Project Vigil

Staff Sgt. Jerry Michael Durbin Jr.

Killed in Action, January 25th, 2006, Baghdad, Iraq

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On this day, 13 years ago, Jerry Michael Durbin Jr. was killed in action when an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) detonated while he was on patrol in Iraq. Today, I would like to honor him, his family and his friends with this blog post, on the anniversary of his death.

Michael's early life

Michael was born on July . . .

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January 25, 2019

03xx Foundation

Serving Infantry Marine Corps Veterans and their Navy Corpsman

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03XX Foundation: Serving Infantry Marine Corps veterans and their Navy Corpsman.

I recently discovered something that shocked and saddened me. While researching the US Marine Corps, I came across a very powerful article written by Dave Philipps of The New York Times. In his article, Philipps recounts the story of a Marine Corps . . .

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December 03, 2018

SPC. Leslie Denise Jackson

KIA May 20th, 2004, Baghdad, Iraq

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Photo credit: Elizabeth Reed

I was reading an internet thread about the American women who have died while on deployment since 2001. The list contained approximately 145 names, each with the place of death, her name, and date that she was KIA.

And then, I came across SPC. Leslie Denise Jackson's story. My older . . .

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October 28, 2018

Stanley Stockins' last leave home

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While researching the biographies that I tell in the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, Daddy and I contacted the families of all three soldiers to help gather as much information about the them as we could. We did this by cold-calling the first family member that we could find. Luckily, we were able to talk to, and make friends . . .

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October 13, 2018

Colonel John Haslet

KIA January 3rd, 1777, Princeton, New Jersey

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Why I Chose Colonel John Haslet

I wanted to write a blog post about a Patriot killed during the American Revolutionary War and I wanted to write about an "unsung hero." I knew gathering enough information for a blog post would be difficult, but I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone and I liked the . . .

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July 27, 2018

Johnny Michael "Mike" Spann

KIA November 25th, 2001, Qala-i-Jangi, Balkh Province, Afghanistan

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I came across Mike Spann's story while reading Eric Blehm's excellent book The Only Thing Worth Dying For. In the book, Blehm mentions Mike, who was serving in Northern Afghanistan as a Special Activities Division officer with the CIA in 2001. Mike is recognized as the first American citizen to be killed in combat during the . . .

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July 19, 2018

LTC Robert Lee Wolverton, USMA 1938, Father of the 3rd Battalion, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne

KIA June 6th, 1944

Robert Lee Wolverton

Born: October 5, 1914, Elkins, Randolph County, West Virginia
Died: 1:41 am, June 6, 1944, Saint-Côme-du-Mont, Normandy, France
Alma Mater: United States Military Academy at West Point, Class of 1938, Cullum No. 11257
Married: Kathleen "Kay" Goodwin, August 17, 1938
Children: Robert . . .

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May 28, 2018