Derek A Wyatt

Derek A Wyatt

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U.S. Marine Corps

Marine Cpl. Derek A. Wyatt died December 6, 2010 serving during Operation Enduring Freedom.  Marine Corporal Wyatt, a twenty-five year old resident from Akron, Ohio, was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.; died Dec. 6 in Helmand province, Afghanistan, while conducting combat operations while conducting combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

Derek was a 2004 graduate of Akron East High School where he participated in the Reserve Officer’s Training Program.  As a standout baseball player, he was All City Series second baseman in 2004 when the school won the City Series Championship.  He enlisted in the Marines and was serving his first combat deployment.  He had previously been stationed in Japan where he met Kait, also a Marine, and the couple were married in August of 2008.  Derek’s military awards include the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global war on terrorism Service Medal and Afghanistan Campaign Medal. 

Family members note that Derek was the one who really got into school and ROTC participation first.  Derek’s ROTC instructor noted that Derek never missed a day of school and that he didn’t even skip out on senior day, saying that he was where he was supposed to be.

Derek and his wife were expecting their first child, a son.  Their baby boy, Michael Everett, was born, 7 pounds, 11 ounces, the day after Derek was killed in Afghanistan.  On the day after the life of a father ended, the first breath of his son was taken. When Kait Wyatt learned that her husband had been killed, she was just four days from her due date for their first child.  Monday night, Kait Wyatt, herself a Marine veteran, went into labor at Camp Pendleton in California. A day later, Michael Everett Wyatt was born with a nose like his father’s and a head full of beautiful hair. 

Family has rallied around Marine, wife and new-Mom Kait as all struggled with the conflict of simultaneously honoring Derek’s death and Michael’s new life.    This struggle is perhaps best said by a family member: “It is like trying to fight the shadow of Derek’s death with the joy of the birth of his son.”  Kait’s sister and husband, both Army service members, recognize Kait’s strength, but will be there to support her future path. Family members say the day before Derek deployed, the couple spent time on a beach near Camp Pendleton, California. Derek wore a Cleveland Indians baseball cap. In the sand at the beach, they wrote their names and the name of their future son: Derek + Kait = Michael. And at the end of the day, they watched the sun set into the Pacific Ocean.  Derek was planning to finish his most recent enlistment and hoped to move back to Ohio with his wife and son.

Derek’s portrait is also on Poster 12


4 Responses to “Derek A Wyatt”
  1. Mikey says:

    Miss him terribly. Words don’t do him justice as a human being.

  2. Matthew J Waldsmith says:

    A hero in the Goodyear Heights community. He will never be forgotten.

  3. Valerie Balsiger says:

    Michael is 9 now and still looks the spitting image of his dad. I’m a proud grandma who cry’s every time I see anything on Derek. I try not to, my daughter tells me memories we have are all Michael has of his dad and they should be happy ones. Kait is the strongest person I know and as I watch micheal grow I realize he brings light to everything like his dad and hold the strength of his mother. Reminds me that the world will always be in need of the Derek wyatts of the world. Michael is hope that continues where his father left off.

  4. Richard Reid says:

    I am a retired Marine GySgt who served our glorious Marine Corps from 1971-1992. I did not know you or your husband but I can tell that he was an outstanding Marine and that you should be very proud of him. I know those words still to this day mean little because of your great loss but every Marine that has served knows of your sacrifice and you selflessness. Anyway please receive my heart felt condolences and Semper Fi.

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