Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Michael Yarbrough remembered

Sgt. Michael Yarbrough, 25, was killed doing what he loved, his sister said.

Being a soldier “was just his passion,” Misty Hutcheson said. “It’s what he loved most in this world, aside from his nieces and nephews. He lived for his nieces and nephews.”

Yarbrough, of Glen Rose, was one of four Marines who died in combat Sept. 6 in Iraq, the Defense Department announced Monday.

Yarbrough’s mother, Rhonda Kidder, said her son was killed by a roadside bomb while on his third tour of duty.

Yarbrough is the second soldier from the area to die in recent weeks. Army Spc. Donovan Witham, 20, of Malvern was killed in Iraq last month.

Yarbrough joined the Marines on Jan. 1, 2002.

“He wasn’t even supposed to go (to Iraq) the second time,” Hutcheson said as she recalled how her brother volunteered to go in a friend’s place so his friend would be able to stay with his wife for the birth of their child.

That time, Yarbrough came back.

On his third tour, he had to leave his own wife, Mary-ann Yarbrough, who was pregnant with twins on April 13. Shortly after he left, she miscarried.

Yarbrough was only days away from his birthday on Sept. 17, and nine weeks from being able to return home, when he was killed in Iraq while checking cars crossing the border. Suicide bombers in one of the cars set off an explosion, his sister said.

“He died doing what he loved,” Hutcheson said. “He felt so honored [the Marines] would have him.”

Mary-ann Yarbrough was notified of her husband’s death in California, where they were stationed. She then had to relay the tragic news to his family in the Glen Rose area.

The family now faces the difficult healing process.

“We need prayers. We need prayers from people who we don’t even know,” Hutcheson said.

Funeral arrangements for Yarbrough, a graduate of Glen Rose High School, have not been announced.

“He told me, the last time before he left, ‘Mom, as long as my men are there, I’m going to be there with them,”’ Kidder told a Little Rock television station.

“Ever since he was a little boy, he would march around with a stick on his shoulder, saying, ‘I’m going to be in the Army, Mom, I’m going to be in the Army,”’ Kidder told the station.

Yarbrough died in the Al Anbar province, along with Cpl. Christopher L. Poole Jr., 22, of Mount Dora, Fla.; Cpl. Bryan J. Scripsick, 22, of Wayne, Okla.; and Staff Sgt. John C. Stock, 26, of Longview, Texas.

The four Marines were all assigned to 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Pendleton, Calif.

Yarbrough is the 51st Arkansan to be killed in Iraq since the war started in 2003.

From the Benton Courier

Related Link:
Michael Yarbrough reported killed in Iraq