In my previous post, I proudly posted a picture of my children posing with a handsome marine in hopes that someone would help me find him. As I zoomed in on the picture, I saw his name on his uniform, Wilks. Out of tribute, I wanted to find him so I could give him a big hug and thank him.
Without asking, my friend and former marine, Chris Hernandez, took on the task. The very next day, Chris sent me a text, “I found the Marine named Wilks.” I was so excited Igave my daughter “a thumbs up”. As I continued reading my heart sank, “Looks like he was killed while deployed in 2008, Sorry.” Tears rolled down my cheeks. My mind wandered and replayed our first meeting over and over in silence, my heart filled with sadness.
Without going into much detail about the trip, I will summarize it.
Ten of my family members traveled from the US to Lebanon in July 2006 to attend my cousins weddings. The war with Israel broke out and we were stuck in a terrible mess. Two weeks into the war, we were dropped off at 7:30 am into a massive and disorganized crowd waiting hours for the possibility to get on a US military ship to come home. We finally crossed the checkpoint where the US Embassy and Marines welcomed us. I honestly don’t remember how we got to that point but all I could see coming towards me was a young Marine with the biggest and brightest smile. He said, “You’re safe, we got you”.
I wanted to hug and kiss him but I wasn’t sure that it was good protocol. He then picked up and carried my son, Sami who was 6 years old, hi-fived my son, Daniel (13 years old at the time) and held on to Mariana’s hand (11 years old). He took them past security while my husband and I took a deep breath and got our passports/paperwork in order. It was an indescribable feeling. We took a picture to treasure that moment and according to my kids, “the Marine that saved our lives.” The picture became our 2006 Christmas Card.
Corporal Kyle Wilks, We’re sorry that no one could save your life. We will never forget you. You will always be the Marine and Angel who saved our lives and our spirits. Rest In Peace!
A special note to his mother, Mrs. Wilks: Thank you for giving up your beautiful child to serve his Country. I know that he made so many people happy that day in Beirut. His smile will live on in our hearts.
I would like to do something special to honor Corporal Kyle Wilks. How about donating toys for Christmas to children in need? Any other ideas?