20 years old from Hondo, New Mexico
2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force
March 14, 2007
Tears ran down cheeks and strong men choked back emotion as the city of Hondo, NM payed tribute to fallen Marine, Steven Chavez. LCpl. Chavez lost his life on March 14, 2007 in a non-combat incident in which he was accidentally shot.
Chavez enlisted in the Marine Cops. right after he graduated in 2005. "You pray and you pray that the day never comes, and then it does," said Novelda Chavez, Chavez's mother. "Your emotions are mixed - it's not true, it's a bad dream, a bad dream you never wake up from."
In a letter Chavez wrote before he was sent to Iraq, he wrote:
"First of all I would like to thank everyone for your support. When I'm home on leave and when I'm away. That is so important to me. Thank you for your kind, supporting words in your letters and for the packages I've received. Those are awesome.
I've been through some pretty hard times, in the short time I've been in the Marine Corp. None harder then what I'm about to face. Yes I'm scared; nothing is scarier than the uncertainty of what your future holds for you. I'm prepared to face whatever lies ahead.
I put my life in the hands of the Lord. And pray that He guides my fellow soldiers and I down a safe path, that He will calm our fears, and give us the strength to do the job we have been trained to do, and to do that job well.
There are many lonely nights, when you're lying in your bunk thinking of family and friends, wondering what they are doing at that very moment. Wondering what mom is cooking for supper. I can almost taste the tortillas on the griddle.
I want to say to all of you tonight, I wouldn't change one thing about my life.
I've never been more proud of the choices I made in my life than the day I graduated from basic drill instructor placed that Anchor, Globe and Eagle Pin in my hand I knew then I was a UNITED STATES MARINE!
I'm Proud to protect and serve My Country
I'm Proud to protect and serve My Community
I'm Proud to protect and serve you
Thank you so much for your Support. Keep those letters coming. Mail is a precious commodity when you're so far from Home.
YOUR U.S. MARINE
LANCE CORPORAL STEVE CHAVEZ"
These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday.
This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll.