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James,

It was 3 years ago today that you gave your life while serving your country, trying to save your fellow Marine..You are what a "True" hero is!!! Your love for your country and fellow Marines continue to inspire us. No person could ever fill your shoes but we would be honored just to walk in your tracks..I love you and miss you terribly. Please hug Mike, Aaron Ken and Edwin for us.

Never retreat, never surrender, never forget.

Semper Fidelis,

love Dad

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It seems like this past year has flown by.  We have done so many things that I know you are already aware of, as you are the reason for most of our adventures!

This year our little circle expanded to include the whole world when Dakota was presented the Medal of Honor.  A lot more people heard about you and learned what a great person you were.  Your dad is so proud of you and loves to tell everyone stories about how funny you were.  It kind of sounds like you are a lot like your dad to me. 

I won't keep on, just wanted to say Happy Birthday and that everyone misses you so much.  We all wish you were here.

~ Wendy

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dakota-marines-moh

 

Dakota Meyer has always said that the Medal of Honor he will be receiving is for those that made the ultimate sacrifice and for the Marine Corps.  He has been sure to include his brothers that were lost in that ambush during the Medal of Honor presentation ceremony.  Dakota is what every American should strive to become. 

 

The Marine Corps has a very nice section on Dakota.  You can view it here.

 

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Wednesday, 14 September 2011 10:26

Dakota has requested that during the time that he is being presented with the Medal of Honor, those for whom he is truly receiving this medal be honored by the Patriot Guard Riders. 

We will be at the Escalon Community Center at 1055 Escalon-Bellota Road, Escalon, CA (map here) at 10:30 to stage and prepare for the ride to Burwood Cemetery at 11:00.  Services have been ordered by the Marine Corp in Quantico and they will be starting a short service at 11:30, precisely when Dakota is being presented with the Medal of Honor. 

There is a Mission page on the PGR site if you are planning on attending. 

 

Local news has posted an article on the event:

 

Thursday at the White House, President Obama will present the Medal of Honor to Dakota Meyer of Kentucky for his bravery while retrieving the bodies of four U.S. servicemen killed in an ambush in Afghanistan in 2009.

Meanwhile, the Patriot Guard Riders motorcycle group will stage a ride from Escalon to the Burwood Cemetery on River Road to hold a memorial gathering for corpsman James Ray "Doc" Layton of Riverbank, who was among those killed in the ambush.

The event will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the Escalon community center, with the riders heading south on McHenry Avenue to River Road at 11 a.m.

The service is expected to begin at 11:30, with a flyover by Vince Nastro. The Marine Corps League will provide a color guard unit. Speakers will include Layton's father, Brent Layton.

For more information, call Brent Layton at (209) 622-7361.

For information about the Patriot Guard Riders, visit www.patriotguard.org.

Modesto Bee Source Article Linked here

 

Gravesite honor ceremonies for Ken, Aaron, Michael and Edwin

Links to PGR Missions can be found here:

Ken Westbrook - Shiprock, NM
Aaron Kenefick - Tonawanda, NY
Michael Johnson - Michael's family has not confirmed any ceremony as they are unavailable at this time.  Michael's sacrifice will be honored at the services of James, Ken, Aaron, and Edwin.
Edwin Johnson - Columbus, GA

   

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Written by Wendy Saturday, 27 August 2011 07:45

I didn't want to include the controversy involved with James' death on his website.  While it's the reason he's gone, it's not who James is.  This site is about James.  For that reason I will include just a bit about the person who risked his own life to go in and save James and the rest of the team, and then when that wasn't possible, retrieved all their bodies allowing them to be returned to the families, and why it's significant that he be mentioned now.  

Dakota Meyer will be given an honor no one wants on September 15.  On that date, the President of the United States of America will place a light blue ribbon with a small field of stars around Dakota's neck.  

That ribbon holds the Medal of Honor, which is given to those who have selflessly risked everything to do what most people will not.  Any Service Member will tell you that the act of saving their brothers is not an action that requires thought, it's more of a function, like breathing.  You don't choose to do it, it's just something you do.  

Dakota went in to help James, Aaron Kenefick, Michael Johnson and Edwin Johnson in the ambush that occured as they went into Ganjgal, he never expected that they were already dead, but when he got there they had all been shot and stripped of their gear.  Despite the devastating reality that he had to now deal with, he made sure his brothers were not left behind.  He, with the help of some of his other brothers, went in repeatedly, while being shot at and after being hit, to retrieve all the bodies.  

Dakota has always been a hero here.  We don't need any medals or titles to know that his heart is bigger than most, his courage exceeds understanding, and his love is never ending.

There are a few links related to this that I'll list below.  Any articles or interviews are by Dan Lamothe of the Marine Corps Times.  Dan has gone above and beyond to make sure this incident does not slip under any political rugs, and keep Dakota's name in the pubic eye so that these actions were not forgotten by those who might rather this whole thing just disappear.  As far as the rest of the media goes, I will not share on this site the countless vulture-written articles and interviews that are in this for ratings, who so obviously only spent 10 minutes googling what happened before sitting down and dragging the nightmare out of Dakota for their viewers pleasure, and who can not even say Corpsman correctly.

Also see Wikipedia pages for the Battle of Ganjgal and Dakota Meyer for more details.

Heroism in ambush may yield top valor awards - Dan Lamothe, Marine Corps Times

Behind the Cover: An exclusive interview with Dakota Meyer, Medal of Honor nominee - Dan Lamothe, Battle Rattle

Ambush survivor up for Medal of Honor - Dan Lamothe, Marine Corps Times

*Any further mention of the ambush and the investigations regarding it will be placed on the website ganjgalambush.com to keep this negativity off of James' site.  Thanks for your understanding!  ~ Wendy

   

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Ok, this is really behind.  I apologize.  Things have been a little hectic here. 

I do want to share that on Memorial Day and the day after Memorial Day, James' Corpsman and Marine brothers came to visit!

It's hard when we hear people say, "Happy Memorial Day!" or "Enjoy the day off!" For Gold Star parents and families of the fallen, we don't get a day off; our loss is always there. We are glad that folks can enjoy the bbq's and time off but ask them to remember why we have these freedoms. We don't dwell on the fact that we lost James at only 22 years old but now can smile when we think of how we were fortunate enough to have 22 years with such an amazing young man. Through this dark tunnel we must walk, a light appeared in the form of James' fellow Corpman and Marines who paid us a visit and attended a memorial service for James and all of those who gave their all for our freedom at the cemetery. It was a day to remember, a day to reflect and a day that brought us pride in knowing these brave young men who serve and served alongside James. Thank you all for making us smile-Semper Fi

I've added additional pictures to the photo gallery.

 

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There have been a few questions regarding why this site is up on the internet.  To answer those who question:  It's here to help those who loved James to connect and heal. 

After being told many many stories by James' Navy and Marine brothers, James' father had a site put together where these stories could be shared.  Due to the fact that many of these Corpsmen and Marines are still active duty and very busy, the stories have not come in to be added yet.  They will be added as soon as possible.   James was all about healing those who needed to be healed.  There are far too many people that are broken still due to James' absense and James would have understood the power of connecting and sharing in order to heal. 

And finally, there is never any money made by James' father on this website or any other event he gets involved with.  Mr. Layton does not endorse ANY project or organization.  

 

James' name will never be used by Mr. Layton to raise money for anyone.  If anyone is raising money and or using the name James Layton other than those authorized by state law AB 585 (Cook) it is illegal.

   

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james_ray

US Navy
Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class

James R. Layton

 

US Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class James R. Layton died September 08, 2009 serving during Operation Enduring Freedom

James R. Layton, 22, of Riverbank, Calif.; assigned to an embedded training team with Combined Security Transition Command in Afghanistan; died Sept. 8 in Kunar province, Afghanistan, while supporting combat operations.

About this site

There have been a few questions regarding why this site is up on the internet.  To answer those who question:  It's here to help those who loved James to connect and heal.

After being told many many stories by James' Navy and Marine brothers, James' father had a site put together where these stories could be shared.  Due to the fact that many of these Corpsmen and Marines are still active duty and very busy, the stories have not come in to be added yet.  They will be added as soon as possible.   James was all about healing those who needed to be healed.  There are far too many people that are broken still due to James' absense and James would have understood the power of connecting and sharing in order to heal.

And finally, there is never any money made by James' father on this website or any other event he gets involved with.  Mr. Layton does not endorse ANY project or organization.

James' name will never be used by Mr. Layton to raise money for anyone.  If anyone is raising money and or using the name James Layton other than those authorized by state law AB 585 (Cook) it is illegal.

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The below links provide information on what James did as a Fleet Marine Force Corpsman.  Grunt's provides extensive details on James' many ribbons, accomplishments and medals.

fmfpinlinkbuttoncorpsmandotcom gruntslink

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