MACON, GA, USA
U.S. Marine Corps
CLB-6, CLR-2 (CLB-6, 2D MLG FWD, II MEF FWD), 2D MLG, CAMP LEJEUNE, NC
FALLUJAH, IRAQ 05/14/2007
Jeffrey was born on June 12, 1985 in Macon, GA. He was your typical little boy growing up. He would take things apart just to see how they worked. Then put them back together. All boy! He was always there to defend and protect both his older and younger sisters.
He graduated Pike County High School in 2004. Jeffrey was always the life of the party. You could not be in a bad mood around him. He would always put a smile on your face and make you forget, if only for a moment, all of your troubles. I miss his smile so very much! Shortly after graduation he decided to join the Marine Corp. We had no idea he was going to join the Marines. He just did it! His life was headed in the wrong direction and he wanted to make a change. And change he did. He left for boot camp a boy and came home a man!
His first tour to Iraq was in 2005. He was nervous but yet excited at the same time. He was over there for 7 months. I will never forget being at Camp Lejeune when he stepped off of that bus after not seeing him for so long. It was priceless! He was home on leave during Christmas of 2006. On the way to our family dinner his 4 year old niece asked him “Jeffrey, why do you go to war?” and his response still to this day brings tears to my eyes. He told her “Hope honey, I go to war so that you can play outside in the yard”.
He was such an amazing person. Our family will NEVER be the same, there is a huge part of it missing now. But there is a blessing in it all. While he was home on his last leave his girlfriend got pregnant. They didn’t stay together. My Little Connerman was born on Dec. 15, 2006. Jeffrey was at Lejeune doing field training at the time. He got to see Conner for the first time when he was 2 weeks old. Conner was his pride and joy. He got to see Conner a total of about 5 times in Conner’s life. When Conner was 5 months old Jeffrey was KIA. So, now it is my job to make sure that Jeff’s legacy lives on in Conner. I will make sure that he knows his Daddy loved him so very much and that his daddy is a true American Hero!
I got my last phone call from Jeffrey on Mothers Day 2007. He and my girls always competed on things like this, my phone rang at 12:15am. It was Jeffrey. He told me Happy Mothers Day and told me that he loved me. He then asked me if he was the first one to tell me happy mothers day. I told him Yes, son it is 12:15am! We talked for a few minutes then he said he had to go that they were going on a resupply mission. The next day there were 3 uniformed Marines in my yard. Jeffrey was killed by a sniper on that very mission. I cannot explain the pain of having your very heart ripped from your chest while it is still beating. Having the very breath kicked from your lungs. It is something I wouldn’t wish on any parent. Then to have to plan your child’s funeral. It is just not natural to have to go through such pain.
I started a foundation to help other families going through the same thing. I know what they feel. I know some of the struggles they will go through. Your world comes to a crashing halt, but the world keeps moving. You cannot work. You cannot function. The bills keep coming due. Anything I can do to help them get through the pain and to comfort them is what I will do.
Thank you so much for this gift of his portrait. I know you will capture his spirit in it.