A Marine’s Motto

More than a decade after Sgt. Jeffrey Lynn Kirk was killed in action, his personal motto continues to inspire people who hear his life story. The eight simple words that guided Sgt. Kirk are surprisingly simple and profound: Don’t say ‘I should have.’ Say ‘I did.’

Those words inspired Kirk to train with Marine recruits while still in high school, so he would be ready to join up after graduation. They led him to request active combat duty in the wake of the 9/11 attacks in 2001. And they guided him through firefights in Iraq, where he earned a posthumous Silver Star for saving the lives of his comrades while under fire.

As reported by Nola.com, Sgt. Kirk’s inspiring story was uncovered by students during a class project, beginning an unlikely chain of events that led to a surprising opportunity for solace and healing for Sgt. Kirk’s parents and a new outlook on life for the students. Read the entire story here.


Visit the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan Memorial Site to pay tribute to U.S. veterans.