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What We Know About The Marines Killed In Chattanooga
Four U.S. Marines are dead following a shooting Thursday at a military support facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in what some authorities are calling an act of domestic terrorism.
These four men came from different corners of the country and were at different stages in their military careers, but were united in their service, and now their sacrifice.
Per Department of Defense policy, the names of the victims are not yet released, however as information begins to trickle in it is important to recognize the lives of service these brave men lived.
The men are Sgt. Carson Holmquist, Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan, Lance Cpl. Skip Wells, and Staff Sgt. David Wyatt.
Here’s what we know about them.
Sgt. Carson Holmquist
Sgt. Carson Holmquist and his wife Jasmine.Photo via Facebook.
Originally from Grantsburg, Wisconsin, Holmquist and his family lived in Jacksonville, North Carolina, where he was stationed at Camp Lejeune.
Pictures are visible on his Facebook of his wife Jasmine and their 2-year-old son Wyatt welcoming him back from a 244-day-long deployment with red, white, and blue signs that say “Welcome Home Daddy!”
A friend Tyler Larsen posted on his Facebook page, “Rip Carson Holmquist I was looking forward to grabbing drinks when you got out here but because some terrorist decided he didn't like the US military I will have a drink in honor of you. You will be missed bud. #semperfi.”
Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan
Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan.Photo via Facebook
40-year-old native of Springfield, Massachusetts, Sullivan was deployed to Iraq twice.
He graduated Springfield’s Cathedral High School in 1994, and went on to enlist and deploy to Iraq.
“There’s no Marine you would want that was better in combat than him,” friend and Chicago native Josh Parnell told the Oak Lawn Patch. Parnell said Sullivan had been in the Marine Corps since 1997, had survived the Battle of Abu Ghraib in 2005, the most significant attack on U.S. armed forces since the war in Vietnam, and was thought to be approaching retirement in the next few years.
RIP GySgt Thomas Sullivan, it was an honor knowing you and knowing you're the reason why my mom would smile. 7/16/15? pic.twitter.com/jECIVDgCDT
— Taryn✨ (@Spotlight_Taryn) July 17, 2015
Sullivan had been wounded in Iraq and was a recipient of the Purple Heart medal and Combat Action ribbon.
He is survived by his parents, Betty and Jerry Sullivan, and his siblings Joe and Dianne.
Nathan’s Bar and Grill, of which Joe Sullivan co-owns, posted a message on their Facebook page this morning:
“Rest In Peace Gunnery SGT. Thomas Sullivan. Anyone who went to Holy Cross School, Cathedral High School or grew up in the East Forest Park knew who Tommy was. He was our hero and he will never be forgotten. Please keep his family & friends in your thoughts & prayers. Thank you Tommy for protecting us.
May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
And rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in
the hollow of His hand.”
The restaurant also hung a flag today in memory of its fallen hero.
Lance Cpl. Skip Wells
Lance Cpl. Skip Wells.Photo via Facebook
Wells was a 2012 graduate Sprayberry High School in Marietta, Georgia, and moved on to attend Georgia Southern University where was studied history, according to his Facebook Page.
Family friend Andy Kingery told CBS46 in Atlanta that Wells joined the Marines and felt “called to serve.”
Neighbor James Reid said Wells was a well-known member of the community. “It was just a few weeks ago I saw him driving in and out of the neighborhood,” Reid told CBS. “Skip was definite someone we knew and someone we thought whose future was going to be bright.”
Tony Wolcott who also went to Sprayberry High spoke to Atlantic Journal Constitution about being on the marching band with Wells.
“He was a really good leader … He was someone you could always depend on,” said Wolcott. “Whenever something needed to be done, he would take charge and do it, but not in an overpowering way.”
Wolcott said he had not seen Wells since last fall when Wells visited to Kennesaw State University, where Wolcott studies music education.
Staff Sgt. David Wyatt
Staff Sgt. David Wyatt.Photo via Facebook
One of Wyatt’s neighbors told The Tennessean, “There were seven or eight cars there last night. I thought they were having a party. It didn’t go through my mind.”
Friends and relatives took to Facebook to express their condolences to the family.
“There’s no sleep tonight” wrote Robin Wyatt, a family member. Wyatt’s wife replied, “None.”
Wyatt studied at the University of Montana for a time, according to his Facebook, but it is unclear if he completed his degree.
Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated Staff Sgt. David Wyatt's age as 37. (4/19/2016; 12:01 pm)
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.
Radio transmissions to the U.S. Coast Guard are usually calls for help from boaters, but one captain got on the radio recently just to say thanks to the men and women who are currently working without pay.
DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Saturday to receive the remains of four Americans killed in a suicide bombing in northern Syria.
Trump, locked in a battle with congressional Democrats that has led to a nearly month-long partial government shutdown, announced his trip via a pre-dawn tweet, saying he was going "to be with the families of 4 very special people who lost their lives in service to our Country!"
Trump told reporters on the South Lawn of the White House prior to departure that he planned to meet the families, a duty which he said "might be the toughest thing I have to do as president."
He was greeted by military staff at Dover Air Force Base after a short flight from Joint Base Andrews, but did not speak to reporters before entering his motorcade.
Flanked by military officials, Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan filed up a ramp leading onto a military transport aircraft, where a prayer was given to honor the memory of Scott Wirtz, a civilian Department of Defense employee from St. Louis.
Trump filed down the plank and saluted while six service members clad in fatigues and white gloves carried an American flag-draped casket carrying Wirtz to a waiting gray van.
The Dover base is a traditional hub for returning the remains of American troops abroad.
The United States believes the attack that killed the Americans was the work of Islamic State militants.
Trump announced last month that he planned to speedily withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, but has since said it does not need to go quickly as he tries to ensure safety of Kurdish allies in northern Syria who are at risk of attack from neighboring Turkey.
Trump told reporters on Saturday that his Syria policy has made progress but that some work remained in destroying Islamic State targets. He defended his plans for a withdrawal.
"It's moving along very well, but when I took over it was a total mess. But you do have to ask yourself, we're killing ISIS for Russia, for Iran, for Syria, for Iraq, for a lot of other places. At some point you want to bring our people back home," he said.
In addition to Wirtz, those who died during the Wednesday attack in Manbij, Syria, were Army Chief Warrant Officer Jonathan Farmer, 37, of Boynton Beach, Florida, and Navy Chief Cryptologic Technician Shannon Kent, 35, identified as being from upstate New York, the Department of Defense said in a statement.
The Pentagon did not identify the fourth person killed, a contractor working for a private company. U.S. media identified her as Ghadir Taher, a 27-year-old employee of defense contractor Valiant Integrated Services.
(Reporting by Alexandra Alper; Writing by Steve Holland and David Brunnstrom; Editing by Leslie Adler)
This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
Former President George W. Bush is calling for an end to the partial government shutdown, which is about to hit the one-month mark and is currently the longest shutdown in US history.
In an appeal made on Instagram, the 43rd president called on "leaders on both sides to put politics aside, come together, and end this shutdown." The caption was posted with an image of him and former First Lady Laura Bush giving pizza to their Secret Service detail.