This is what we would like you to remember about Luke. He told us he never left the base. He didn’t want us to worry.
He was six feet two inches tall, 165 pounds soaking wet. He had laughing blue eyes, and he laughed a lot, except if you woke him up. He was not a morning person. He was very smart and loved to argue with his friends. He purposely sought out friendships with people that had opposing views so he could argue with them.
Luke cared about people and he cared about doing the right thing. He always rooted for the underdog, no matter what the cause (almost). He joined the navy to become a Corpsman because young people his age, with fewer opportunities than he had, were being killed in a war he opposed and he had to help keep them alive. I argued with him about joining until he said two things… 1. That the Iraqi people are people too and they need my help and 2. He told me about a couple of young guys that joined the Marines to get the GI Bill for school because they couldn’t afford college. They were both killed. He felt guilty because his school was paid for. It wasn’t fair and he had to do something.
He volunteered for an Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) unit because he felt he could have the biggest impact with these Marines. Luke was the Corpsman for a four-man Marine Explosive Ordinance Disposal team, Bomb Men. In six months Luke went on 240 missions, his teams cleared 10,000 pounds of net explosive, removed 76 IEDs and he treated 80 casualties both on base and outside the wire.
They called him “Cool Hand Luke” because of his composure under fire, and they said they were always under fire. We were told stories about coming back form 30 straight hours of calls, hitting his beloved bunk and hearing a mass casualty call and going to help for another 8 hours, because “it’s my job.” He made his guys laugh when they needed it like when their cougar broke down in a bad area and they had to walk a mile to their objective through Ramadi. He cracked jokes and kept them loose all the way. He always stood up for HIS MARINES and they knew when they went out he would keep them safe! They said he was their ticket home.
Luke had an undying love for America and it’s potential and he couldn’t understand why people weren’t America’s highest priority as they were with him. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of people alive today because of his dedication to his oath.
On the day Luke was scheduled to finish his tour they got a call and he headed out with his team. An IED exploded at the door of the cougar. Luke shielded those inside the vehicle but he absorbed the blast and was killed. Those of us that knew and loved him will never forget the young man with so much potential that gave his all to an ideal he loved, America. We hope that you will remember him too.
KIA 03/02/2007 Ramadi, Iraq
Navy Corpsman/Devil Doc
The Sun Never Sets on a Badass!