Sunday, March 3, 2013

Marine Staff Sgt. Sky R. Mote fought 'to protect his team'

Marine Staff Sgt. Sky R. Mote fought 'to protect his team'

Mote, 27, of El Dorado, was killed in Afghanistan. Relatives talk about his efforts to shield them from worry. Comrades recall his heroism.
By Christopher Goffard
Los Angeles Times
March 2, 2013

When Marine Staff Sgt. Sky R. Mote called home from Afghanistan, he liked to couch his dangerous plans for the day in innocuous terms.

A 9-year military veteran on this third combat deployment, the 27-year-old from El Dorado knew he might be crossing Taliban territory on an ammunition run, or heading off to blow up a bridge.

"He'd always say, 'I'm going to go on a camping trip,' or 'I'm going to go on a hike,'" said Marcia Mote, an elementary school teacher, who had raised him with his father, Russell, since he was a young boy.

"He didn't want to give us any reason to worry."

Mote, who was assigned to the 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion at Camp Pendleton, was killed Aug. 10 in Helmand province, Afghanistan, along with two other Marines, the Department of Defense said.

Reports indicated the attacker was dressed as an Afghan police officer.
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