36 years old from Alhambra, California
2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division
March 21, 2007
"He was a really patriotic young man", said Darrell Griffin Sr. "He said that the people there really needed us and he felt it was the right place to be. He wished we didnâ?Tt have to have wars, but since thatâ?Ts the way mankind is, he felt he was contributing an important part to his country".
SSgt. Griffin lost his life in Balad, Iraq when his unit came under fire as it was returning to base after conducting security operations in the Iraqi capital.
The eldest son of six children, SSgt. Griffin worked as an EMT before joining the California Army National Guard in 1999. He enlisted in the Army two years later, and in July 2001, was assigned to the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, in Ft. Lewis, Washington. He served with that unit in Iraq from October 2004 to September 2005.
On his second tour of duty, SSgt. Griffin had been awarded the Bronze Star for valor in 2005 when he was credited with saving the lives of three U.S. and two Iraqi Army soldiers injured during battle in Tal Afar. He had also received the Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Combat Infantry Badge, Expert Infantry Badge, Parachute Badge, and the Meritorious Unit Citation.
"Griff was the type of man you want to have by your side in a fight," Maj. Brent Clemmer, his former company commander, wrote from Iraq. "He was the type of squad leader every young soldier wants to have".
"Darrell was my husband, my Soldier, my gift from God who was also the love of my life and always will be." Said his wife, Diana. "He was also 'a Soldier's Soldier of Strength and Honor' whose commitment to duty, honor and loyalty will be forever remembered by all who know and love him. The news of his death saddens us deeply and we ask for your prayers in our time of grief. Please also continue to keep our Soldiers in your prayers."
This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll.