…and just feel ill.
Slain Marine’s last words to girlfriend: “ACTIVE SHOOTER”
The Marine Corps has identified the four men killed in an attack on two military facilities in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
They were identified Friday by the Marines as Gunnery Sgt. Thomas J. Sullivan of Hampden, Massachusetts; Staff Sgt. David A. Wyatt of Burke, North Carolina; Sgt. Carson A. Holmquist of Polk, Wisconsin; and Lance Cpl. Squire K. Wells of Cobb County, Georgia, who a family spokesman says went by Skip.
Lance Cpl. Squire Wells was swapping text messages Thursday with his girlfriend of 2 1/2 years, excited that she had booked a flight to visit him in Chattanooga after months apart.
“Can’t wait anymore,” Wells texted. “Yes you can honey,” his girlfriend, Caroline Dove, replied.
His next two words would be the last she’d ever hear from him.
“ACTIVE SHOOTER,” he wrote.
She thought he was kidding: “You are so weird,” she replied.
Hours of silence. “I love you,” she tried. Hours more passed, the news out of Chattanooga becoming clearer. “Hon, I need you to answer me please,” she wrote.
It would not be until Friday that she learned his fate…
Ripples of grief were apparent as a stream of visitors brought flowers, food and gifts Friday to the Hampden, Massachusetts, home of Jerry and Betty Sullivan, the parents of Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan. A police officer was stationed outside to keep reporters and onlookers away. Masslive.com said Sullivan, 40, grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts.
The Pentagon said he had been enlisted nearly 18 years, serving two tours of duty in Iraq and earning two Purple Hearts.
His hometown mayor, Dominic Sarno, called Sullivan a man who “dedicated his life in brave service.” Gov. Charlie Baker ordered flags to half-staff as he proclaimed “Terror comes home to Massachusetts.” Sullivan’s unit – India Battery, 3rd Battalion, 12th Marines – called him “one of our own” on its Facebook page. A giant U.S. flag and another representing the Marine Corps hung outside a Springfield restaurant owned by Sullivan’s brother Joseph.
“He was our hero,” read a post on the Facebook page of Nathan Bill’s Bar and Restaurant, “and he will never be forgotten.”…
So proud a Marine was Sgt. Carson Holmquist that when he finished boot camp, he returned to his hometown of Grantsburg, Wisconsin, and paid a visit to his high school dressed in his formal blues. Grantsburg High School Principal Josh Watt, who was one of Holmquist’s football coaches, remembers the day his former cornerback showed up, the pride in his accomplishment apparent.
“When he became a Marine he was very proud of that,” Watt said Friday…
Tony Ward remembered Staff Sgt. David Wyatt as the young Boy Scout who would run up mountains, just for fun, seeking to best the time of others.
Ward, who now lives in Helena, Montana, was Wyatt’s scoutmaster when he was in high school in Russellville, Arkansas. Wyatt and Ward’s son were good friends and worked together at a Boy Scout camp. He said Wyatt attained the Eagle Scout rank and graduated from high school in 1991. He was married with young children, Ward said.
“He’s the kind of man that this country needs more of,” he said.
Lord knows that was true of every single one of these tremendous Leathernecks. God bless you guys and hold your families close.