Reader's Comments

Jessica Wambles    Pontotoc MS
Blake will be forever missed. A wonderful guy, who loved Tiffany more than life itself. I think of him often and you do not know how proud I am to have called him my friend!

Pam Presley Cousar     New Albany MS
So proud of your Marine ! I know he is missed dearly ! God Bless !

Ashley McGee Hendrix     Ecru, Ms
I will be forever grateful for Blake's sacrifice! Love all the pictures Mrs. Pat! God bless America, our troops, & their families!

Brenda Whitworth     Ecru, Ms
You know how I feel about Blake. I know he was a tough courageous Marine. In my heart I still remember the boy that hugged me everytime he saw me, the smile, the crazy laugh and the prankster. I thank God everyday for Blake and for the men that serve our country. God Bless you all. He will never be forgotten and loved.

W. Ray Reed      Tupelo
Dear Mounce Family:
I read the article about Blake today and wanted you to know how much I appreciate the sacrifices made by Blake and you in service to our country. I know that losing him has been devastating to your family. Please know that there are many of us that recognize the price that y'all have paid. Our humble gratitude is all that we can offer but know that your son is appreciated by thousands who never met him.
God bless you all.
W. Ray Reed, Jr.

Steve Kidd     Pontotoc, Ms
Dad faught in Army during the Korean conflict and my Granddy Kidd fought in the Marines in WWI. I still have his 1903 Sprinfield Rifle that his Sarge let him bring home. Wednesday July 20th 2005 I still have the news clipping from the Pontotoc Progress on my bulletin board in my office, yes it has turned a little yellow over time but I never want to forget all soliders that paid the price for our freedoms. This article "Mounce more than Marine" helps me to do this.

Going through airports i never miss an opportunity when I see a solider in uniform to stop them, shake their hand and just say "Thank you for your service". It makes no difference that I did not know Blake personally like Weston or Nate...but I know he gave it all for me and every American that lives on the very protection of our Freedom he helped to provide.

TO you all "Thank You"

Doris Mitchell     Amory, MS
Wonderful heartwarming story - God Bless you and your family.
Lance Corporal Clifton Blake Mounce
Ecru, MS
Died July 14, 2005 near Trebil, Iraq

Today's post is in honor of Marine Lance Corporal Blake Mounce of Ecru, MS. Blake was killed in July 2005 while conducting combat operations. His vehicle was struck by an IED (Improvised Explosive Device). He left behind a wife of three years and a family that loved him immensely.

There really aren't many things harder in this world than being a Marine. The demands are incredibly high. It requires a great deal from a person physically, mentally, and emotionally. The Marines have a way of taking an individual and completely rebuilding them from the inside out.  The greatest changes, though, aren't the ones you see on the outside - the hair that's been buzzed, the eyes that are set like stone, the jaw squared and tight. The greatest change is on the inside where will, determination, and resolve are forged by a drill instructor like discipline. The Marines have a way of taking a boy and turning him into a man.

Pat Mounce’s son Blake is one of those that the Marines turned into a man. One of her favorite photos of Blake is one of him holding a little Iraqi child in his arms. The contrast in the photo is astounding. Here is this strong, young U.S. Marine in full gear holding onto this small, dirty child. He's in a desert camouflage uniform that is costly. She's wearing a second hand t-shirt that says "Shirley Temple" across the front. He has his helmet strapped tight to his chin, hiding the buzzcut that covers his scalp. She has wild, brown hair going every direction. It is a picture in paradox. The toughness of a soldier colliding with the tenderness of a child. And yet that is exactly the reason Pat Mounce loves it - because for all of his toughness, Blake still had a certain tenderness.

There is another set of photos that Pat Mounce loves. She calls them "Mama and her baby boy". The first is a photo of her holding Blake when he was just a toddler. The second photo was taken years later when he had grown into a man. In the first photo the mother holds her son. In the second photo the son holds his mother. In both photos, they are all smiles. The second photo was taken not too long before Blake was killed in July 2005 while serving in Iraq. He looks more like a “mama’s boy” than he does a Marine, but the Marine is there inside. And these are the reasons why it is so hard whenever a soldier does die.  For while the Marines lose a soldier, it’s the moms who lose a son. For Pat Mounce, he was still a boy.

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Pat Mounce had a special bond with her oldest son Blake.

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