GALLATIN, TN, USA U.S. Marines LCPL, DET A, I CO, 3D BN, 24TH MAR, 4TH MAR DIV, NASHVILLE, TN FALLUJAH, IRAQ 10/23/2006
Paul Mertens, Tyler R. Overstreet’s stepfather, tried to pick the right words to honor the young Marine. “He was a prankster. If he could initiate something, he would initiate it,” Mertens said. “But he was also the kind that if you asked for the shirt off his back, he would probably give it to you. He was loving, caring. He didn’t have a bad bone in his whole body. He was a great kid.”
He was a 2004 high school graduate and was assigned to Nashville. “No one forced him to go; he volunteered,” said his mother, Jana. “He went to fight for his country.”
Merten’s hoped to hear from Overstreet after a Monday night football game between the Dallas Cowboys, Overstreet’s favorite team, and the New York Giants, his stepfather’s favorite. “My first thought was that if the Giants don’t win, he’s going to be all over me, and if they do win, I’ll be over him,” Mertens said. The Giants won 36-22.
On Sept. 27, Overstreet’s girlfriend, Misty McQuery, gave birth to the Marine’s son, Ashton. “He never got to see him,” Mertens said.