May 2008 Archives

« April 2008 | Weblog | September 2008 »

Cpt. Travis Patriquin, KIA Ramadi, honored in USA Today

By Michael Fumento

USA Today in its Memorial Day issue put Army Cpt. Travis Patriquin's photo on the front page and had a nice write-up of him. The website version relates that Marine Lt. Col. John Church lost two friends in Iraq just days before his wife gave birth to a baby boy: Patriquin and Marine Lt. Col. Joseph Trane McCloud. So they named the child Travis Joseph Church.

Patriquin head shot
Travis Patriquin
The newspaper notes that, "Patriquin, 32, was a staff officer in Ramadi who spoke fluent Arabic and helped develop a successful strategy to build an alliance with tribal sheiks."

I met Patriquin during my second trip to Ramadi in October, 2006. I was immediately struck by his brilliance. I didn't even know at the time he was also hero, having won a Bronze Star for action in Operation Anaconda - the fiercest fight of the Afghanistan war.

The bad guys could not have known how lucky they were when his Humvee, in which he was accompanied by Marine PAO officer Megan McClung and an enlisted man, was destroyed by an IED six weeks later.

I wrote about Patriquin and McClung here., whom I'd gotten to know much better.

I wrote to Patriquin's dad, Gary today. "I guess there is really no way to tell people how we really feel," he told me. "Some days are great and then others it's a burden just to get out of bed."

Capt. Travis Desk
Capt. Patriquin's famous desk
He continued, "I have had people ask me if I think we should leave Iraq because I lost a son, To me, that is a slap in the face. It's all I can do to keep from biting their head off. But I take a big breath and ask them if they like their way of life. In most cases, they say 'Yes.' Then I tell them, the next time you see a soldier THANK HIM."

He concluded, "Travis said to me, 'Dad I would rather fight on another country's soil than fight here at home.' He had a love for protecting his family and friends."

I conclude with a photo I took of Patriquin's desk, which was made world famous when blogger Michelle Malkin picked up on it.

May 23, 2008 07:30 PM  ·  Permalink  ·  Military