CHESTERFIELD TWP., (WXYZ) - Twenty-two Marines from Selfridge Air National Guard Base died in 2007. A monument was supposed to be built in their honor. Some seven years later it remains a dream. You can help.
Metro Detroiters are known to come though for a neighbor in need and a local Marine is hoping you'll come though once again for a group of American heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice seven years ago.
“In 2006, 1-24 was deployed to Iraq.”
1-24 or First Battalion 24th Marine Regiment: Marines in every sense of the word but also your neighbors, friends and family. They’re from Selfridge Air National Guard Base, but in 2006 they were headed to an active combat zone.
Retired Marine Msgt. Anglo Lema was once a proud member of 1-24.
“When they got to Iraq, they were assigned to one of the most deadly spots in the country; Al Anbar Province; commonly known as Fallujah.”
Those battles are well documented. Nearly a third of all American troops who died in Iraq lost their lives in Al Anbar Province.
“What they participated in I'm told is known as the The Third Battle of Fallujah. During that time, they lost 22 Marines. When they returned in 2007 it was put forth that a memorial should be built to honor the lives and service of these 22 Marines.”
The memorial will be built in Chesterfield Township.
“Even though we have a lot of military, Chesterfield is very patriotic," says Chesterfield Township Treasurer Linda Hartman.
“I Think it's a beautiful spot we've chosen, we've chosen it together.”
Almost all the pieces are in place but nearly seven years after those 22 Marines made the ultimate sacrifice the monument remains an unfulfilled dream.
“People have given from their heart. I got to tell you the people of this area and outlining areas have been so generous but, we're still making our way.”
Msgt. Lema says another $70,000 is needed before the monument can be built. Donations are tax deductible and every little bit helps.
There's a gentleman in Mount Clemens who sent me two envelopes on two separate occasions and they each had a dollar. I tracked him down who he was through a local church He though enough to send us a dollar; twice.”