Wednesday, January 11, 2006

In Memoriam - Sgt Adam Cann/USMC

It's been a tough week for me. America lost a great warrior this week, and I lost a very close friend and fellow dog handler. On the morning of the 6th of January, Sgt Adam Cann was killed in action in Ar Ramadi while conducting security operations at an Iraqi Police recruiting station. The coward that took Sgt Cann from us, walked into the crowd of recruits and detonated his suicide vest, killing Sgt Cann and many others. Adam will be buried at Arlington National cemetery later this week. I encourage you to say a special prayer for the comfort and peace of his family.

While his brave passing has hit me like a ton of bricks, I have a cherished memory of him that I will carry with me on every future battlefield that I am on. He was my roommate at Camp Lejeune while we were preparing to deploy, and it was there that he shared with me a part of his heart. He told me that if he wasn't able to come home with us, that he wanted us to press on without him. Adam, we will press on brother. Thank you for your friendship, your courage, and most importantly, your commitment to our country and her cause. You will be missed and the torch which you have passed us will never be extinguished. Semper Fidelis, Marine. We have the watch now.

I don't want this post to focus on me, but there is a lesson that Sgt Cann taught me and one which I think we all could benefit from learning. When I was informed of his passing, I must admit, I was extremely angry. Although every American life lost here is without a doubt a tragedy, for me, Adam's death hit a bit closer to home than others. It caused me to really look inside myself, and this is when Adam taught me his lesson. It would be so easy for me to succumb to my anger and frustration and begin to question our involvement and presence in Iraq; which many are currently doing. This would undoubtedly be the easy solution. But Adam's words to me that evening in North Carolina reminded me that it would not be the right solution. I could easily redirect my anger at America, at Iraq, at our President and very easily lose my commitment to our cause. But I, and Americans as well, need to understand that our determination need not, and should not, diminish with the loss of America lives here...It needs to grow. Every American life that is lost here needs to fan the flame of liberty and cause it to burn a bit brighter. If my life if required of me here, and my family's, my friend's and my fellow Marine's commitment is not strengthened as a result, I have failed them, and in the bigger picture, I have failed America.

Enough about me...Adam, rest easy. You will always be an inspiration to me, and to those who served with you. It is my hope that one day I can visit your grave and salute you. Your sacrifice has caused our fire here to burn stronger and brighter.

32 comments:

Tara said...

I will definitely keep his family (along with all the others in this war) in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

We mourn, with you, the loss of this great warrior! His sacrifice has deepened our commitment here at home to continually lift in prayer you & all the other brave soldiers defending our freedom. May God's peace & comfort dwell with Sgt Adam Cann's family during this difficult time and may God grant you & the rest strength to carry on in his honor.

Barb said...

I know that all Marines are brothers, but Adam was obviously a very special man and a special Marine, to have touched you so deeply. His lesson to you is a lesson for all of us, to keep the faith and remember our dedication to the cause.

God rest his courageous soul, and keep his family comforted.

Semper Fi

Eric said...

I pray that today Sgt. Cann is resting with the Lord, and that now that his struggle here on earth is finished, that his memory and the dedication he displayed to mission and country will never be forsaken, nor forgotten.

You have been in my prayers, as every day that has passed without a posting my concern has been for your safety, in the wake of the recent upsurge in the despicable terrorists attacks. Stand strong brother, as that is surely what your fallen comrade and brother in arms would wish. Do your duty with the knowledge that your sacrifice is appreciated, and honored by those who have gone before you.

Sgt. B. said...

I penned this for Thunder Six when he lost close comrades to an IED, but I offer it to you as well, especially in light of your thoughts:

Rage. Vengence. Blood.
Driven to madness, the common man would loose the sword and lay about, heedless of the nature of his foe, to wreak a bitter toll as his heart weeps at the loss of his brothers. His view of the world, now narrowed, would be seen through the eyes of a barbarian, as he sated his lust to exact that pound of flesh, that gout of blood. Fury rings through his ears, a sweet syren's song, and bids him fall into the pit of madness, to cast aside all humanity for the brief animal pleasure called revenge...

Conversely, the War-Fighter, though filled with grief, maintains the order of his thoughts. His mind, though entertaining bloody thoughts, restrains the beast, and holds it bound. The task laid before him is made clear, and denied to him is the luxury of barbaric acts. Instead, his resolve is maintained because of his loss. The ghosts of his fallen brothers whisper into his ear:
"Stay the path we started, and hold to it, for to stray from it would be to deny all that we have wrought, all for which we have died. You must carry on, for us."

And the true Hero, though his sword be loosed from the scabbard, shall slay only the wicked, and smite not the innocent, but divert the blow and shatter the chains of their oppression. He shall rise above the fray, and see his prize, with every peal of a child's laughter, with every boisterous debate between men upon the avenue, with every note sung by a woman as she sets her house to order in the quiet hours of the evening.

This is the way of it, that men and women of iron step into the maelstrom, and, by force of will and cunning strategies, nourish the calm of peace instead of the silence of slaughter.

Happy are we who enjoy the service of such warriors, who stand against the barbaric chaos...
May God ease their troubled hearts, and grant unto them the strength to stay the course, and protect their humanity.

Semper Fi, AS, and Godspeed, Sergeant Cann.

dyzgoneby said...

Sgt Cann's family is in my prayers, as you and all the other Men and Women fighting in this War.

I know it's trivial, but thank you for sharing this with all of us. It brings it home to all of us here, that Sgt Cann is not just another number or name, he is a hero who fought for this Country and gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Semper Gratus

'Lissa said...

I read about Sgt. Cann at the anysoldier.com website, as he was a contact there, asking for letters and care packages from the states. Reading his posts, which were so sweet, and seeing his picture tells me a little bit about him and puts a whole new perspective on his loss for someone who didn't know him....

I am so sorry for the loss of your friend. Our prayers are with him, his family and you.

Semper Gratus,
'Lissa

"It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived."
- General George S. Patton, Jr

Anonymous said...

The loss of your brother in arms is yet another reminder of the staggering price that you troopers have paid so far in the war on terrorism, and I fear it is far from the last.

I thank God that men such as Adam and yourself have chosen to fight this battle on our behalf, and rest assured your sacrifices will never be forgotten by myself or my children. We pray for you nightly.
Dan,
NY

CJ said...

Im sorry. Such little words for so great a loss, but they are from my heart. You and your brothers continue to amaze me with your perserverance, your consistent courage and valor. We are a blessed people to have warriors such as you. You are in my thoughts and prayers. God be near you, give you strength and watch over you. Keep strong. We love you!

karin said...

I too came to know Sgt. Cann thru his postings at AnySoldier.com and I too am deeply saddened and grieving for his family as well as all of his fellow soldiers left behind. I pray God's comfort and peace rest over his family.
I am a richer person for having been allowed, for even a brief passing moment to have known a man of such courage and selfish sacrifice for the betterment of others. He knew who he was and what he stood for and lived it out fully. I for one shall never forget. May he rest in God's everlasting peace as he has certianly earned his eternal rest and reward.

Huntress said...

May Angels Sing Thee To Thy Rest, Sweet Prince!

Semper Fi, Adam Cann!

Anonymous said...

I am another one who had had enjoyed reading Adam's posts and his photos of himself and Bruno on anysoldier. I have been so struck by how specially joyful he is described as being - I am heartbroken at this loss even though I never knew him. He just seems like he was an absolute treasure. May his friends and family know no more sorrows and find comfort in each other and in his memory.

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to all of you! May God watch over you and protect you until you are returned to your loved ones! Sgt. Cann is right there beside you, one more angel! There are no words to express my sorrow for your loss, or your bravery! GOD BLESS YOU!

Anonymous said...

As others here, I met Sgt. Cann through anysoldier.com. He was kind enough to take the time to email me several messages. When I saw the Fallen Soldier section on the site with his name and picture there, it took me by surprise. He was a great warrior, proud of his accomplishments and those of his team. We had recently chatted about how boring his New Years was. I will remember him always and continue to show my support in his honor.

Anonymous said...

I have been praying for Sgt. Cann and his family since I found out he passed on Thursday the 5th. I found out before his family and most of his friends. I kept praying that maybe someone got it wrong. Hoping his death would not be confirmed so his family would not be told this tragic news. I read a post by his father on AntiWar.com and was brought to tears again overwhelmed with grief for their loss. I knew at that point that there was no mistake. I prayed Bruno made it ok and was again filled with sadness knowing that Adam saved his life and the life of 2 other soldiers before he passed away. He was a true selfless hero. I am still overcome with grief about this because this war seemed so far off for me. I knew other K-9 handlers who were deployed and they were all “safe on bases” while stationed in Iraq. I had no idea that he was in such a hostile area and was STUNNED to hear of his passing. His death has really brought it home and made this war very real for many. He is being buried today in Virginia. He died and is being buried a hero for all of us. He knew that this was his life's mission and loved every minute of it. He wanted to be moved closer to the action so he could do more for this war. He was one of the most dedicated Marines I have ever met and will inspire many. I pray for all his K-9 brothers at Pendleton who will miss him terribly. He was a great person and a brother to many. You will be greatly missed Adam. Rest in peace now with God.

Trish said...

I knew Adam when I lived in California he was so full of life and could always make you laugh. When hearing of his death from a friend that still lives in California and had just spoke to him 2 days prior, My heart sank and I thought of the little boy that I am getting ready to bring into this world. My sons father decided that the best way for us to remember the sacarfice that Adam made was to go out and make magnet ribbons to place on my van in memory of Adam. Adam you will always be with me in travel and in thought and prayer. God Bless you and your family, Rest in Peace dear brave Marine rest in peace.

Anonymous said...

I met Adam at March Air Reserve Base in January of 2005. We worked as a group (dog handlers and Infantry squad) to evaluate tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) to be used by dog teams in support of Infantry actions. Sgt Cann, who was the only handler who had already seen action as a handler in Iraq, was an invaluable member of the team. His insights, professionalism and dedication to the mission were a key element of the project and his efforts to develop better ways to employ military working dogs resulted in the only written dog TTPs specific to Iraq that are in use today. He was also a guiding force for some significant changes to the options for using dogs that will be available to the military in the next year. His efforts in this project, I am sure, were only a representation of his contribution to the Marine Corps and those that loved him. He was a strong and impressive young Marine and we have lost a hero.

Anonymous said...

load of crap. he wouldnt be dead if hadnt been there. nice one georgy boy!

Lauren said...

I was a very dear friend of Adams since we were less than teenagers. I thank you for your kind words for him and his family. Adam was a very intelligent, beautiful, amazing person and marine. He loved being in the middle of the action, and as much as it hurts to say, he was not happy unless he was 'overthere'.I have had a very hard time dealing with his death, as well as many other people, but your kind words and message of grace from Adam will help us deal with the loss of such an AMAZING man and marine. Sgt. Cann will live on in our hearts and souls forever.

Semper Fi
Lauren,(FL.)

Anonymous said...

I know this is all very hard for us to deal with but Adam loved what he did and felt that this was what he trained for. He was not happy being in a safer part of Iraq and felt that he could do more deeper inside seeing more action. It's very sad that he's gone but he died doing what he loved and is a hero for that. My prayers are with your family and everyone who loved you helping us all deal with your much too short time here. We all love you!

DunnerMeister said...

May his memory be a blessing.

Thank you Sgt Cann!

BigBrother said...

I am Adam's big brother, Justin Cann. I am a US Marine stationed at MCAS MIRAMAR.
Here is a message to the cowards that have nothing better to say than "he shouldn't have been there in the first place".

Find another blog to post in. You don't belong here. My family is one that believes in the spirit of patriotism and my brother did not die for no reason. He died because he believed in other countries possessing the same freedom that YOU have here in the great nation we live in. If you have any other rude comments to make, please direct them to me, Sgt Justin Cann, USMC. I dare you.

Rest in peace, little brother. You are so missed and your actions did not go unnoticed. I love you.

Barb said...

"BigBrother" - I wish I had known your brother, by all accounts he was a very special man. All warfighters are amazing people to me, and I am immensely thankful for every one of you who chooses to make the sacrifice to serve.

May God bless you and your family during this time and always.

Thank you from a grateful citizen, who sleeps better at night knowing men like Adam, and you, and America's Son are on guard!

Anonymous said...

Big Brother, I am proud of your brother just like I am proud and THANKFUL for all of our faithful warriors!!!! My son thought Alot of your brother. As he stated it will take him awhile (and I am sure that he still thinks of him) to get over losing such a Man as ADAM! I expressed our families condolence to your father when I spoke to him! Again, KEEP the faith and stay strong!

Anonymous said...

It is the July 4th week-end and I am spending some time being grateful for the incredible people who have served our nation and in this case given the "last full measure of devotion". This man's sacrifice and that of so many others will be remembered with sorrow and with pride, not just at this time of year but always. RIP Sgt Adam Cann. "He shall wipe every tear from your eye and death will be no more"; until then may God bring comfort to every aching heart.

xango said...

How can that be? We don't see that with xango opportunity

Barb said...

Tim - On this Memorial Day 2007, I am thinking of Adam. Thank you again for sharing his memory.

Anonymous said...

Big Brother, I am saddened at your loss, I stumbled upon Adam’s name through a CNN article about dog handlers and started researching him, fascinated by his commitment to his country and his corps.

I wish I had the opportunity to meet Adam as I’m sure I would have been in awe. Our country is fortunate to have had his service.

If there is one thing people who are not in the service and especially not in the marines need to realize, it is that warriors join the marines to serve their country, not debate or question what it is they are fighting for. You can bet your life our marines know what they are fighting for.

Within every soldier there is desire to honor your country and within every great warrior there is a basic need to be right in the thick of things. We know these men and women simply as marines.

Godspeed to you and your family, and thank you from a simple American

Simper fi

Barb said...

Thinking of you and your fallen brother today, and all of Adam's family.

{Hugs}

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Cassie Cole (Cassandra Lafuente) said...

Adam Was a very dear friend of mine! We were close in our own way and so where my children! Adam always had a positive side to every thing and for him being as young as he was he had a head on his shoulders. Adam knew where hw was going in life and what it was he wanted in the future.When a mutual friend called me and gave me news of his passing I couldnt speak I was in shock! I had just talk to him a few days before and he was suppose too be home on my birthday!When I read it in the paper it all set in! We have lost a man who loved what he did and never had a complant on what he had to do or where he had too go. He was special and the lord has called him home. I am honored to have had him in my life. Adam will always be apart of my every day life in memory for ever and always!

I love you dear and miss you soo..
R.I.P. My American Hero!!
Sgt. Adan L Cann USMC

Barb said...

Peace to you, my friend.