Please join me and the IGTNT team today as we mourn and remember two fallen American soldiers: Army Major Michael L. Green, 36, of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and Sgt. James K. Healy, 25, of Hesperia, California.
Army Major Michael L. Green, 36, of Chagrin Falls, Ohio
Michael L. Green followed a long line of proud military soldiers. His father, Hacy Green, Senior, was enlisted in the armed forces, as were Mr. Green's five brothers: four served in World War II and one in Korea.
Michael was born in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and he lived in the MS area until his parents moved to Chagrin Falls, Ohio, in 1990. As a child, he would draw himself as a soldier, his mother, Jane Green, remembered.
At the time of the family's move Michael was attending Fairmont State University in West Virginia and he had enlisted in its Army Reserve Officers Training Corps program. But he lived in Ohio during the summers, and he enjoyed his work at the Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, "The Roller Coaster Capital of the World!"
In college, he immersed himself in military texts, said his father, Hacy Green Sr. of Troy Township.
"Sun Tzu, Napoleon, Horatio Hornblower, he read them all," Hacy said. "He knew what he wanted to do."
"Michael was military-minded from the time he was a young man," his mother explained. "He achieved what he wanted to do."
Military service offered Michael a chance to live in Kansas, Germany, Egypt and Afghanistan, but he remained a Mississippi man at heart, his family lovingly stated.
A spare day or two would find Michael L. Green with a pole in the Mississippi bayou, or easing into the evening in a rocking chair with an ice-cold long-neck beer in hand. Michael loved fishing so much, he often invited fellow soldiers to come share that peaceful pleasure with him.
The last time Hacy Sr. talked with his son was New Year's Day, he recalled.
"He wished me a happy New Year. There was no indication. There was no way to know what was going to happen," he said.
Jane Green last spoke to her son on Christmas. She remembered him saying the same thing he always told her: "Mom, don't worry."
Jane Green said that her son felt guilty about training young soldiers to fight but not going to the battlefields himself. In a telephone interview, his mother said the major was happy when he was deployed to Afghanistan.
"He felt like he was being slighted," recalls his sister, Michelle LeBatard. "He did not want to just send men out, but wanted to serve beside them. He felt there was something that needed to be done. He was trained to do what he did and he wanted to do it."
Major Green died January 7th, 2008, when the vehicle he was in struck an improvised explosive device (IED) in Laghar Juy, Afghanistan.
"Michael died doing what he loved, and maybe that's how he would have wanted to go...I'm proud that my son died a hero, but it hurts. He left a big hole in his family, and we're going to miss him," his mother Jane said.
Army Major Michael L. Green is mourned and loved by his parents, Hacy Green Sr. of Garrettsville, Ohio, and Jane Green, who lives in Gautier, Mississippi, and his siblings: Scott Green and his wife, Elizabeth, live in Birmingham, Alabama; Hacy Green Jr.; his twin sister, Michelle LeBatard and her husband, Johnse, live in Mississippi.
Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Army Major Michael L. Green. We are so sorry for your terrible and tragic loss.
Sgt. James K. Healy, 25, of Hesperia, California
Tragically, one young wife and 13-month-old son lost their "wonderful husband and father" when the vehicle James Healy was riding in struck an improvised explosive device in Laghar Juy, Afghanistan, on January 7, 2008.
A resident of Hesperia his whole life, James married his childhood sweetheart, Shannon, who was also a Hesperia High School Class of 2000 graduate. Her father reports that it is just too difficult for her to talk to the press about James at this time.
A fellow army buddy, Sgt. Gregory Boyett, remembered that James "...loved to draw!" Both men served together in the 703rd Explosive Ordnance Detachment at Fort Knox, Kentucky, where James designed the company coin as well as a company t-shirt. "He was a great soldier, dedicated, loyal [...] a fun-loving guy, and family man." James is also remembered as being a Star Wars fanatic.
In a letter he sent to his mother-in-law from Afghanistan a few months ago, Army Sgt. James K. Healy wrote about people asking him what he does.
He said he replies that he works hard to save lives every second of every day that he is away from his family.
The 25-year-old soldier from Hesperia was doing just that in Afghanistan, thousands of miles away from his young wife and 13-month-old son, when he died Monday.
Now his family is left with many memories and the heartfelt words he sent home.
"I believe that quote is truly the quote of a hero," said Dave Olney, Healy's father-in-law. (quote source)
Our heartfelt prayers and condolences go out to Shannon Healy and her young son, and the family and friends who love and mourn Sgt. James K. Healy.
Please consider supporting the following fine organizations this holiday: AnySoldier.com, Fisher House, Military Pets Foster Project, Guardian Angels for Soldier's Pets, or Operation Ensuring Christmas, an organization that plans theme parks vacations for the children of our fallen troops.
Thank you so much for caring!
Please take a moment to honor the memories of all service men and women who have passed through this world much too quickly.
I Got the News Today is a diary series intended to honor, respect and remind. Click here to see the series, which was begun by i dunno, and is currently maintained by Sandy on Signal, monkeybiz, MsWings, greenies, blue jersey mom, Chacounne, twilight falling, joyful, moneysmith, noweasels, roses, and SisTwo.
These diaries are heartbreaking to write, but, we believe, an important service to those Americans who have died, and to our community’s respect for and remembrance of them.
Peace and Blessings.