Wednesday Hero – Hatak Yuka Keyu Martin Yearby

June 20, 2007

Lance Cpl. Hatak Yuka Keyu M. Yearby
21 years old from Overbrook, Oklahoma
3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force
May 14, 2006



Hatak Yuka Keyu Martin Yearby
was remembered in funeral services as a small town boy who balanced his Choctaw tribal heritage and his military life.

He did traditional American Indian dances with grace, compassion, discipline and free spirit — “the way he lived his life,” the Rev. Timm Emmons said Monday.

“He had a desire to be in the military since he was a young boy. And he believed in what he was doing. He was a warrior, and he was a hero and he finished the course.”

Yearby was killed by a roadside bomb, along with fellow Lance Cpl. Jose S. Marin Dominguez Jr., in the Al Anbar province of Iraq, two months after he arrived in that country.

Friends and family, fellow American Indians, teachers and classmates filed past his open casket for an hour after the funeral while a U.S. Marine Corps honor guard stood at attention.

About 1,000 people attended a funeral service meant to celebrate the life of the 21-year-old newlywed from Overbrook in southern Oklahoma’s Love County.

Those who spoke in the packed Marietta High School auditorium talked of how he loved to hunt, but never came back with anything. He played tricks, won dancing awards at powwows and appeared on a recruiting magazine for Upward Bound because of a headdress he made from a T-shirt.

Nine of his friends stood on stage to remember Yearby. Jake Barber spoke for them, pausing several times to regain his composure.

“Many great words describe Hatak. The only real word you need to say is ‘brother’. He will always be known to us as the ace of spades, the most important card in the deck. He touched us so dearly that words cannot explain”.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.

We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died,
We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. To find out more about Wednesday Hero, you can go here.

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One Response to “Wednesday Hero – Hatak Yuka Keyu Martin Yearby”

  1. Elroy Day Says:

    BLIND NAVY VETERAN ACCOMPLISHES THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM
    The Navy has a tradition of helping their own. Elroy day, a former bubble head has an incredible story to tell. He was blinded in a home invasion in North Carolina in 1995. He recently applied for and was accepted into the Purple Heart Service Foundations job training program to teach him how to become an at home call center agent. Against all odds, working with a disability that would stop most everyone else, he graduated. He completed 600 hours of hard training and now he is reaching out to other blind and vision disabled veterans to tell them about the opportunity that he had. He wants other blind veterans to come and join him. You see, he has a dream of opening a blinded veterans call center. Staffed by former members of the US military who are now blind, for what ever reason. You can help with his dream, just spreading the word. If you know of any veteran who is vision disabled, have them contact Elroy Day immediately . They can email him at eday@carolina.rr.com
    And remember, the Navy has a tradition of helping their own.

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