22 years old from Concord, Michigan
A Company, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division
October 13, 2003
Spc. Donald Laverne Wheeler was affectionately known as "DJ" to his family, which included three sisters and eight brothers. In the military, he picked up the nickname "Sunshine." "They called him Sunshine at Fort Hood in Texas because he was so tall he stood out from everyone else and he was always smiling," said one of his sisters, Andrea Barrett. Wheeler died on October 13, 2003 in an attack in Tikrit. His mother, Mary Cay Wheeler, said he decided to enlist after the Sept. 11 attacks. "He loved the Army but at the same time he missed his family", she said. They had a photo of Wheeler blown up to near life size and brought it to his sister's wedding reception because he couldn't attend. "I shall always remember him, a big kid who gave everything he had on that dusty day," said Lt. Jason Price at a memorial service in Tikrit. "It's difficult to say goodbye."
These brave men and women have given their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Have Every Right To Dream Heroic Dreams.
Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look
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