LONGMONT, CO, USA U.S. Marines SSGT, 7TH ESB BN (-), (EOD CO, 2D MLG FWD) , 1ST MLG, CAMP PENDLETON, CA RAMADI, IRAQ 03/02/2007
Staff Sergeant Dustin M. Gould died March 2, 2007 as he tried to disarm an explosive device. A native of Norman, Okla., Dustin was assigned to the 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California. Dustin and his father moved from Oklahoma to Colorado after his parents divorced. They lived in Fort Collins for a while before moving to Longmont. Although Dustin lived in Longmont with his father, David, he attended Berthoud High School, graduating in 1997.
“He and I just loved the outdoors,” David Gould said. “We spent all the time that we could there.”
In high school, he began researching the military. His father said he chose to join the Marines because it is such an elite group.
“It was hard to let him go,” David Gould said, but Dustin had made up his mind. “He always had a good head on his shoulders.”
His mother had trouble seeing him in the military, though. “He was the kindest, gentlest, sweetest person. I would have never, ever believed in him going overseas, being a Marine,” Karen Gould said, calling her son a “good leader” who never whined or gave anyone trouble.
Family friends in Norman said he was a strong, caring person. “You have never met such an unselfish, outstanding young man,” family friend Kay Weyneth said. “He never gave his mother trouble, he always excelled at whatever he did, he would give you the shirt off his back. No one could wish for a better son.”
His mother remembers a son who enjoyed the thrill of danger. He rode motorcycles, scuba dived, and even wrestled alligators.
“He was disarming (a bomb) to save his whole platoon and he took the fall for it. So he saved the others,” said Karen Gould of Oklahoma.
While on patrol, Dustin and his fellow Marines discovered an explosive device on the road, said David Gould, now of Atlanta. Dustin, who served in the explosive ordnance-disposal unit, thought it was safe and moved it to a vehicle.
“When he was placing it in the vehicle, it exploded,” David Gould said.
This was Dustin’s fourth rotation in Iraq – he had been there since August – and he was scheduled to return in just 15 days, David Gould said.
Dustin also is survived by his wife of eight years, Elizabeth, who lives in California; and his sister, Bethany White, 31, of Van Buren, Arkansas.