Today's IGTNT diary is a shared effort by joyful and gchaucer2. Thank you so much for your loving contributions, gchaucer2!!
On January 22, a young man died in a New York apartment, alone and far from his native Australia.
A few days earlier, another young man died, also far from his Tunnel Hill, Georgia home. He was not alone, though: he died protecting 25 of his Marine brethren by shooting an incoming suicide bomber, and dying alongside his attacker when the bombs detonated.
Both men were fathers of toddlers. Both men were extremely talented in their respective fields, both were deeply respected and admired.
Both deaths were horribly tragic.
Yet only one man's death was headlined by the mainstream Traditional Media.
Thank you for joining me today for the tribute that the American media fails to pay to our fallen American soldiers.
Lance Cpl. James M. Gluff of Tunnel Hill, Georgia
Brave Lance Cpl. James M. Gluff died January 19 while foiling a suicide bomber in Al Anbar province, Iraq. Lance Cpl. Gluff was assigned to 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
He was 20 years old.
"He is a hero," states his wife, former Marine Kendra Hope Gluff. She and James joined the military together, but she was discharged early for medical reasons. They are parents to a 14-month-old son, Michael Wayne Gluff.
Kendra Gluff said that James hoped, "no one else would have to do what he did" and that he wanted to serve his country. She confirmed that the military told her that her husband saved 25 lives when he killed a suicide bomber under hostile conditions, but lost his own life when the bombs went off. Three soldiers were injured in the explosion, but no other Americans were killed: only James Gluff.
James Gluff graduated high school in 2005. He had been serving in Iraq since September, and was due back home in April.
Gluff's family, as well as one of Gluff's former high school teacher, briefly share their memories in this NewsChannel9 video.
The magnificent Patriot Guard escorted Lance Cpl. Gluff from the Chattanooga airport to a Dalton, Georgia funeral home when his body arrived on January 24, and the Riders will be in attendance at his funeral services on Monday, January 28.
Lance Cpl. James M. Gluff is loved and mourned by his wife, Kendra and his baby son, Michael; his mother, Ellen Betancourt of Dalton, Georgia; his father, James H. Gluff of Jamestown, Tennessee; a sister, Sandy Cooper of Jamestown; and two brothers, Jerry Sells and Dewayn Gluff, both of Jamestown.
Our hearts and prayers are with the family, friends, and Marine brothers who love and miss James Gluff.
Sgt. Michael R. Sturdivant of Conway, Arkansas
Michael was on his first tour of duty when he died January 22 in Kirkuk, Iraq, of injuries sustained from a vehicle accident. Sgt. Sturdivant was assigned to the 431st Civil Affairs Battalion, U.S. Army Civil Affairs & Psychological Operations Command (Airborne) out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina. This was his first and only unit assignment, and he was scheduled to return to the US in less than two weeks.
He was only 20 years old.
Michael Sturdivant was born in Mission Viejo, California. Michael joined the Army in March 2005. He was a trained civil affairs specialist, enlisting for a six-year tour. The Army said that Sgt. Sturdivant was called to active duty in November 2006, and his unit was deployed to Iraq shortly afterward.
Prior to joining the military, Michael was a full-time student and an Eagle Scout.
Michael R. Sturdivant is mourned by his parents, Victor and Cheryl Sturdivant of Bonner, Montana. Our hearts go out to the family and friends who love and dearly miss this wonderful young man.
Please consider supporting the following fine organizations: 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 traumatized 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, SpamNunn, 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.
UPDATE from joyful:
The wireless connection here is so bad, I am pecking away out in the hotel lobby while trying to sniffle quietly (there is no tissue handy!). I thought of this diary all the way down I-5, and was absolutely moved to tears when I was finally able to access the Internet and log in to DailyKos.
I would like to publicly thank gchaucer2 for the hours spent here in my absence ensuring each of you were thanked for the gift of your comment. Without anyone even asking, gchaucer2 saw the need and quietly stepped in to fill it.
gchaucer2, you have poured as much of yourself into this diary as I did, and I adjusted the Intro to reflect that. Bless you and thank you dearly for your thoughtful kindness! You are so greatly appreciated!