Photos From The Front

Posted: Friday, March 23, 2012 at 11:48 am
By: Doug Lund
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taylor marine

Excerpt from Lund at Large blog May 24th, 2011

 “We have heard that grandson, Taylor, has already had a taste of battle in Afghanistan. I pray God will watch over him and his fellow Marines as they fight to rid the world of those who would have us live in terror.”

 April 23rd 2012 

 Many of you who read my meanderings on this blog joined with Linda and me 11 months ago in offering up prayers for Taylor’s safety. Too often we don’t make it a point to give thanks or even mention when prayers are answered as they have been for our grandson. His five year commitment to our country and The Corps, came to a conclusion this week and he is back home safe and sound. Thanks be to God and to all those who sought His mercy on Tay’s behalf.

He and the Marines in his platoon experienced excitement and horrors only other battle-seasoned veterans can understand. Many in Taylor’s unit, including him, had digital cameras along to chronicle some of it; a very personal glimpse into Lima Company’s journey through hell. The following are just a few of those images:

The Few The Proud in Afghanistan. Taylor is 2nd from left.

The Few The Proud in Afghanistan. Taylor is 2nd from left.

The platoon encounters a sandstorm while on patrol. It was the only one during their tour but it was a doozey.

The platoon encounters a sandstorm while on patrol. It was the only one during their tour but it was a doozey.

 

An IED (improvised explosive device) goes off in the distance. A sickeningly regular occurance.

An IED (improvised explosive device) goes off in the distance. A sickeningly regular occurance.

Taylor stands in hole left by IED

Taylor stands in hole left by IED

Close up of a pressure plate used in making IEDs.

Close up of a pressure plate used in making IEDs.

Cpl. Smith in a lighter moment aboard a confiscated ass

SGT. Smith in a lighter moment aboard a confiscated ass

A not so light moment as Taylor calls in a helecopter to evacuate a wounded comrade.

A not so light moment as Taylor calls in a helecopter to evacuate a wounded comrade.

The chopper arrives.

The chopper arrives.

Injured buddy still has sence of humor despite face full of shrapnel.

Injured buddy still has sense of humor despite face full of shrapnel.

Last photo of Lance Cpl. Mark Goyet. He was shot and killed later that day.

Last photo of Lance Cpl. Mark Goyet. He was shot and killed later that day.

Taylor at the memorial for his buddy, Cpl. Goyet killed in action.

Taylor at the memorial for his buddy, Cpl. Goyet killed in action.

Still, the war goes on. Taylor (on right) about to depart for night patrol.

Still, the war goes on. Taylor (on right) about to depart for night patrol.

Back at camp. 48 hours without sleep. Dead tired but still alive.

Back at camp. 48 hours without sleep. Dead tired but still alive.

Taylor captioned this photo; "probably thinking about home."

Taylor captioned this photo; "probably thinking about home."

You can take the boy out of South Dakota but.....

You can take the boy out of South Dakota but.....

Taylor's caption: "Finally leaving this s**t hole.

Taylor's caption: "Finally leaving this s**t hole.

Taylor and his band of brothers who've been through so much together

Taylor says goodbye to his band of brothers who've been through so much together

Thank you Lord.

Thank you Lord.

And thank you Taylor.

And thank you Taylor.

Thursday night welcome home dinner with brother, Tucker and big sister, Tara

Thursday night welcome home dinner with brother, Tucker and big sister, Tara

Relieved Mama Brenda.."I can finally breathe again."

Relieved Mama Brenda.."I can finally breathe again."

20 Comments

  1. Cam Lind says:

    Congratulations to all, and best wishes. Thanks to him and blessings to you. Cam

  2. Darwin Wollmann says:

    Thanks for your service Taylor

  3. Linda Tobias says:

    Thanks for your service for our country Taylor. Glad you are home safe and sound.

  4. Donn says:

    Thank you for sharing these very personal photos. Welcome home Taylor, and Semper Fi

  5. Mike C says:

    Thank you for your service Taylor. Welcome home……..

  6. Lynnal Nelson says:

    Thank you Doug for sharing these awesome photos! Thank you Taylor for your service, it is men & women like you that are willing to fight for MY rights!! God bless you all!

  7. fsl says:

    Thanks for the touching blog Doug. Have shared w/ many. Too bad the douchebags who protest, the criminals & leeches of society take these freedoms lightly can’t experience just a few moments your grandson has. I am thankful for the sacrifices our our soldiers, true patriots. ~fsl.

  8. Bob Schuknecht says:

    Taylor, my sincere thanks and gratitude to you and the entire US Armed Forces as well as your ISAF brothers and sisters serving in Afghanistan.

  9. Thank you so much Taylor for serving in the Marines in Afghanistan to defend our freedoms in America! I am so thankful you have come home safely! Your journey of pictures touched me deeply! I will continue to pray for you as you continue on in your endeavors. Thank you Doug for sharing this blog! Linda, a special blessing for you as a proud Mom of Taylor!!!

  10. Hemmingsen says:

    Glad he made it. Now let’s support our troops in the best way possible. Let’s get ‘em all on the next plane out of that “sh**hole” as Taylor so aptly captioned it. And let’s make it a point not to get into messes like this in the future. Remember, we went in to get Osama Bin Laden, but we always seem to find unachievable excuses to linger. Vietnam, Iraq and on and on. Our federal financial problems would just go away without these drags on the budget.

  11. Brenda says:

    I can’t tell you how proud I am of my son SGT Taylor Dale Smith. He led and commanded his troops through the s~~~hole hell he was dropped in. Got his promotion to SGT while there and was truly well deserved. I cannot begin to explain how it feels as a parent to wonder every second of every day if your son or his comrades are the next casualty we will hear/read about. I have to thank God, friends, family AND my employer for bearing with and doing their best to help me cope with the days. Sometimes days went second by second and sometimes the days just somehow went by. The few and very very far between contacts left me so grateful but drained of any and all emotion. It is truly impossible to explain the dread living inside and the sadness when one of the brotherhood of soldiers is killed while defending our country. So thankful that my son was alive, yet so guilty that his friend(s) didn’t make the trip home was overwhelming for me. I can’t imagine how the soldiers coming home feel.
    I wish each and every lawmaker who make the decisions to send our children/fathers/mothers/aunts/uncles/cousins/friends over to fight this hideous battle would take ONE DAY and live in the battle as our soldiers have to…….I guarantee it would be over, the planes would be send to bring our soldiers home. Unfortunately they fight the battle from behind their desks and though they think they are making the best decisions they truly do not know because they have not been through or lived the REAL war.

  12. Paula B says:

    God Bless your Grandson and all our troops. Thanks for sharing the pictures. They tear at my heart strings.

  13. Carol says:

    Doug, some of the pictures made me cry. As mother of a son myself, I couldn’t help but imagine myself in Brenda’s shoes.

  14. Denny says:

    Doug, what a great blog. So happy for you and Linda. And, Brenda, bless you for the strength you’ve shown through all of this—-even though no one really knows how hard this has been for you! Taylor, THANKS!!! The U.S. needs more young men like you. God Bless. Later, Denny

  15. GMAX09 says:

    My eldest (step) grandson is in Afghanistan right now with the SD Army National Guard. Your column and Taylor’s pictures make it all too real. God bless Taylor, God bless Chance and God bless all who lay their lives on the line so we can enjoy the freedoms we do.

  16. L J Rogers says:

    Pictures 19 & 20: a thousand words

  17. Dan says:

    Thank you for sharing the photos, and thank you for your brave service Taylor.

  18. Patricia Koerner says:

    Thank you for sharing those personal photos and glad your grandson is home safe. God Bless him and all his comarades.

  19. Jeni says:

    The photos are awesome. The most touching photo for me, is the last one. Someone paying tribute to those who serve by holding the U.S. flag. Who is she?

  20. Jennifer Holsen says:

    These pictures evoke such emotion. A thank you to Grandson Taylor seems so inadequate when he and his fellow soldiers risked their lives every day in the service of our country. You and your family must be so proud of this wonderful young man. We owe these brave men a lifetime of gratitude, honor and thanks.

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