Marine Sgt. Jeffrey Lynn Kirk was a member of the elite Fast Company Anti-Terrorist Security team. At the time of his reenlistment, Sgt. Kirk accepted a position as an instructor at Officer Candidate School. After 9/11, he requested a transfer to ground forces to fight overseas. He was shot during house-clearing efforts in Fallujah on November 2004 and spent the next four weeks recuperating. Sgt. Kirk rejoined his unit in early December and was killed in Al Anbar province of Iraq on December 12, 2004.
CW3 Michael Wells of Slidell, Louisiana was a reservist in the Louisiana Army National Guard and working as a commercial helicopter pilot servicing the oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. In February, 2004 he was deployed to Camp Anaconda in Balad, Iraq. On September 21, 2004, as the Blackhawk helicopter he was piloting had just taken off, mechanical failure caused the aircraft to be uncontrollable. The tail section hit the ground, breaking off the tail of the aircraft. Then the helicopter, still airborne, rolled twice and spun around 180 degrees coming to rest. The Blackhawk was unidentifiable by military personnel searching for the wreckage.
Our first honoree is Corporal Carl Sampson from Picayune, Mississippi. Carl was a reservist in the Army National Guard with the 890th Engineering Battalion and was deployed to Iraq. On September 12, 2003 Corporal Sampson's supply truck came under attack outside of Fallujah.