The Republican National Hispanic Assembly, an organization affiliated with the Republican Party, issued an appeal to the public to come to the aid of the widow and child of Marine Corporal Christopher Singer, who was killed one year ago while serving his country in the Sangin River Valley in Afghanistan. Cpl Singer was felled by a sniper's bullet on what would have been another normal day in a dangerous place. His commanding officer, Mark Philippe writes about the contribution Cpl. Singer made to his fellow Marines and his country, giving his all so that Americans might have a measure of freedom. See below:
January 21, 2012 was supposed to be a normal day. It was just 3 weeks after we completed the relief-in-place of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion; my platoon took over an area of operation previously held by a company. We were a platoon minus- less Marines than a standard platoon. I sent out a patrol that day to push up into an area where we had just taken enemy contact the day before. While 3rd squad prepared for patrol, I took 2nd squad back to the FOB to debrief my company commander on the events from the day before. I was in the combat operations center when the initial call came over the radio that 3d squad was in contact (with the enemy).
It happened so fast and I can remember it like it was yesterday; they were taking accurate medium machine gun fire and accurate sniper fire, pinned down and were unable to maneuver- they were stuck. In a matter of seconds they were calling in a "9-line", which is a 9 line report containing all the pertinent information needed to launch a medevac helicopter. At that point I knew we had taken an urgent casualty; one of our own was hit.
As they read over the brevity codes- information which represents who the casualty is, I grabbed my other squad leader and ran to our armored vehicles to attempt to drive up and provide support to the squad in contact about 2 miles away. The Marines had sprinted to throw their gear on and push out. As I briefed them on the situation en route, it resonated that we may have already lost at least one. I briefed the plan on the map, and issued the orders.
Doc Prunty, a young Navy Corpsman had inserted an artificial tube into Singer's airway and was breathing for him after Corporal Warvel, Lance Corporal Sellz and Lance Corporal Powell had provided initial aide. Singer was the tip of the spear. His job was to sweep the path for his squad behind him, for mines and any type of improvised explosive device. They had been caught in a deliberate ambush, and Singer had been shot in the head.
The Marines didn't hesitate one second to provide aide immediately and do what they were trained to do while keeping him alive long enough for the shock trauma unit on the british medevac bird to get him. Warvel ordered a split element to maneuver into position and provide security as he called up the medevac info over the radio. Corporal Warvel was later awarded the Navy Commendation Medal with "V" Combat distinguishing device for his actions. The 5th highest award given in the Marine Corps, just below the Bronze Star. He is 23 yrs old.
After the bird departed we were ordered to secure the area and we took fire from. To push through and conduct a deliberate clearing operation building by building in order to locate the enemy fighters. The hardest thing I've ever done in my life was taking Singer's weapon from Warvel, then looking him in the eyes, with blood on his face from one of his own Marines, and give him the order to take his squad back into the fight- to put their emotions behind them, and accomplish a new mission. A 23 year old Marine who had held his buddy in his arms as he lay dying, doing everything he could to save him, and tell him the day wasn't over.
Warvel and Singer did everything you expect Marines to do. To lead Marines under fire, in life and death situation, to focus on the mission, and carry out orders. They all did that day. They cleared the buildings and returned to our patrol base in the rain and mud. It was about 35 degrees when we returned to base. My company Gunnery Sergeant walked out of my operations center and looked me in the eye, put his hand on my shoulder and told me he didn't make it. Singer died on the bird en route to Camp Bastion, the urgent surgical trauma center at Leatherneck base about 20 minutes away by air. Nothing can really describe the difficulty- trying to reassure the 19-22 yr olds who have been in the Corps for a hot minute, that there was nothing more they could do. That they did their jobs, they did them well, but sometimes it doesn't go our way.
Singer dreamed of being a Marine his whole life. He embodied everything this country asks for in its young Marines who go off to war and it was my honor and privilege to have served alongside him. He was only 23 years old and left behind a wife, Brooke, and a 2 year old daughter, Briyana. Briyana will never grow up with her father, nor Brooke get her husband back.
They were robbed of all the things that most of us take for granted each day. One day when she's older, she'll learn the story of her brave father who gave his life, making the ultimate sacrifice for his brothers and his country. Leading from the front, each step in harm's way, to protect the Marines on his left and right. There is a trust set up for Briyana and I am asking each of you to consider giving a donation. I'm asking that you think about making a small sacrifice in his name, so Brooke and Briyana can have a better life. For the cost of a beer or a meal out on a weekend, think about helping this family.
Corporal Singer died doing his job. He got up each day and went to work in harm's way, fighting for freedom, for everyone at home. The trust is in Christopher's mother's name- Marlene Shaw. She is an incredibly strong woman. I hope you'll consider whatever you can afford.
Wells Fargo Bank, Trust for Briyana Singer & Marlene Shaw
Trust Account # 5689432283
For Wire Transfers, the routing # is: 121000248
There is a $15 charge to the Trust for wire transfers.
For an ACH transfer from a Wells Fargo account- the routing # is
121042882 and there is no charge.
Marlene Shaw c/o Briyana Singer
41940 Kaffirboom Court
Temecula, CA 92591
In the memo, write 'Briyana Singer.'