CLINTON, OH, USA U.S. Marines LCPL, L CO, 3D BN, 25TH MAR, (RCT-2, 2D MAR DIV), 4TH MAR DIV, COLUMBUS, OH BARWANAH, IRAQ 08/03/2005
When 6-year-old Kelly Crowe was scared about taking a dip in the Atlantic, her 5-year-old protector, Brett Wightman, said they would take that first splash together. That was the way he was. “I never felt safer in my life,” Crowe said during the funeral for her friend. “You were always my protector. Now you are my guardian angel.”
William Brett Wightman, 22, of Sabina, Ohio, died August 3, 2005 when his Amphibious Assault Vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device during combat operations south of Haditha, Iraq. He was among 14 Marines killed in that explosion. Brett was assigned to Marine Forces Reserve’s 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division in Columbus, Ohio.
“He would do his best to help somebody,” said the Rev. Carey Hilterbran. “Most of the time that help came with that big smile.” Brett had dreamed of being a Marine since he was 3 years old and enlisted before he graduated from high school in 2002. “He would play with those G.I. Joes and he’d say, ‘I’m going to grow up and be one of these guys,'” said his aunt, Missy Luttrell. “All of his life, that’s all he would talk about.”
During his senior year, Brett was king of the prom, a basketball player and ran track. His football teammates attended his funeral in their red and white team jerseys. He is survived by his parents, Keith Wightman and Pam Saville.