Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Thomas J Slocum

Thornton, Colorado

March 23, 2003

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
22 Marines L/Cpl

1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade

Camp Lejeune, North Carolina

Killed in action in the vicinity of Nasiriyah.

Walter’s Flag

My flag drapes my soul.

Sorrow fills my soul mixed with pride, whenever I see our flag fluttering with the wind.

My eyes blood stained with pain and loss.

Cut open and emptied out and mixed with pride.

I can not suppress the pain I feel or the pride in the achievements of my fallen nephew.


I remember him as a baby held in my arms.

Playing with him in the snow and watching his devilish expression emanating from his person.

Having to play parent and not being an adult myself.

Breaking up fights between his sister and him.


Men have trouble showing the care in their hearts; trying to teach each other how to become strong as an adult.

Knowing he turned his life around and finding a purpose in life, it is what we all wish to do.

He learned well that our nation needs protecting at all costs.

We discussed what may happen when he enlisted.

He knew what may be asked and still went forward.


The day the call came from my niece I nearly collapsed.

They could not tell her anything till anyone else until his mother was told.

But we knew what it was immediately; they do not come to door in good times.

You hope against hopelessness to pray it was a mistake.


Following a flag draped coffin and hearing taps.

You either become numb or your tears feel as if your eyes are being burned.

The Marines take great care for the fallen.

It is a family in which the bond is beyond death.

They continue to this day living out what they have been called upon to do.


Family pain is ever present and raw.

The sleepless and at times nightmarish in the horrors you create.

We stand ready if further sacrifice is needed.


Written by:

Walter Johnson

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