you
to help set your place

You don't have to be
perfect all of the time
He forgives you the slip
If you continue the climb

To my family and friends
please be thankful today
I'm still close beside you
In a new special way

I love you all dearly
now don't shed a tear
Cause I'm spending my
Christmas with Jesus this year"
Vangi & McKaLyne Lunsford, wife & daughter of the late Sgt. Audrey Daron Lunsford of Batesville, MS

"It has been nearly 5 years since Shane and I met with friends in West Virginia for my first ski trip. The memories of that trip and every other time we spent together has been so close in my mind & to my heart every day since his death. I miss him, those hugs, the intense look in his eyes in conversation or the smirk after a practical joke he pulled. I am so proud to call him my cousin, but more like a brother. We all miss him so much. The holidays just aren't the same without him.
I continue to pray for the families of those who have sacrificed and those who have served. You deserve so much more than these simple words. I am so proud of you."
Jonna Walker of Columbus, OH

"Lt. Childers was my platoon commander. I have never met a man like him. He was a wonderful person and I think about him all the time. His leadership was untouchable. Sorry that it has taken so long. Miss you and we will see you soon."
Sgt. Morgan of Washington, D.C.

"Shane, although we distanced a lot ever since you were deployed in Iraq, the memory of you still lies within me and within the Arad family, not a day goes by without us thinking about you. Its a shame that you were taken away from everyone who knew you, but you will never ever be forgotten for everything you contributed to society.
Love you and miss you very much.
The Arad family, Israel."
Nimrod arad of Israel

"11/18/05 Love you, miss you so very much."

"semperfi brother"

"dear joe and judy
thank you for your kind words and your encouragement. it is a tragedy to lose our young sons. but they went and did what they were waiting for all their lives...that being a marine. the other situation will remedy itself soon. one can run...but not hide!!! take care.
diana boye
mother of usmc pvt noah l boye
kia 041304"
diana boye of grand island nebraska

"In memory of Therrel S. Childers

As a Navy Corpsman and later Medical Officer I got to know many Marines and Marine Officers. We can be very proud of all of our Marines. The Marine NCOs and Officers truly lead their men into battle. They set the example of courage and commitment. The best of them also train them for life as well as for combat.
My awareness of Shane Childers is from the book, A TABLE IN THE PRESENCE, by Carey Cash, Lt. C.C. USN, a chaplain's history of the first Marine battalion to enter Baghdad. Carey Cash had great words for Lt. Shane Childers, a man truly trusted and loved by his men."
John R. Wilcox, M.D. of Troy, MT

"The loss of Shane will echo through our harts and vines for life. Shane and I were Sergeants in Geneva Switzerland, on Marine Security Guard Duty. He was what we called the best of the best. We shared the experience of going to Paris France for the Battle for Belleau Wood Marine ceremony. On the drive back Cpl. Martin pumped the wrong gas in the car, so we got stuck for some time in a small French town.

The last time we spoke I was going through the Federal Academy and he was graduating from Officer School. I could always count on his words of advice in and out of the Corps. I do miss my friend and brother. I know he is watching over all of us, protecting us each day. Shane might not be here with us physically, but his memory will live with us forever.

Senior Customs Officer Kirk Gomes
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Customs and Border Protection
Passenger Analytical Unit 7925, Montreal
975 Romeo Vachon Blvd. North Rm. 109
Dorval, Quebec Canada H4Y 1H1
514-636-3875 x-2228 514-809-6925 cell
kirk.gomes@dhs.gov"
KIRK W. GOMES of Montreal, Canada

"I heard about Shane through his old boss from Geneva,Switzerland when he was on MSG duty here.I got to know him while he was stationed here and remember him as always having a kind word and always smiling.We would go skiing quite often and Shane was very keen and loved to ski like a mad man down the slopes.I miss him terribly and i would like you to know that i think of you daily and you are missed by many.I will always remember your friendly smile.
Miss ya"
Rebecca Dwyer beck_dwyer@hotmail.com of Geneva,Switzerland

"Dear Judy and Joe and all the rest whom have come to love the memory and sacrifice of Shane,

Just wanted you to know that I followed through and visited the Shane's grave in Powell, WY. What a beautiful stone and a beautiful stone garden. It was a very emotional experience for me as in reading about Shane's life and family I came to have a very special place in my heart for this wounderful, special, selfless and patriotic young man.

Anyone wishing a copy of the photo of his memorial can contact me at dowens@ceas.coop.

A greatful American."
Dennis Owens of Neillsville, WI

"From: Sgt Karl Clark Lippard’s book about Marines and the USMC:

“…reflect with me a moment on a statement made by the exiled Spartan King Demaratus to the Persian kind Xerxes before the battle of Thermopyle in 480 B.C. describing his beloved Spartans.

“When the Spartans fight singly they are as brave as any man, but when they fight together they are supreme above all. For though they are free men, they are not free in all respects; law is the master whom they fear, a great deal more than your subjects fear you. They do what the law commands and its command is always the same, not to flee in battle whatever the number of the enemy, but to stand and win, or die.”

To you the fallen Marine, you’ve given your life to a great and noble cause. You know hold a special place in the Marine Corp and history. Marine you have sacrificed for the greatest cause of all, Freedom. An entire country is now free for the first time in living memory and your name will forever be remembered in Marine Corp history. In the years to follow as other countries in the Middle East start to follow the great freedom principle, it’ll be men like you will stand above and look down on a safer and more secure and peaceful world.
Thank you.
Cpl. M USMC 84-88"
SM of New York

"30AUG2005

Friends and Family of Lt. Childers,

Like Joe, I was a Seabee, RVN 67/68/69 with NMCB-1.

We were always with the Marines.

I saw a lot in VietNam and I am still seeing it.

Because of my close association with the USMC, I have always had an image of the absolute Marine.

Shane you made my vision into a reality.

We fired 81mm mortar fire missions in support of 3/5 and 1/5 in 68, so 1/5 means a lot to me .

The radio words from 1/5 when we sent and delivered what they wanted will always be with me.

Shane , I wish I could have been there to help you, because I know that you would have been there for me."
Bruce Brummel of HBrum1@aol.com

"May God bless the men and women of our armed services. I am reading Lt. Cash's book, which mentions Childers. He, and those who serve with him, deserve our respect, appreciation, and support. Please pray for America, and for those who have the dedication and courage to serve her."
Becka Cross of Terre Haute, Indiana

"To a hero I never knew and the family that lost a Son, Brother and a friend. He waits for you, sitting in the palm of the right hand of the Lord. May God keep you in his graces and know that Shane is in a better place. Altough I never personally knew this Warrior, I am proud to serve along side many of them. All gave some, some gave all. I salute you Sir."
BU1(SCW) Sean Rigg of NMCB Seven

"Dear Judy and Joe,
I'm an army brat with my father spending 18 + years in the Army and who was a WWII Pacific Theater Combat Vet and as a result have always had a special place in my heart for our men and women in Uniform.

When I read "Shane Comes Home" I can't tell you how many times I brokes down in tears. He was just so special and the book was so well written that it allowed us all to feel a kindship to him. I will always have a special place in my heart for him as well as you who gave him life, loved, and nurtured him into such a special person.

I plan to visit his grave there in WY this coming September.

Love,"
Dennis Owens of Neillsville, WI

"Shane as well as the others that have given their all, are the reason I'm proud to be an American. They're my heroes."
Amber S. of Ohio, U.S.

"Shane Childers gave the ultimate sacrific in Iraq. His family also gave the ultimate sacrific in losing Shane. The family has my deepest sympathy and you will not be forgotten"
Robert Pelton of Cicero, IL USA

""I just wanted to say thank you to Shane and his family for the sacrifice that he has made for our country. I never knew Shane, but I got to know him through a book about his heroic life "Shane Comes Home" His family has a lot to be proud of and they should be proud of their Marine. God Bless!"
Allison King of Harrisburg, Illinois

"I sometimes wonder if our paths ever crossed. My fathers airforce career took us to Biloxi, Ms but you already had left and joined the Corps. Then I graduated and joined myself. I was stationed in Charleston, SC during your Citadel Years and cant help but wonder, were you one of the MCEP Marines that the Brig Marines met and trained with on the pistol range all those times between 2000-2003? I dont know but, I wish i did.
Thank You Sir for all you have done for our Country and Corps. Semper Fi"
Sgt Patton of HQMC, Washington DC

"I knew this great man as Sgt. Childers of 1st LAR Delta Co. 2nd Platoon. We or I never undersoood how you could have such devotion to the Corps and every detail of what you did was nothing but perfection. If there was an Alpha inspection, Rifle inspection, Field day... What ever, Have Sgt. Childers look at it first and you know whithout a doubt that you can stand tall infront of your work. He was hard on us all. He held us to the standard of not being a Marine, but being a Great Marine. Our Platoon Ran faster and farther than we wanted to when Sgt. Childers lead us. Our boots shined more and are cammies were pressed more when Sgt. Childers inspected us. Sgt. Childers never had to raise his voice by yelling and screaming to lead... He lead from the front!!! I never heard him say it but here is how he lead, "You don't need to walk in my footsteps, just follow me." He could lead any man to greatness... When I heard he was in Boulder CO. (that's my home state), I was so excited for him to become a Mustang and take his ability to infect his piers and troops with greatness. I can only imagine what on Officer you were. On the news I heard 2nd Lt. Therrel Childers... I knew that was you Shane(That's what we called you) even though they spelled Therrel wrong the first night. 2nd Lt. "Shane" Childers... Your Family, Friends, and Corps lost the most deticated man, friend, idol, and Marine that we all strive to be. "Shane, thanks for everything you have helped us become."

Sgt. Haley (yep, after you left the enlisted side I picked up Sgt.)"
Nathan Haley of Portola Hills (north of Pendelton), CA

"I watched you grow from a LCpl Watchstander supporting us in Paris, a Cpl Watchstander in Nairobi taking the reins over as A Det, and finally as a Marine Officer, LEADER OF MARINES! You were a "Temp Loan" uncle to our daughters, but Robin & I always considered you our "son". You have touched and influenced so many lives in your short time with us. I owe you a debt of gratitude, someday I hope to repay. I'll never forget our last meal together while you were here for CAX, and now I understand why you stopped and turned around and gave me that "Goodbye" stare. I miss you my friend, I salute you LT, with a cold Moosehead, there's a cold one waiting for you in the fridge.

Semper Fidelis"
Top Whitten of 29 Palms, CA

"This webite has brought me comfort over the last 2 years, as I have frequently returned to it to read all of the wonderful things people had to say about Shane. I continue to think about him a lot and remember the last day I saw him in 2002 prior to his departing for Camp Pendleton. There are so many things I wish I could have thanked him for and so many things I wish I would have said to him to let him know he was valued and appreciated. He chose a hard life, but he never looked back and never felt any regrets for what he did. I'm so glad that I met him and feel honored to have known such a wonderful human. I cherish the memories that my husband Trevor and I shared with Shane. Till we meet again..."
Barbara Thibodeau of California

"Its been almost 2 years, yet the pain is still so fresh. It is so great to see how many people you touched and all those who appreciated your brilliance.
The book "Shane Comes Home" came out this week and it truly captures who you were.
I know you are watching over us all! You are thought of and missed every single day! I will always love you!"
Adi of NJ

"Judy and Joe, it has been almost 2 years sense Shane’s death. There is not a day that does not go by that this family does not think of Shane!! We miss him and always will. I know Shane is watching over us all. We miss him more than words can say.. We love you Shane"
The Whitten's of 29 Palms, Ca

"I'm not sure if you ever spoke of me but I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw your name as the first to fall. I always new you were a good Marine but to go so soon in your career must have been hard on your family. I know when and if the guys that served with you in Nairobi get the news they will be as saddened as I am. May God Bless you and keep you."
Sgt Joseph E Torres of Jacksonville, Florida

"Dear Judy,

Thank you so much for your kind letter. We are so proud of your son and our son, SPC Daniel Paul Unger, US Army. We know they did the right thing. They are heroes and we, also a Gold Star family, praise God for men who would stand up heroically in faith in Jesus Christ and defend our country.

Both my wife, Lynda, and I were recently brought to tears as we read "A Table In His Presence," by CH Carey Cash. When I read your letter, I looked up your son on this website because his name sounded very familiar. When I saw his picture, I recognized him from the book. We praise God for the ongoing testimony of your son's vibrant faith in Jesus Christ.

Since our son gave his life in Iraq to save two Iraqi civilians, I have been asked by our command to become a chaplain. I am a pastor and am now privileged to be a chaplain in our CA State Military Reserve. That's how much we, like you, believe in what our country and our military is doing.

God bless you and keep living for Him. We love you, your family and your most precious, heroic son.

In the love of Jesus Christ, Chaplain (1LT) Marc Unger CA SMR"
CH (1LT) Marc Unger, CA State Military Reserve of Exeter, CA, USA

"LT. Childers, thank you sir for serving your country and the Marines so honorably! You are our hero and the entire nation is proud of you. Semper Fi, God Bless you and may he comfort your loved ones. My family sends its gratitude and love to your family."
The Shaw family of Pasadena, Maryland

"Shane, MECEP Prep seems like yesterday. OCS even more recent. I'm sure that you and Pokorney are up there looking out for the rest of us, just as you have always looked out for all Marines. I was home on leave in Aug of 2004, and ran into the mother of the Corpsman who tried to save you. He had returned that day from his second tour, and by her account, that day is what still weighs on him the most. You know who he had to work on next. Thank you for for sacrifice. You finished what we weren't allowed to the first time around. Semper Fi."
1stLt Nate Emery of Moscow, Idaho

"When I met him he was "Sgt Childers the Assistant Detachment Commander" or the "A/Slash" to me. I had just graduated Marine Security Guard School in February 1996 and had received orders to report to American Embassy Nairobi, Kenya. I was 20 years old and a brand new Corporal. Besides all of the excitement, confusion, uncertainty that comes with all of this was this calming, big-brother like figure that greeted me at the Embassy, took me in and "Snapped" me in. He showed me everything (more than once) there was to know and do when standing Post One and reassured me (more than once) that "You CAN do this" and "You'll get so good at it, you'll be doing it with your eyes closed". He took me by the hand and made sure I "got it". For his unwavering commitment I was grateful, for his impression of what a Sergeant of Marines should be I am thankful and for the opportunity to have learned and worked with him I am blessed. May God keep you and know that I will always have a cot for you in my heart. Semper Fidelis, SSgt Cortes"
SSgt Jesus "Tough-Guy" Cortes of Brooklyn, New York

"My condolences to the family of 2nd Lt.
Childers,and to all the Marines who have given the supreme sacrifice.My heart goes out to all these families.
Having served with the Marines from 1982-1985, those who never serve their country will never know the sacrifices
of those who do, many pledge alliegence,only a few show it. Semper Fi."
Robert Gaspar of Escondido, Ca/USA

"I served with SHANE in 2nd LAI and also was lucky enough to run into him at the stumps while I was on a CAX with my reserve unit, we talked for quite some time that night at the stumps and he was really excited about becoming an Officer. I have never heard a bad word about shane and he was by far the most dedicated LEATHERNECK I have ever known. My prayers go out to his Family. Rest in peace brotha...Your friend JOHN"
John Mendelsohn of Roxbury,NJ 973-714-7106

"The Childer's family is always in my prayers. Shane's death hit hard in our small town of Lizana, Mississippi and throughout the state. I have such fond memories of the entire family and considered Shane to be an older brother. I am honored to have known Shane, and the rest of the family. Everyone is terriably missed. Thank you for befriending my entire family. With Love."
Karen O'Malley Sheehan of Brooklyn, Mississippi, USA

"I am a cadet at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, VA and my goal is to become a Marine Corps officer. I proudly wear a bracelet to honor 2DLT Childers. I want to honor his life and his sacrifice by wearing it. God bless 2DLT Childer's family and loved ones. May they all find peace in the noble sacrifice he has made for them and for this country and may 2DLT Childers be honored through his memory. Semper Fi."
Andrew J. Gay of Jackson, MS/USA

"To Sandy and the rest of Shane's family...I did not personally know Shane, but I feel as if I do. Through all of the wonderful stories & loving words from his sister, Sandy, his spirit lives on. Thank you, Shane for the sacrifice you made for all of us. May God bless you"
Laura Sapp of Ft. Hood, Texas USA

"I was the Marine standing beside Lt. Childers when he was shot. He was the most dedicated Marine I have ever known. I was his first squad leader in second platoon A company. That was one of the worst days of the war for me and I will never forget every detail of the horrible situation. If there are any questions concerning that day I can be reached at odmjesse@aol.com. I will never forget Lt. Shane Childers."
Jesse Odom, Former Marine of Greenwood SC, Lander University and Anderson SC, Home

"Shane and I attended school ranging from elementary to high school together. When the high school days came about we talked about what we wanted to do in the Corps. Shane graduated a year ahead of me and I too eventually went into the Corps and served 7 faithful and honorable years. I ran into Shane once while I was in but I knew that he would go the distance. He did in several ways by becoming a Mustang officer (prior enlisted)and giving the ultimate sacrifice for this wonderful country. His precious life. My prayers and thoughts are with all of his family. My heart goes out to you all. Shane, I walk this life putting out 100% no matter what I do because of my fallen comrades like you. Semper Fidelis my brother, Semper Fidelis."
Steve Staten USMC/SGT of Gulfport, MS USA

"I recently had the honor of meeting Shane's brother, Sam Childers. My family & I were holding a garage sale to earn money for my son and his family to fly back from Germany when his deployment in Iraq was finished. I had spoken on the local radio about my son, Sgt. Brandon Roe, who left Iraq on July 8, and was in Kuwait at that time. I had also mentioned my son, Sgt. Shane Roe, who is in Afghanistan at this time. Sam Childers contacted the radio station to learn where our sale was being held. He came to offer support for our 'cause'. Sam shared his brother's picture and story with my mom and me, and he stayed to visit with us for nearly an hour. I can't begin to tell you how honored we were by his visit and the fact that, in spite of his own great loss, he wanted to support the return home of another soldier. Sam, if you are reading this, THANK YOU for coming to see us that day. I have spoken to both my sons about Sam's visit and they were as moved as the rest of us. They asked me to say thank you for them also. For all of you who loved your Shane, please know that we are saddened by your family's loss and deep sacrifice. God bless your family."
Becky Rollings of Groveland, Illinois

"I have tried to leave a message so many times....I will always love you and be proud of you. I hope you are looking down at all of those who were touched by you and can see what you have meant in our lives. If a man is rich if he has friends then you were a billionaire.
Your sister,"
Sandy (Childers) Brown of Fort Hood, Texas

"I just finished the book by Chaplain Cash. I served in the Marines in Vietnam from June 1968-July 1969. I only wish I could have had such an officer that demonstrated Christian values and caring dedication to men like Lt. Childers. I am sure it would have made a difference in my life while I served in the Marines at the age of 19. I never saw an officer that demonstrated Christian values or a Chaplain like Lt. Cash in my tour in Vietnam or in the Marines. I have been a Christian since 1970. It is wonderful to know that the Lord has his witnesses serving in the Corps at this time. May God bless the lives that Lt. Childers touched and may the fruit of his service continue to be manifested for the generations to come. I salute the memory of Lt. Childers."
Joe Torres of Mesa, AZ

"I just found out about this site and read all the wonderful things people have had to say about Shane. I wanted to write and Thank everyone for their memories of Shane. It is nice to know that he had so many friends around the world. It has been 16 months now since his death and his dad and I will always miss him, but somehow talking to his friends and hearing their stories of Shane makes him feel not so far away."
Judy Childers of Powell, Wyoming

"RIP Sir"
Petty Officer Cawthon of RTC Great Lakes, IL

"Each year those proud few walk from the "long grey line" and choose to serve. Each year more and more cadets and MECEPs that step into the fray. It will again be my turn soon. Therrel Shane Childers paid the ultimate price while fighting with men who where his brothers and he believed in, as they believed in him.

Semper Fi marine, you will not be forgotten."
Jonathan Kougl of Worcester, England & The Citadel, SC

"For Shane,

I met Shane in SOI at camp Lejeune back in 90. Because of Iraq and the new demand for LAV crewman, the powers that be took us out of SOI and sent us to Camp Pendleton and where we we went through LAV school with double the class size in half the time. We didn't have much time off then, but we partied hard and had a blast during libo. After Saudi, Shane and I spent the next 3 years in 2nd LAI bn at Camp lejeune and we remained the best of friends throughout the years. He was surreal; loyal as a puppydog and a heart of gold. I miss him dearly. Fellow devildogs from those years please give me a call so we can catch up (Kasten, Goat 1, goat 2, Prince Graham, Scott VanBuren, So many name I have forgotten) Semper Fi,

Bill Hendry
913-486-5860 (June 2004)"
Bill Hendry of Kansas City (formerly Ft. Lauderdale, FL)

"My wife and I met Shane on a trip to Cameroon, West Africa, and were immensely impressed by Shane's strength of character and sense of responsibility. In addition, he showed great sensitivity and interest in other cultures. There was all of that, and his utter devotion to the Corps! We e-mailed back and forth several times, planning to get together again, but each time, something came up and plans fell through. I don't know why, but the first time I really checked the casualty lists was the day I found out about Shane, and my wife and I were in shock, and still think of the great loss that was incurred. Shane was a good man, we'll miss him."
Blaine DeLancey and Ivette Villarreal of Columbia, SC

"Therel Childers allaways wanted to be a marine the first time he saw them, his dream came true but it is tragic that his dream ended so fast.I know its hard t o lose someone you love. My grandma died recently."
7th grader of Barker Middle School

"i remember childer quite vividly, even though a decade has transpired and we have gone our separate ways. i heard of his death as soon as it first came out on the news and found it difficult to digest. i did not know that he became an officer, but knew he would be a natural for it. the only real vivid memory i now carry is when we had a night of libo at the san onofre LAV schooland most of the class went to the e club. he got a bit tipsy and took care of him and got him back to the barracks. then you see his image and report of his death...the other people that wrote here, keith(VKK)? is that you? Beck, hey. scawn(sorry)if mis-spelled. he was a geat young man back then. very pensive and brooding. words can't accurately express...
princelif@cox.net"
prince graham of san diego, ca

"Shane,

You were a great friend and a stellar Marine. I've not since met anyone who can match your personal drive or your love for the Corps. I'll see you on the other side. Semper Fi!

If any other Geneva Marines would like to get together in Shane's memory, please drop me a note. matthewrlove@yahoo.com"
Matt Love of San Mateo, CA

"Hello. My name is Eric Klein. I am trying to set up, or at least start a scholarship fund in Therrel's name. I wanted to do something and thought since he was the first loss "we" had, that it would be a great way to honor him as well as our brave men and women that are dying everyday to ensure our freedom and well- being. If anybody has any information on how I might start this or wants to get involved please feel free to contact me at erckln@cs.com. I am also intrested in setting up a charity or fund that would go to struggling families that have lost love ones in the line of duty... THANKS!!!
Eric"
Eric Klein of Marina Del Rey, CA

"To the Family of 2ndLt. Childers,

It is with a heavy heart that I write these words to you and other family members of Marines who have fallen. I come from a long family line of Marines; I too am a Marine Corps veteran. His service to his Country and his Corps will live forever in the minds of his fellow Marines all over this country.

While I never personally met this Marine, every Marine is my brother and it is with love and respect to his family that I say to them the words of retired GySgt Ermey, "The Marine Corps lives forever, and that means you live forever."

God Bless and Semper Fidelis"
Rob of Iowa

"In loving Memory..Its been a year..

At the rising of the sun and at its going down, We remember them.
At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of Winter, We remember them.
At the opening of buds and in the rebirth of Spring, We remember them.
At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of Summer, We remember them.
At the rustling of leaves and the beauty of Autumn, We remember them.

As long as we live, they too will live;
for they are now a part of us, as we remember them.
Rest in Peace Dear Marine!! SEMPER FI!!We will NEVER FORGET!"
The Grogan Family of Lakeland, TN

""Therrel",
I was station with Childers from 91 to 94, He was a fellow Marine and a Good friend, I will never forget him. My prayers go out to his family, his memory will be with all who knew him, he gave the ultimate sacrifice.
Your Friend
GySgt G.L. Snyder"
Greg Snyder of Jacksonville,NC

"Dear Shane:

It's been a year now, and although some calluses have grown, they are still tender. The smallest things remind me of you. The other day it was a car with a little flag flying from its window. We love you. We miss you. We're so glad for our last visit with you."
Cousin Paul of Lancaster, PA

"We Will NEVER FORGET !" As the first anniversary of the death of your loved one arrives;
Please KNOW so many people share your sadness, and we are remembering all your family and loved ones in your loss and your deep grief. Your HERO, Therrel, will be remembered by name. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless you. Pat & Sandi Breckenridge from Montana "

"Thank you for the ultimate sacrifice. May you rest in peace."
ENS Gary Ramsey, USN of San Antonio, Tx, USA

"On the anniversary of Shane's death, I wanted his family and friends to know that he has not been forgotten and his service and sacrifice for this country are greatly appreciated. I know this day must be so hard for you. You are in my prayers."
Kelli of USA

"Today marks the 1 year anniversary of your death and no words can truly describe this past year....you are so greatly missed, thought of everyday and always in my heart!!"
Adi

"Lieutenant Childers, goodbye soldier and thank you. You are my hero."
Bill of Houston, Texas

"To the family of Lt. Shane Childers,

We were deeply sadened to learn of your loss. We were honored to have met him just before the 1/5 deployed. Our son is a Lt. with the 1/5 and Shane came through Oregon and picked him up following the Christmas leave before they left. Our son told us about the day when Shane lost his life. He considered Shane a good friend and a better Marine. You will always be in our thoughts and prayers. God bless heroes like Lt. Therrol Childers."
Era & Toni Horton of LaPine, OR

"Thank You Therrel Shane Childers for giving your all to your comrades and country. I was really touched by your passing, being from the same town as you. I know people you went to school with and they were touched too. God Bless your family and friends. Your Hero will never be forgotten"
Dana Husley a proud military wife of Mississippi

"To the family of Lt Childers:
During my debriefing of all missions flown, it was concluded that I flew in support of Lt Childers during the initial push across the border. I flew F/18 Hornets and ran several CAS missions in support of his company and battalion. I can't say that I spoke with the Marine, but I know for a fact I rocked the Iraqi's world in front of his company. The Marines that crossed the border that day, whether on foot/vehicle/aircraft, are true American heroes! Your son is a patriot, and that's the living legacy surrounding his memory.
Semper Fi!"
"TRACER" of VMFA, Miramar, CA

"Thank you Shane for fighting for my freedom. Please, the family, accept my deepest sympathy. I would like to send you a pillowcase in honor of Shane. Please pull up my website www.facesoncases.com and email me an address to mail the usa flag with Shane's picture in the middle. UNITED WE STAND, SAFELY WE SLEEP."
carol wrolstad of glendale, arizona

"May you find comfort in knowing how many people share your sadness and loss. Thanks Therrel Shane Childers for fighting for our freedom. You are a TRUE HERO! Our thoughts and prayers are with your family. We Will NEVER FORGET! Semper Fi Marine!!"
The Grogan Family (USMC) of Lakeland, TN

"To the family, of Shane Childers, May God be with you, your son was a blessing to all, a true Hero!Sincerely,J.Stucke"
Joan Stucke of Granite City, IL USA

"I was stationed with Shane in Geneva, Switzerland and stayed in touch with him through his college and military career. He always lived his life to the fullest and I was fortunate enough to know him. You are missed brother."
Shannon Conrad of Brooklyn, NY

"Lt Childers,
Your friends at The Citadel remember you. My son (class of 2003)knew you when he was in the marine unit. He is now a 2nd Lt in the corps.
RIP Bulldog."
Doug Jones CPO USNR-Ret of Chesapeake, VA

"Thank you Therrel Childers, you will not be forgotten. Your bravery goes beyond words. I want to express my deepest gratitude for your sacrifice. To the family and friends, my prayers and deep condolences in your loss. May God strengthen you from knowing that fellow Americans and people around the world care about you and grieve with you in your loss. God bless you all. A very appreciative fellow American,"
Leo Titus of Grayslake, Illinios

"I knew Childers way back when in SOI and LAV school. Although it seems a century ago, I still remember how much he loved the Marine Corps. He kept me out of trouble and made the bad times, well, less bad. We had more than a few laughs, often at our own expense."
Keith of Iowa

"Today on the news Saddam has been captured, but for all those who have died due to his evil hand, I pray for their families. May God Bless this soldiers family and all the others who died making us free. May God Bless all those families in Iraq who have been tortured due to his evil hand. Bless the men that captured Saddam and let's all thank God that led them to him to begin with. Now for Osama."
Melanie Masi of Shelby Twp, MI

"*Lieutenant* Childers.

We flew over to Saudi together way back in '91. We were in the same LAV class. He was good company, though I didn't know him especially well. But I do remember him.
Semper Fi Childers!"

Steven Beck - 2nd Force Reconnaissance Company (1991 - 1994) of Macomb Township, MI

"Shane was hard charging and impossible to sway. He loved his fellow Marines, his Corps and his Country. That, I hope all of his fellow Marines knew. He is a natural leader. He is still leading. I can not explain how much I will miss him. A better friend and brother, there shall not be."
Sam Childers of La Salle, IL

"I too worked with Shane, he was my driver in 2nd LAI BN and was deployed with me on a MED float in 1992 with 22nd MEU. We also served in 1st LAR at Camp Pendleton before he went to the Citadel. He was 100% Marine 24 seven 365. The Corps will miss him and he will remain in my memories forever. Semper Fi.(Shilo if you read this call me 806-376-5945)"
GySgt Davidson of I-I Staff 4th Tank Bn Amarillo, Tx

"Shane was one of the most dedicated Marines I have ever worked with. Thank you for being a true friend.

Semper Fidelis"
Kris Otten of Charleston, SC

"May you all rest in peace.You have the love and prayers of your grateful nation."
Joe Babinetz of Doylestown, PA

"Shane,
You are a bright and shining testimony to that greater love Jesus talked about...that love whereby a man lays down his life for his brethren.
Semper Fi!"
Carey Cash of Camp Pendleton, CA

"I graduated high school with Shane. He was a friend of mine, and a great person. His service to this country will not be forgotten.

Please don't forget our veterans and fallen soldiers."
Tiffany of Kansas

"Lt. Childers,
I never knew you, but I wish I did. I never served with you but I wish I did. God bless you, and your family. Semper Fi, Marine, Semper Fi.
Cpl Shawn Ceeko, USMC"
Cpl Shawn Ceeko of Schertz Texas

"What to say to those who have sacrificed so much? I wish I had words that could ease your pain. Your son won't be forgotten and I will be eternally grateful to people like him who are willing to give so much. You are in my prayers. May God give you some measure of comfort."
Kellie

"Shane, you always inspired me to strive to be the best and to accomplish anything I wanted. You will be deeply missed by my family. You will never be forgotten"
Richard Brown (brother in law) of Ft Hood, Tx

"The night I left for the border Shane came by my tent and we smoked a cigar together. That was on the 19th of March. In honor of Shane I will only smoke a cigar on that day. Shane was the most dedicated Marine I have ever met. He was a great friend and he will be greatly missed by every person that knew him. My deepest condolences go out to his family."
Clay of 1st LAR, Camp Pendleton

"I don't know your family, but my son's middle name is also Shane and that is what we call him. He is 36. I suddenly found myself in the place of the family who lost this dear son. God bless you all. And thank you to Shane, for giving the ultimate for us, his countrymen. May God strengthen you his family and loved ones, and give you peace."
Kristi Anderson of Albany, Oregon, USA

"Shane, you were the most remarkable human I ever had the priviledge of meeting in my lifetime. I realized from the moment that I met you that you possessed a quality unlike most others. You could be both a hard-charging Marine and a gentle compassionate friend at the same time. Thank you for sharing your philosophical insights with me. Thank you for being a role model for my son. Thank you for being a loyal friend and helping me to face my fears. You are my inspiration and will never be forgotten."
Barbara Thibodeau of MCAS Miramar, CA

"Our prayers are with your family during this difficult time. Thank you brave soldier, your courage and sacrifice will nerver be forgotten."
Ken and Maritza Holley of Pembroke Pines, Florida

"God Bless our World. 1st Lt Therrel Shane Childers was an outstanding young man, as were all those that have given their lives for our continued freedom. At Shane's funeral and after, more and more people have sent their thoughts. The last time I saw Shane is in Amarillo, Tx when he was on his way to the Citadel, to further his education. People have written from all over the world to let his parents know what they remembered of Shane. It has helped them to heal. I want to thank you all for your kind thoughts, not only for Shane but for all that have responded to the profile of our fallen heroes."
Shane's aunt, Zenda Rose Eby of Lubbock, Tx

"OOH RAH!!! From LAI DET Platoon, 26TH MEU, 1992. You'll live on in our memories!"
Shilo Garner of Monroe,NC

"To the family and friends of 2nd Lt. Therrel Childers:
May God's grace be with you during your time of grief. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and we feel your loss and share in your sorrow. Bless Therrel for the sacrifice he has made to make a better life for the rest of us."
The Ford Family of Wells, Nevada

"To the family and friends of 2nd Lt. Therrel Childers:
I am saddened by the loss of your loved one. He will always be remembered as a hero for fighting for freedom. I hope that this website will be a source of comfort and encouragement for you during this difficult time, and in the future as you recall the memories of Therrel, who continues to live on in your heart."
Tim Rivera, of Powder Springs, Georgia

"I don't blame Therrel Childers for wanting to be a Marine after seeing them as a child. I remember visiting in Europe and seeing Marine guards outside of Embassies. It is such a impressive sight. There is nothing more honorable then serving in any military branch for the US. I will always remember each and every service person who has helped to continue our nation's way of life. Thank you Childers family for your sacrifice."
Terri Curtis of Green Forest, Arkansas

"Shane -- my son was under your command in this conflict and was horrified by your untimely death. thank you for having his back and know that he will continue on in your name. thank you for taking care of him; we will now try and take care of his family through prayer."
julie butler evans of new canaan, ct

"Shane, You died doing the thing that gave you the desire to live, serving your country and leading your men.
You will always be in my heart and always remembered by all those whos lives you've touched.
I know you are in a better place, watching over us."
Adi

"To a true American Hero... you will not be forgotten."
C.Padilla of Camp Pendleton, CA

"Thank you for your service Marine. Many hearts are broken since losing you but we know you will live on in our memories and hearts for ever. May you rest in peace and may the lord bless your family and friends.

Thank you brave warrior

Semper fi"
The Taylors, USMC of North Carolina

Honor them by remembering... Freedom - is their gift to us But his soul goes marching on