Dave Snyder was the kind of guy everybody loved. He was sarcastic, irreverent, and just fun to be with. He had dark hair and a perpetual sneer that let you know he was gonna play the military game, but he'd do it his own way. When things got tough, he used to grumble, "This isn't fun anymore. I wanna go home!" and everybody would crack up.
I was assigned to Scott Schroeder's vehicle for a while. He was a slight, blond-haired fellow who looked like he'd be more at home in a bookstore than in an armored vehicle. But he was a first-rate Marine, and he took his job very seriously, making sure he knew where every spare part in the inventory could be found. I liked Scott, but I b*tched and moaned because, dammit, I was a combat Marine and I wanted to serve on a combat vehicle. Eventually I got my way.
On the night of January 29, 1991, our unit engaged enemy forces that had crossed the border into Saudi Arabia and had taken the town of Khafji. It was the first ground battle of the war, and our unit suffered the first combat casualties. In the confusion of battle, an American A-10 and one of our Light Armored Vehicles fired missiles that destroyed two LAV's, killing several Marines. Snyder and Schroeder were among them.
Dave Snyder is on the left in this picture. The blond guy on the right is Ken Lieuwen, who set up the unit veterans' website.
The day doesn't go by that I don't think about them.