US Marine remembered in Amble
As the Walking With the Wounded team left Amble, they expressed their thanks for the warm welcome they received from local people.
The group of six wounded soldiers are walking 1000 miles from Scotland to Buckingham Palace to raise money for their charity which helps retrain wounded service men and women.
They arrived in Amble on 1 September to a big crowd who cheered and clapped in welcome. The team were then presented with donations and gifts, followed by food and accommodation from local businesses. Over £1000 was collected in donations.
Leaving the following morning, the group were met by Brambles’ nursery children, who had gathered to wave them on to Morpeth, their next destination.
Honouring their memory
The team may have left the Friendliest Port, but one of the group has left behind a poignant reminder of the devastating effects of war.
Kirstie Ennis is the only female Walking With the Wounded member. A US Marine, Kirstie was badly wounded in 2012, while serving in Afghanistan.
At various stages of her walk, 24 year old Kirstie is placing ID (dog) tags belonging to fallen US servicemen. She left one inside the clock tower; a fitting resting place as it is also Amble’s war memorial.
She told The Ambler:
“I’m carrying 25 dog tags with me on this walk. Some were killed in action, others fell to PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Every 40 miles along the walk, I place a dogtag along with a poem I wrote.”
Kirstie herself was badly injured in a helicopter crash in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. She suffered severe facial, head and brain injuries, spinal injuries, hearing impairment and a devastating leg and foot injury. She has had 38 operations so far.
“Six of my crew died in the crash” she said.
“Ours was a memorial helicopter, painted in memory of Captain Daniel Bartle. His helicopter crashed six months before ours, in exactly the same place.”
Kirstie says she is walking to honour and remember her friends and colleagues who didn’t make it home. The dog tag she chose to leave in Amble belonged to Capt Bartle.
Marine Capt Daniel B Bartle
Squadron: HMH 363 based in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii
Killed with all crew in a helicopter crash in Helmand Province, Afghanistan on January 19th 2012.
Capt Bartle was 27, from Ferndale, Whatcom County, Washington State, USA
He was serving his second tour of duty in Afghanistan.
Lying here beneath the ground,
Never again to make a sound,
When alive they were so brave,
And carried honor to their grave,
They were all the best of men,
Courage earned by all of them,
Medals pinned upon their chest,
At last, the peace of final rest.
In the ranks they stood so strong,
Voices raised in battle songs,
Marching forward defying fear,
For the land they loved so dear.
On that final Judgement Day,
When they all stand up to say,
We gave up all we owned you see,
At duties call to set men free.
So when the flag waves in the wind,
If but a moment, remember them,
For they all paid the final cost,
So freedom’s truth would not be lost.
Rest Easy Brothers.