SPARTANBURG, SC, USA U.S. Marines LCPL, K CO, 3D BN, 6TH MAR, (RCT-6, II MEF FWD), 2D MAR DIV, CAMP LEJEUNE, NC HABBANIYAH, IRAQ 05/25/2007
The family of Marine Lance Corporal David Paul Lindsey said they spoke with him just hours before he died in Iraq.
“It’s wonderful we had that opportunity to talk to him last night because within the next 12 hours, he was dead,” Lindsey’s father Mike Bishop told the (Spartanburg) Herald-Journal on May 25.
The family could not be reached for comment May 26, but Kim Stroud, Lindsey’s godmother, said the 20-year-old Lindsey was killed sometime between 6 p.m. May 24 and 10 a.m. May 25, EDT.
Lindsey graduated from Spartanburg High School in 2005 and joined the Marines in October of that year. He had been stationed in Iraq as an infantryman with the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, since early January. He was scheduled to return home in August.
“He was proud to be a Marine and proud to serve,” said Bishop, who said he had served as a lieutenant colonel in the Army during the Vietnam War. “That’s what boys in this family have always wanted and always done.”
Stroud said Lindsey wanted to be like his father, grandfather and uncle and serve in the military. “David was just the most awesome kid,” Stroud said.
Lindsey’s sister Rachel Baxter told the Herald-Journal that a letter Lindsey wrote Jan. 30 after he had been in Iraq just 17 days painted a picture of who he was.
“We have been watching Flags of our Fathers,” Lindsey wrote. “It’s about the Marines on Iwo Jima and the flag-raising on top of the mountain. I tell you where the U.S. troops were outnumbered and had the disadvantage but still went face to face with danger and still took the objective; those men and women are true American heroes (like pops).
“I know Vietnam was bad but that didn’t stop Dad. And this is my promise to y’all. Iraq is bad, but it isn’t going to stop me (like father, like son.) I’m out here on the front lines so y’all can sleep in peace tonight.”
Lindsey was 6 years old when he went to live with the Bishops because his biological family was unable to take care of him, but Stroud said he was never officially adopted.
“It was a rough beginning,” Baxter told the newspaper. “He needed parents so badly the moment he walked in our home he started calling them Mom and Dad.”
The family ended their last phone call with Lindsey the way they always did.
“We say we love you but we also say ‘be there,’ as in ‘be in heaven,’ and he is there,” Lindsey’s 25-year-old sister Shawna Cowart said.