April 14, 2004


Reader Polly Bolton once lived in the small coal-mining town of Craig, Colorado. US Marine Chance Phelps spent part of his short life in that town. Polly forwards this piece from the Craig Daily Press:

"We don't know the details surrounding his death," Mack said. "We don't even know exactly where he was at for sure."

Mack said she learned of her son's death when two Marines showed up at her door at 2 a.m. Saturday. Mack and her husband, Jeff Mack, formerly of Craig, live in Riverton, Wyo.

"I don't think anything can prepare you for two young men standing in the living room telling you your son has been killed," Mack said. "It's just surreal. They were crying."

Mack said she took comfort in the fact that her son died doing what he loved being a Marine. His decision to serve came after a political awakening in high school, she said.

"He was very politically aware," Mack said. "The night of the presidential election, he stayed up all night waiting for the results. He was pulling for Bush.

"After 9/11 it became a compelling force in his life," Mack said. "He felt like he had to do this for his country and his president."

Chance Phelps was killed last week, aged 19, after being deployed west of Baghdad in late February. His father John, a Vietnam veteran, runs this website. Chance Phelps fought and died for freedom.

Posted by Tim Blair at April 14, 2004 05:59 AM


I for one will not forget you and your sacriface on our behalf.

Thank You

& God Hold You.

Posted by: bill ryan at April 14, 2004 at 06:25 AM

I visited Phelps site, which is now a kind of shrine.
Send a condolence to jphelps@wyoming.com., it might lighten his heavy heart abit.

Posted by: Jack Strocchi at April 14, 2004 at 07:44 AM

We are but pygmies standing on the shoulders of giants.

This world of ours is so . . . .

Posted by: SteveMG at April 14, 2004 at 08:22 AM

They shall not grow old as we, who are left, grow old. Age shall not tire them, nor the years condemn. With the going down of the sun and in the morning, we shall remember them.

Posted by: C.T. at April 14, 2004 at 11:28 AM

To fight and die for freedom is a great and noble thing. To fight and die for the freedom of another, whom you neither know nor understand and who, perhaps, does not appreciate the sacrifice, is the greatest thing a person can do. God keep you Chance.

Posted by: fidens at April 14, 2004 at 11:59 AM

They have given their tommorrows for our today.
I left a note for the family. I thank all men and women in uniform within the coalition.

Posted by: Rod at April 14, 2004 at 12:11 PM

We shall remember them.

Posted by: Razor at April 14, 2004 at 12:17 PM

He, and others who have fallen, will not be forgotten, and their legacy will be a better world.

Posted by: Wallace at April 14, 2004 at 02:26 PM

boo ho ho ho ho...shouldn't have been there

Posted by: rastus at April 14, 2004 at 10:37 PM

[Always uplifting to encounter people like Rastus.]

Fortunately, there will always be young men and women eager to risk paying the ultimate price for protecting what they believe in or punishing those who don't.

God bless them.

Posted by: Theodopoulos Pherecydes at April 14, 2004 at 11:53 PM

Any words of sympathy for the bodies in the mass graves, rastus? Or the victims on the hijacked airplanes? Or how about the execution victims in Kabul during the reign of the Taliban? I guess they shouldn't have been there either.

Posted by: BC at April 15, 2004 at 01:49 AM

Rastus, you're the real patriot! You're mother must be very proud of what you've turned into.

Posted by: S.A. Smith at April 15, 2004 at 06:53 AM

Dying for oil, now thats real slick.
Note that the paintings on the Phelps site indicate some nostalgia on the part of Phelps snr for the good old days, the frontier, & the former indigenous inhabitants thereof. Now what was the greater good being pursued during that earlier period of American expansionism ?
I have no doubt that the extermination of the American indian was morally justified & had nothing to do with the economic imperative.

Posted by: Travis at April 15, 2004 at 03:10 PM

US Marine Chance Phelps willingly supported and gallantly stood up for his country - GOD BLESS HIM and his family. There is no greater sacrifice than to give your life for your country and our beliefs. Chance knew that and he willingly and honorably joined the Marines to stand in our defense. Remember those who died on 9-11 in the Pentagon and the WTC. The USA did not declare war on terrorism under the Clinton administration when it had numerous opportunities to do so. George Bush declared war on terrorism and Chance Phelps stood up for his country to support and defend all of us. God bless Chance and his family for their sacrifice.

Posted by: Me at April 16, 2004 at 11:03 AM

Rastus- Wether or not we "Should be there" has nothing to do with the fact that this Marine VOLUNTEERED to wear the Eagle, Globe and Anchor and fight for YOUR freedom. He was a MAN and he decided that as a MAN, he must do what is right for his family and his country and he made the ultimate sacrifice in order to protect all of us. It takes a special individual to VOLUNTEER to join an organization that sends its employees into harms way in order to ensure that we are a free country. If it wasnt Iraq, it might have been the Soviet Union, North Korea, China etc... Bottom line, this Marine gave the ultimate sacrifice so you could have the freedom that you enjoy. He would have done it anywhere that our freedom was threatened. He is a HERO. If you dont like our foreign policy, then go out and vote. But dont take anything away from the young men and women who are sacrificing their lives "Voluntarily" to protect your freedom! They are doing their job. They are doing what they are told to do! And lastly, they believe in what they are doing!

Semper Fidelis PFC Phelps! We will not forget you!

Sincerely- A United States Marine

Posted by: Mike at April 17, 2004 at 02:37 AM