A time for grief: Two Oregon NG soldiers killed in Iraq

T.A. Barnhart

Quoting the Oregonian's report:

The two Oregon Army National Guard members killed Friday in Iraq were identified today as a 19-year-old raised in Monmouth and a 38-year-old father from Amboy, Wash.

The deaths are the first since 2,600 members of the 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team arrived in Iraq in July. A third member of the team, SPC Reid Walch of Redmond, was injured. According to KTVZ-TV of Bend, shrapnel was removed from Walch's legs. He was to be flown to Germany and eventually to Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C.

Taylor MarksThe soldiers were on a convoy security mission with the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) in Baghdad when a roadside bomb exploded, Capt. Stephen Bomar said. ...

Taylor D. Marks, 19, was was born in Salem and raised in Monmouth ... [and] is survived by his mother, Michelle; stepfather, Don; sister, Courtney, 15; brother, Alex, 19; and father, Morey Marks of Salem.

Earl WernerSgt. Earl D. Werner, 38, was on his third deployment and had been awarded the Bronze Star, two Army Commendation Medals and the Combat Action Badge. He is survived by his wife, Casey, and son, Charles, 19, of the Amboy, Wash., area.

As the father of a National Guard soldier in Iraq, this is gut-wrenching news. I simply cannot imagine what the families are going through, but I wish them consolation and peace. I hope that all of us, those who oppose this deployment and the occupation and those who support the on-going action, can unite in simply wish well for the families and friends of Earl Werner and Taylor Marks.

  • Kurt Chapman (unverified)

    I know that this was a very difficult post for TA to write. Thank you for the way that you handled it. My sincere sympathies and condolences go out to the families and friends of Earl Werner and Taylor Marks.

  • Old Ducker (unverified)

    Their blood is on the hands of all who support imperialism and globalism, as well as those who programmed their minds to believe that this and other wars are useful and that human sarifice is required. People will say they died for our freedom but the opposite is true.

  • Greg Warnock (unverified)

    TA- thank you for your compassion and empathy. We are all worried for our troops there- and are devastated at the newest loss. If I can ever help you, or your family-in any way I would. Bless you and know our prayers.

    Greg Warnock OWVA www.owva.org

  • Joe Hill (unverified)

    These were not my students, but they might well have been. A good number of my students (despite my best efforts, believe me) are in the armed forces overseas. I read these young peoples' stories and I read between the lines and I just weep for them and their families and for all who are grieving their loss so deeply now. I hope our country gets better soon. I hope we all try to help it heal.

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    I join in weeping, mourning, and sending condolences to families and loved ones.

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    Thank you for your timely reminder and post. It was just a couple of weeks ago that SPC Jeremy Pierce lost a leg in action. His rescue is detailed in the link below. As an aside, the First Lt. quoted is a big fan of BO. I hope your son and all of those who have a loved one currently serving, comes home safe and soon.


  • Greg D. (unverified)

    I do not understand or support these wars, but I pray for the soldiers and their families. George II and Dick C. were evil, but there are bad people out there who would like to kill us and our comfortable USA lifestyle.

    Now back to reality. U of O over Boise State by 8 1/2. At least I hope so as my bookie and I have an agreement.

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    DH, thanks for posting that. i could not be more opposed to this occupation, but the quality of men and women who are serving is undeniable. to rescue Pierce as they did is the true definition of heroism. and that's another piece of what's so tragic about all of this: men and women of such caliber, and so young, being lost for a cause that was wrong from the beginning. i am so proud of my fellow Oregonians for training and preparing in the way they do -- and that includes my son -- not so they can be good soldiers but good people. the kind who will risk everything to save a fellow human being.

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    This is most tragic news.

    To the families, friends and acquaintances of Taylor Marks and Earl Werner - some of Oregon's finest - I offer my deepest condolences for your loss and heart-felt wishes for healing.

    Blessings and peace.

  • Bartender (unverified)

    A past coworker who has since become a very dear friend was also recently deployed to Iraq with the OR NG. He is the gunner on one of the vehicles that escorts supply trucks around the region (don't know where, exactly). He just got back from their third mission and IM'd me that an IED went off so close that it shook their truck. I'm terrified for him and all our soldiers.

    Thanks TA, for remembering these brave men and for your posts that remind us that this terrible war is not over yet. May these selfless souls rest in peace.

  • Amar (unverified)

    May God give enough strength to the families to bear these great losses, Death is death but I really take pity on the demise of that young man who was in his early age, I pray for them,may their soul rest in peace..............

  • BOHICA (unverified)

    Parents should not have to bury their children. When my nephew was in Afghanistan with the 10th Mt. Div., a CH-47 went down killing all on board. The wait for news was unbearable. There will be a hole in the hearts of the families that will never quite heal.

    The patriot's dream still lives on today It makes mothers weep and it makes lovers pray Let's drink to the men who got caught by the chill Of the patriotic fever and the cold steel that kills.

  • Bill R. (unverified)

    A prayerful offering of peace and healing to these families and all who have lost loved ones.

  • mrfearless47 (unverified)

    I support neither war brought to us by our last president (lack of capitalization is deliberate). Our current President inherited two wars and I pray for him every day to find a way out of both quickly and safely, without exposing the ordinary Iraqi or Afghani to the ravages of their oppressive and sick opposition. I have a nephew who has now done 3 tours in Iraq and a son-in-law who has done two Iraq tours. I pray that their service prevents them from going back again. I pray for our soldiers that they come home soon, standing on both feet, waving with both arms, seeing out of both eyes, and with mind and spirit in tact. They deserve a heroes welcome regardless of how you feel about the war. I don't have quite the same worries that TA does - for him it is about as up close and personal as it gets - but I do worry about my sister having to bury a son, or my daughter without a husband and my granddaughter without a father. Good post TA. Thanks for reminding us of the continuing horror that places our children, parents, and friends in constant harm's way.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)

    T.A., apparently you did not get the memo explaining that only Republicans are allowed to write posts like this (usually while waving the bloody shirt at the same time).

  • Steven (unverified)

    Pitiful that people can't express condolences without their little political interjections. As a brother in arms with a son going for number 2 I say rest well my brothers, and to the families I pray for you to have comfort. I grieve for your loss.

  • Rob Drake (unverified)

    I'm sorry for this loss and hope that one day progressives will never again let their children join the military based on the promise of free this or that. We all must work very hard and save our earnings to keep our children out of the military, provide them with health insurance, college educations, etc.

  • rw (unverified)

    Some of the local four directions altar people I hang with while not in SD are very very... let's just say they would like to "stick it to Da Man" in at least a few recent past incarnations. Yah, there are some radicals in there, I must say.

    I've been heartened that a local elder assiduously educates at every chance as to the difference between the politics of the war mongers and the steep courage, the honor of the warrior. And that our honorable conduct must be a mirror of theirs too. I think he is not JUST giving cultural context in living here - I believe he is acting to help prevent another abusive cycle visited upon returnees. Such as that endured by the warriors sent off to Vietnam and Cambodia.

  • carey (unverified)

    Earl will be missed. Growing up together we shared many memories, I will hold them all dear to my heart. He was a true American Hero. Thank you for your service Earl, we love you and will miss you.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)

    Pitiful that people can't express condolences without their little political interjections.

    When war and politics become independent phenomena, please let me know.

  • Jenny Pierce (unverified)

    i am so sorry about what happened. i could not imagine losing jeremy (my cousin) he did get bombed though, which made me sad. but hearing what happened to those men is just terrible. i give the families my sympathy.

  • Erica (unverified)

    I have had many friends go into this war and come back safely. I never thought that someone so close to me would be lost, especially my cousin Taylor. For those who didnt know Taylor, he was truly a good man. I am deeply saddened that I will never get to talk with him agian.

    Thank you for your kind words and support. To the family who lost Sgt. Earl D. Werner, keep your head up. We have to stay strong for each other. And my wishes go out to all those who are still fighting and especially their families.

    All my love, Erica

  • WerSome members of the Werner family have established a Sexual Abuse Awaren (unverified)

    Some members of the Werner family have established a Sexual Abuse Awareness fund at the YWCA of Walla Walla. This fund will help Sexual Abuse prevention and treatment efforts, for victims & survivors. To contribute, contact: YWCA of Walla Walla 213 S. First Ave. Walla Walla, WA. 99362 ywcaww.org [email protected] The YWCA is a 501 C 3 nonprofit dedicated to empowering women, eliminating racism and working for peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all people.

  • Dan (unverified)

    Too bad the liberals had to spoil this tribute.

  • Salina (unverified)
    <h2>As the wife of one of the men attached to this unit, I couldn't help but be torn by many of the comments above. I was also blessed and touched by many of them. It is extremely sad that anyone who wants "peace for all" would make such cruel statements and attach them to a memorial. You should be on your knees thanking the men and women that are and have been willing to dedicate their lives serving their country. It doesn't really matter if you believe we should be there or not. When they signed up they didn't get to pick and choose which battles they would fight. One of these souldiers went to many locations. They are the reason you can go about your business and not live in fear of constant terrorism. Soldiers are the reason you live in a free country where you can run your unappreciative mouth whenever you want. I say thank you to all the service members of any kind for your daily surrender to a higher calling of serving others and trying to make this a safer place. My deepest condolences to the friends and family of the fallen. "Fallen but never Forgotten"!!!!!</h2>

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