This is Capt. Robert M. Secher of the 3rd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force. He was killed by a sniper on Oct. 8 in Iraq while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Anbar Province. Capt. Secher was 33.
These are his e-mails to family and friends leading up to his death, published this week by Newsweek. Read the whole series.
Secher was from Germantown, TN. The Memphis Commercial Appeal reported earlier this month:
Robert Secher always wanted to be a soldier. His family remembers the military as his childhood dream.
They’re just not sure from where the desire came.
“He always liked firemen, soldiers and Marines,” his father, Dr. H. Pierre Secher, said Thursday.
The younger Secher fulfilled his dream, going to Marine Corps boot camp at 17 and reaching the rank of captain — a calling that eventually took him to Iraq.
Last Sunday, the Germantown resident died there.
Capt. Robert Michael Secher, 33, was struck by a sniper’s bullet during a battle with insurgents in Iraq’s Anbar province, the family said. He was part of a 10-member team of Marines assigned to train an Iraqi army battalion.
Funeral services for Capt. Secher are scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday at Temple Israel sanctuary on East Massey Road, followed by burial with full military honors at West Tennessee Veterans Cemetery on Forest Hill-Irene. The captain had requested the local burial rather than Arlington National Cemetery.
“That was his way of saying that he was a Tennessee boy, and always will be, and not from Washington,” the elder Secher said.
At least nine people with ties to the Memphis area have died in the Iraq conflict since 2003.
Capt. Secher referred to his career in the military “as a ‘calling’ much like some are called to the rabbinate or priesthood,” his sister, Josie Ballin, said.
“He always wanted to be a Marine,” the elder Secher said. “They were an elite outfit. He bought into the whole mystique of the Marines, and he never lost that.”
Here is Legacy.com tribute page if you’d like to express your condolences and gratitude.
The family request that memorials be sent to the Marines/Iraq Legal Defense Fund c/o Hon. Victor E. Ramirez, P.O. Box 1255, Solana Beach, Calif. 92075 or the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, 825 College Blvd., Suite 102, PMB 609, Oceanside, Calif. 92057.
Finally, here is CNN’s contact page if you’d like to suggest they do a story on Capt. Secher’s sacrifice and heroism instead of broadcasting more Iraqi jihad propaganda.