Marc C Whisenant
Holly Hill, Florida
September 24, 2010
Died in Kuwait of injuries sustained in a military vehicle roll-over.
|Spc. Marc C. Whisenant, 23, of Holly Hill, Fla., died Sept. 24 in Kuwait of injuries sustained in a military vehicle roll-over. He was attached to the Florida National Guard's 1st Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment, Miami, Fla. Marc loved surrounding himself with his family and friends. He found a friend in all, had a heart of gold, and a zest for life that seemed to make everyone around him smile. His life was brief but the legacy he leaves behind will never be forgotten. Left to cherish his memory are his eternally proud parents Jerry Whisenant and Elizabeth Cook, beloved sisters Michelle Lyttle and Monica Whisenant; loving niece Alexis Lyttle, brother in law Jason Lyttle, many extended family members, friends, and a niece that is yet to be welcomed to this world. He is preceded in death by his paternal and maternal grandparents.|
|Soldier loved taking care of his vehicles — tanks and sports cars
The Associated Press
Marc Whisenant liked to drive. When he was in uniform, he drove tanks and Humvees. Back home, his father said, he cruised around in his 2007 Chevy Cobalt SS.
Jerry Whisenant told The Daytona Beach (Fla.) News-Journal that his son had just spent $800 to put top-of-the-line tires on the car.
Friends and family said Marc Whisenant was a dutiful soldier who had learned that sense of duty as a Boy Scout.
“He was quiet, but he was determined, and if we had his determination today, we’d all be closer to perfection,” said Roger Tiffany, who had been Whisenant’s Boy Scout leader.
Whisenant, 23, of Holly Hill, Fla., was killed Sept. 24 in a vehicle rollover. He was based out of Miami. Whisenant graduated in 2005 from Spruce Creek High School, where he had been a member of the school’s junior ROTC program all four years.
Tiffany recalled the young man’s patience as a young scout, including the time Whisenant broke his arm during an activity. He didn’t gripe once, sitting quietly and calmly in the hospital waiting room.
“Marc will get along fine in eternity because he was [fine with waiting] in an emergency room,” Tiffany said.
|SPC. MARC C WHISENANT, 23 - FAMILY, FRIENDS, MILITARY HONOR AREA SOLDIER WHO COMPLETED HIS LAST MISSION IN KUWAIT.
October 13, 2010 at 3:55am
Marc was a quiet, blue-eyed Boy Scout with a remote-controlled armored tank and a dream that someday, he'd drive a real one.
He had to grow up first, but Marc Whisenant got there.
"He lived his dream," an Army chaplain said Saturday at the 23-year-old soldier's funeral at First Baptist Church in Daytona Beach, eight days after Whisenant, a Daytona Beach resident, finished his last mission in a Humvee crash while serving in Kuwait.
"Marc was quiet, but he was determined, and if we had his determination today, we'd all be closer to perfection," Whisenant's Boy Scout leader, Roger Tiffany, told friends, family and military members who gathered to honor the young man's life.
Tiffany, a war veteran himself, remembered Whisenant as a dutiful Scout who led his troop quietly and lived his life by the Boy Scout oath: Duty to God and country, duty to others and duty to self.
He was a resourceful boy, Tiffany said. One evening, when his troop couldn't get a fire started, Whisenant took over with firewood soaked in lighter fluid. He was also a patient kid, sitting quietly in a hospital waiting room one day after he broke his arm during a Boy Scout outing.
"Marc will get along fine in eternity because he was (fine with waiting) in an emergency room," Tiffany said.
Whisenant reached the rank of Life Scout -- the second-highest rank -- but his leader believed he deserved the highest.
"In my heart, and anybody that knows you," Tiffany said, "you'll always be an Eagle."
All the former Scouts in the church stood and recited the oath before Tiffany stepped down and saluted Whisenant's casket.
The family -- Whisenant's mother, father and two sisters -- were in the front pew of the church and did not speak during the service.
The 2005 Spruce Creek High School graduate was in his school's ROTC program all four years before he enlisted in the U.S. Army in July 2005. He became an M1 armor crewman -- trained to operate tanks and amphibious assault vehicles in combat -- and served in Iraq in 2006 and 2007.
In 2008, he completed his obligation and was transferred to the Army Individual Ready Reserve. But the Reserve ordered him back to duty in January, opening a one-year tour with the Florida National Guard's 1st Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment in support of Operation New Dawn -- the newest name for the war in Iraq.
"Some might have questioned why he had to go again," the Army chaplain said, "but Marc did not."
The Humvee rollover is still under investigation. It was a non-combat incident during a training routine, but the Florida National Guard has not said exactly where in Kuwait it occurred. A fellow soldier in the crash suffered a broken back, while another walked away without injury.
Spc. Marc C. Whisenant was due back home in December.
The Army presented his family with the soldier's Bronze Star Medal during the funeral service. He also was awarded the Florida National Guard's Florida Distinguished Service Medal.
"May God bless Marc. I know that the angels are in much better company and are much better protected with him by their side," said Holly Hill Mayor Roland Via, who declared Saturday "Marc Clayton Whisenant Day" in his town.
U.S. Rep. John Mica and Volusia County Chairman Frank Bruno were also at the funeral.
The young soldier's burial ceremony with full military honors was on a quiet hill at Daytona Memorial Park, where his mother Elizabeth Cook, father Jerry Whisenant, and sisters Michelle Lyttle and Monica Whisenant sat quietly in the shade of a tent.
Cook wiped away tears as a soldier presented her with one of two American flags and thanked her for her family's sacrifice.
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