SAUCIER, MS, USA U.S. Marines 1STLT, 1ST BN, 5TH MAR, 1ST MAR DIV, CAMP PENDLETON, CA RAMALYAH, IRAQ 03/21/2003
First Lieutenant Therrel Shane Childers was described as a born leader, serious and focused, who built his life around being a Marine.
“His idea of fun was skiing, backpacking, anything to keep in shape for the Marines,” said Army Sergeant Richard Brown, Childers’ brother-in-law.
Childers grew up in a military family primarily in Harrison County, Miss., and enlisted after high school. He served in the 1991 Gulf War, and in 2001 he completed the Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program at The Citadel.
Retired Master Sergeant Steve Whitten said his wife often ribbed Childers about being single.
“He had plenty of girls after him,” Whitten said, but “Shane was married to the Marine Corps.”
Marine 1st Lieutenant Therrel Shane Childers was 30 years old when he was killed in Iraq on March 21, 2003. He was the first U.S. serviceman to die in the Iraq war.
Shane Childers was the son of Joseph and Judy Childers of Powell, Wyo. His father says that Shane was excited about the mission to Iraq, and that it was his dream to lead Marines into combat.
Joseph Childers says he is still supportive of the war in Iraq because it’s important to the safety of Americans. He also supports the increase of troops in the region.
To date, the United States has lost more than 5,000 service members in its war with Iraq.
The first of those was 1st Lt. Therrel Shane Childers who marched through the desert during Shock and Awe – the initial push to wrest control of the country.
News reports said he was leading his platoon to an oil-pumping station near Ramalla. According to a news release from The Citadel, where he was on the dean’s list as a French major, he was shot in the stomach.
After his death, a family member, Army Sergeant Richard Brown, told The New York Times: “He was living his dream. He’s one of those gung-ho, whoo-wa Marines. He wanted to do the Marine thing since he could spell ‘Marine.’ If he was going to die, he wanted to die in battle.”