SSG Darrell Griffin, Jr – KIA March 21, 2007

Posted: May 24, 2013 in Just War
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

SSG Darrell Griffin, Jr – KIA March 21, 2007 was an incredible soldier and an incredible son.  He was on his second tour in Iraq when a sniper’s bullet ended his life.

US New Cover

U.S. News and World Report featured him on its cover and did an 8 page story on him a few weeks after he was killed.  He and I, his dad, Darrell Griffin, Sr were working on a book that would reconcile the fact that he had to kill men and men wanted to kill him with teachings of the great philosophers.  General Petraeus allowed me to embed with his combat unit in Baghdad shortly after he was killed so I could complete the book we were working.  The original title was to be “The Great Conversation.”  After I returned from Iraq, my publisher changed the title to “Last Journey.” It tells of Darrell, Jr growing up and becoming a defender for American freedom.  In great detail it describes why he was awarded the Bronze Star For Valor.

Darrell, Jr. and his big sister, Rene were close growing up.  I married at 16 and Rene was born shortly after that.  Darrell, Jr was born a a year after that.  Since I was working my way through high school and college,, and their birth mother disappeared from their lives, we didn’t have much, but we had the most important thing – love.

Darrell, Jr and his Big Sister, Rene

Darrell, Jr. at time felt helpless fighting in Iraq.  He felt the Iraqi people were caught in the middle.  BUT, he always felt there was hope.  One of his favorite quotes was “After darkness, light.”  Here is an excerpt from his journals:

After darkness, light

Darrell, Jr. would send me pictures almost every of his various battles.  This was his way of dealing with it.  Because he truly believed “After darkness, light” he would subconsciously always include pictures of Iraqi kids, with big smiles at the end of his battle pictures.

Darrell Jr. with Irai kids

Darrell’s mom, Kim and I will always miss Darrell, Jr.  His being gone never gets easier. He always called Kim Mom so, I have never referred to her as his step mom.

Darrell, Jr. Kim and Darrell, Sr.

He loved his brothers and sisters, Christian, Sommer, Alexis and Jordan.

We all should take a moment and thank all of our men and women who have served and are serving for their service to our country.

  1. douglas laws says:

    great photos Daryl thanks for sharing !!

  2. Rita Conway says:

    My heart bleeds for your ultimate sacrafice! Just keep your faith and trust in the Lord we will all gather together again in paradise where evil, pain, heartache no longer exist! Your son will be forever remembered for his sacrafice for our great United States of America! I feel your pain an pray God continues to embrace you with his love to keep his legacy alive. I would loe to see your book published, what an honor that would be. I understand not all family members agree with your publishing but perhaps with time their mind will change, during times like this everyone grieves in different ways, some taking longer than others. I pray your family finds peace someday as I know your soldier would want that more than anything….GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU AND A HUGE THANK YOU TO YOUR SON FOR HIS ULTIMATE SACRAFICE FOR ALL OF US AMERICAN FAMILIES…MUCH LOVE, Rita

  3. Bill Haferkamp Sr. says:

    Enjoyed reading about skip,s life in Iraq and all that he did to help those people and to also fight a ruthless enemy that knows no boundaries! god Bless You daryl

  4. Skip was an incredible warrior. I firmly believe that God placed him here on earth to be a warrior. He fulfilled his purpose and died as a shepherd watching over his flock of fellow soldiers. The greatest thing a man can do is to go forth and fulfill his God-given purpose on this earth. The book was an emotional and gripping read, and Skip will surely be remembered by many that didn’t even know him, myself included. Happy Veterans Day to both you and Skip.

  5. John Dowd says:

    I served with Griff in Iraq in 06-07. I was an AF JTAC but he was a great mentor of mine. I miss him every day and use his teaching when speaking to folks about how to actually lead by example. He and I would always joke and one day it lead to a knife tip hitting my knee cap. He laughed I laughed. TOC staff freaked out. Great man.

  6. Jennifer says:

    I came accross a face book post with a picture of braclet of this fallen soldier. It was found on Mayflower beach in Cape cod. Someone wants to return it to family. I did not find the braclet. I am only looking for means to contact a family memeber. I took a picture of the post and if u email me at I would be happy to forward the image so u can find out who to contact to receive back what I’m sure is a treasure piece. God bless u in Jesus name.

  7. T. Drew Wilson says:

    Was a pleasure serving with this brother from PATRIOTS battalion 2~3 INFANTRY.

  8. Brent Kunzler says:

    Hi, I am Lewis Kunzler’s dad. We met when the unit came back to Ft. Lewis. I met Darrell in Iraq when I was visiting Lewis at VBC. I can tell you there were many nights of not sleeping well, anxiety, and scenarios I was working out while Lew was there. I am very sad that your son did not come back with the rest of the unit. He was a very friendly guy. My son, Lewis, took Darrell’s loss very hard. As I am sure his other buddies did.

  9. Adrian Havard says:

    My thoughts go out to you and your entire family today as well as my brothers. Griff has always stood out in my mind when compared to our peers. A true warrior who understood that intellect and continued study was an equal responsibility that he bore while serving as a leader of soldiers. He handed that knowledge down at every opportunity while retaining the ability to express a light heart. Today never gets easier even a decade down the road. “Strength & Honor”

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