Honoring a Hero on a Special Day

A Marine

I had just begun to know of Cannon Cargile and his wife Tami after he was wounded in Iraq. The day after he was wounded I received an email from Vince, a 101st Airborne Veteran and father of a fellow Marine, asking for prayers for Cannon and his family.

It was at this time that I began to receive glimpses of CW04 Cargile. Glimpses of Strength, Courage, and Leadership.

(from Cannon’s wife Tami)
On Saturday March 10th
Cannon was traveling in an up-armored Humvee, riding in the front passenger’s seat.  His vehicle was 4th in a convoy driving through Fallujah Proper heading to OP Shock.  As they were passing the mosque’s, Cannon saw an insurgent jump put of hiding and run towards the road carrying an RPG on his shoulder. 
The insurgent was dressed all in black and wearing a ski mask. 
Cannon yelled to his machine gunner in the turret, “RPG!  RPG!” But before the gunner could swing the turret to the right side of the vehicle, the RPG had been launched.  Cannon recalls seeing it coming at him, spiraling like a football.  He thought surely it would go over the bow, as most do since they are very inaccurate.  But this one kept coming, dipping towards him.  There was a deafening explosion.  

Cannon looked down at his arm in his lap to see it smoking and bleeding.  He thought he had lost his hand, for sure.  But he stayed with his men and yelled to them to see if they were alright.  When he found that they were OK, he let them know he was hit.  The gunner of the vehicle received shrapnel in his legs, the driver got shrapnel in his face, along with a grade 3 concussion and the two passengers in the rear of the vehicle also received concussions from the explosion. 

Fortunately Cannon had arranged for a corpsman to ride in his vehicle that day.  So, he was there to immediately treat Cannon’s injuries. He applied a tourniquet and pressure dressing to Cannon’s arm.  The Humvee was disabled by the blast so the vehicle ahead of them immediately hooked them up for a tow back to Fallujah Medical.  Cannon recalls his CO, (commanding officer) LtCol JD Martin steering and braking the disabled vehicle as they were being towed back to camp.  A miserably painful ride, which took about 25 minutes but LtCol Martin was there, doing his best to keep Cannon talking and his spirits up. 

In the months that followed, I received updates and more stories conveying a deep appreciation of Cannon’s service. My radar peeked. Who exactly is this man? I began to dig, to make phone calls and send out emails. I knew this Marine had a story (or two) that should be shared.

I received this beautiful tribute from a fellow Marine Gunner, Nick Vitale of which I will share in part:

Thank you for writing to me concerning my friend Cannon.  He is indeed a great Marine, a great husband and great dad.  The fact that that I am one of only 52 Marine Gunners (Infantry Weapons Officers) in the entire Marine Corps, is directly attributable to Cannon – also a Marine Gunner. 

… within the context of describing “Cannon the man,” that he consistently puts the needs of his family, his friends and the Marine Corps above his own personal needs. He is tireless in his professional efforts to ensure that the implied and specified duties of his job are carried out. This of course translates into multiple combat tours spanning 25+ years, decorations for valor, countless hours away from his family and unimaginable, self and institutional induced stress. Through it all he has managed to “crack the code” so to speak on maintaining his humanity, humor and dignity. 

Countless Marines, of all ranks and jobs, are alive today because of his technical and tactical competence, his warrior ethos, his dedication and his love of Corps and County. Besides my immediate family there are not many people who I would willingly take a bullet for – Cannon Cargile is one of those people.

and Nick’s kind words for Cannon’s wife Tami:

I have been in the Marine Corps over 22 years and I have never seen a more supportive, informed and savvy military wife than Tami.  This is all the more interesting because she is by no means a “camp follower” or a “text book” military spouse.  She is supportive of him without being sucked into the maelstrom of officially “key volunteering” but is always ready to assist anyone who needs help. (Additionally, she does a great job of ensuring that the stress of work does not follow Cannon home.)
Her almost daily updates on his condition, disposition and prognosis often leave me baffled and running to a dictionary to figure out what she is saying.  Not many wives’ would be able to force doctors and nurses to conduct tests and procedures that they did not feel were warranted.
Furthermore, her demeanor and formal nurse training allows her to do many non-traditional “things” such as change bloody bandages, argue with staffers about pain management and coordinate the logistical concerns for a never ending stream of well-wishers and other visitors.  I do not think she has had a decent nights sleep (or a sleep of longer than four hours) since Cannon was wounded. She is an amazing lady.

The deep pride and love that those around him have for Cannon is evident. The fact that not one person will give a “personable” story, just amplifies my feelings that they want to ensure nothing is printed that would make Cannon appear anything but the excellent Marine he is.  

Every single Marine I have emailed say basically the same two things:

“He is an elite Marine.”


“Besides my immediate family there are not many people who I would willingly take a bullet for – Cannon Cargile is one of those people.”

Something deep down keeps telling me that this is a very special man and deserves to be represented with nothing but the best in my writing. I have held onto this post for quite some time now. Hoping for a moment of brilliance to give Cannon proper recognition for all he has accomplished.

The simple description is perhaps the best;

CW04 Cannon Cargile is a Marine in every sense of the word.

God Bless the Cargile family

 Pictured above: Cannon, Sec. Rice, His wife Tami on the far right 

Today, I cannot think of a better person to honor.

Sir you make us all proud of those, such as yourself, who put on the uniform and step up and serve for each and every one of us.


41 Responses to Honoring a Hero on a Special Day

  1. Vince Vitale says:

    Cindy – you are amazing. I just saw this & I want to let you know that you have hit upon the absolute best tribute you could possibly come up with – you called him a MARINE. I’ve told you before – there are not enough folks like you, but thank God there are any at all. People like you make what Cannon, your son & my son and all of the other Soldiers and Marines out there do worthwhile.

    Have a great Thanksgiving.

  2. LL says:

    Oh wow….got a little weepy here. And you KNOW what a tough bird I am. Ok, not really tough, but you know. Men like this is what our country was founded upon. Strong, stalwart, loyal. It always amazes me that we continue to churn out Heroes like this, even in the current PC atmosphere. It gives me hope for our nation and for my children.

    Cannon and family, THANK YOU so much for your service and sacrifice. I don’t think most of you know how many of us appreciate what you do. God bless you and I hope you have a quick recovery.

  3. yankeemom2 says:

    Cavmom ~ you did it again! Your heart has no boundaries.

    Cannon and Tami ~ it is an honor to know of you. LL is so right. There are so many of us who appreciate you for stepping up and doing what so few can or will do. We know you’re out there, and may God bless you for that. Heal well and soon, Sir.

  4. Yankeemom says:

    […] from a rocket attack.  She will be sending the link to her post to him today.  So please go over and read about this Marine and leave a message for him and his […]

  5. Aussie_Chic says:

    Cindy, you did a beautiful job.

    Every day I deal with children who want to be Spider Man or Batman or whatever superhero has just been turned into a Hollywood movie. We are so caught up with bigger and badder we overlook the true heroes, the real life people we can aspire to be like.

    Sometimes I could just strangle my Guy, no matter what he does or what he needs to do he just shrugs it off and tells me it is just his job.

    So many amazing stories of strength, honor and heroism are coming out of places like Iraq and Afghanistan all the time and they need to be heard. Congratulations, you wrote an amazing tribute to an amazing man.

    To Cannon, Tami and their familiy and friends my best wishes for the future.

  6. Poewolf says:

    Salutes to you sir!

    Take care.

  7. brat says:

    Thank you for your service..{{{{Cannon and Tami}}}}}God bless you both.

    Thank YOU Cindy for bring yet another Marine Hero to us..

  8. Sharon says:

    God bless you, Marine! And God bless Tami. God bless you, Cindy. On this Thanksgiving Day, when I count my many blessings, you Cindy will be one of them. CWO4 Cargile is a blessing to the Marine Corps and to this Country. Tami, you are a blessing and inspiration to the entire Marine family. Ooh Rah!

  9. Cher Stanley says:

    First, I thank God you are alive. We cannot imagine what you have been through but I can offer my thanks. Thank you for making the choice to serve our great country.
    Most people would have immediately thought of themselves when wounded, but you overlooked that to make sure the rest of your men were alright.
    My brother is in Iraq currently and we hang on to everything little thing we can find out. I cannot imagine what your wife felt knowing you were injured and waiting for word. Always know that many people are grateful for your service and you made a difference touching so many lives. I pray you have a complete recovery and many years of happiness.

  10. The Gilbert Family says:

    My entire family thanks you for your service. Without the strength and courage of men and women like you, Cannon and Tami, this country could not endure. Get well, stay well, and take your rightful place among those we call “hero”, Cannon. This family salutes you and honors your service.

    Our family below includes former members of the United States Air Force, The United States Army and the United States Navy.

    Bob, Barbara, Steve, Brad, Greg, Lauren, and the next generation of those who are being taught to honor you and all those like you, Stephen and Benjamin. For their sake, we ALL thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

  11. debk says:

    Thank you Cannon, and Tami too, for your service to this country. Your courage and strength ae an inspiration to all who learn of you.

    God Bless you and yours.

  12. SK says:

    Damn…..another MARINE! Those guys are everywhere. Making us proud every. single. day.

    Cannon, you are an amazing man! Tami, YOU are an amazing wife. I cannot begin to know all that you have both been through, just as I doubt you can really understand how much I appreciate your dedication and your sacrifice. People like you are what we give thanks for every day, but especially on this holiday. Best wishes for all that is to come in your lives.


  13. Kathi says:

    Wishing a Happy Thanksgiving to a wonderful hero and his wife and family!
    Thank you,Cannon and Tami, for sharing your story and being such an inspiration.

    (and thank you,Cindy, for this amazing tribute.)

  14. It is an honor and a privilege to acknowledge a Marine and a Warrior as he recovers from wounds received in combat. Dedicated, competent service is the hallmark of true professionals and as an Army retiree who served 20+ years, I can certainly see those qualities in both Cannon and his wife, Tami.

    Thank you both for your service to our Nation and to the United States Marine Corps. As has been previously said, you are both inspirations and models for others to emulate.

  15. GunnNutt says:

    Thanks for the introduction to another stellar MARINE!

  16. GUYK says:

    I salute YOU Mr Cannon…MSgt Guy Knipe, USAF Retired

  17. jim b says:

    Semper Fi Gunner.

    God Bless Tami.

    One team one fight.

  18. Donna, Los Osos, CA says:

    God bless the Marines!

    Thank you for sharing this hero with us. We do have much to be thankful for in this country. I never forget how much I owe to the military, and their families.

  19. susan says:

    Thank you Sir and God Bless. I wish all the best for you and your family. Being the Mom of a Marine I feel a special connection. I truely pray for a full recovery and may you have a Blessed Thanksgiving!

  20. DNR says:

    Marine, thank you for your service, thank you for my freedoms.
    Many thanks for Tami for supporting HER Marine and supporting him while fighting for


    Indiana Patriot Guard Riders

    Sr Ride Captain – Central West

    “We Stand For Those Who Stood For Us” ™

    PS: Bless you CavMom, an thanks for the introduction to a Marine Hero.

  21. Karen I. says:

    I thank God for the Marines and this wonderful couple. When we get down about some people are these days we can reflect upon what strangers are will to do for us, though with the above testimonies I feel that that CWO4 Cargile, his brave wife, Tami, and his friends are no longer strangers to me. I would hug each one, if I could. I give thanks for you now and on Thanksgiving. Thank you!

  22. Jamie Wheeler says:

    Thank you Cannon for your service to our country and for your selfless acts during a crisis. As the wife of a fellow Marine, it is so comforting to know how Marines truly take care of their own, regardless of the cost to themselves. You make your country proud & have sacrificed so much for our freedom. To Tami, you are an inspiration. Thank you to you and the rest of your family for all the sacrifices you have made as well and the strength you show every day being the wife of a marine.

    Semper Fi and Happy Thanksgiving!

  23. […] Would you please stop by and show this Marine some love? He will be sent the link tomorrow. https://cavmom.wordpress.com/2007/11/11/honoring-a-hero-on-a-special-day/ Click on the link and leave a note for this Wounded Warrior and his wife. Tell him thanks and let […]

  24. And the whole family serves and sacrifices in the Marines and our military. Gunner and Tami, you are an inspiration to us all to do our best. You continue on with your lives without anger or resentment because of the challenges you face, and that is a testament to your fine character.

    Thanks to you both for all that you have done for me and our beautiful country!


  25. Another Lisa says:

    On this day to give thanks, I send thanks to Cannon and Tami. And special kudos to Tami. As someone who’s been there, I understand with how difficult it is to not only care for your spouse but also make sure the hospital staff are caring for him properly as well. My hat is off to you. You’re an inspiration to us all.
    Wishing you both a warm and happy day.

  26. Maggie says:

    Thank you Cannon for being who you are and thank you Tami for taking care of your Marine.

  27. Matthew says:

    Thank you Cannon and Tami. We sleep better at night because of hard working folks like you. Our family prays for your speeedy recovery.

  28. Brent Gilley says:

    Glad to see you are recovering, Sir! Wishing you well and a speedy recovery!

    Semper Fi

    Brent Gilley
    USMC ’88-’92

  29. steve sandidge says:

    SEMPER FI SIR! and get well soon sir, the corp needs all of its gunners! thanks for your service, and thanks to your fine family for thier service as well!

  30. S.Stanley says:

    I thank you both and hope you have a speedy recovery gods speed Marine


  31. Catfish says:

    I knew the man!! Severed with him back in the mid-90’s…Those of us who knew and loved him best called him Cupcake! Cupcake? Yeah, that’s right. More of an oxy-moron type thing, like calling a bald guy curly…the man eats a box of nails for breakfast and washes it down with a cup of black joe. But ask him to go a mile with ya, and he’ll go three. Ask him for his shirt, and and it’s yours. One of the best Marines I ever knew!!

    I miss ya, buddy! Let’s get together and trim the herd back a bit…you know what I mean! God Bless you and yours and hope to see you again real soon.

    Catfish OUt…

  32. CavMom says:

    Catfish ~ Thanks for the chuckle. I had no idea that the initials C.C. held a different meaning to Cannon’s fellow Marines! 😀

    (no disrespect intended)


    Hi My name is Jody Jarrett. Cannon Cargile was my Senior drill instructor at Parris Island SC I was watching the histroy channel last night and saw cwo4 cargile on that show. I woke my wife up yelling “HEY HEY HEY” that was my Senior drill instructor. She wasn’t quiet excited as I was being we were not married when I was in the Marines. So at midnight last I when down to the computer and google cwo4 cargile and that’s when I got the news of the rpg attack. I didn’t sleep a bit last night thinking of all cwo4 Cargile has meant to me. I only got to spend 13 weeks with him, but he change my life forever. I did run in to him a few times when I was in the fleet. I would have loved to served under him. Thanks for your sacrifice and service to your country. Your what every kid dreams of being!!!!!!!!

    please keep me updated, and if you every have time call me I would love to hear from you

    Jody Jarrett
    Pre-owned Director
    Hennessy Auto Group
    c(404) 392 6719

  34. Keith Kluwe says:

    Cannon Cargile was my “heavy” at Parris Island for Platoon 2084. I ran into him again when I was stationed at Parris Island and he was ending his tour there. He’s one of the people in my life that I will always look up to. I was reading when Cannon was on the Discovery Channel, but my father called from the other end of the state and told me to turn on the TV because Agile, leathile, Mobile, Cargile was being interview. My dad remembered Cannon from my bootcamp graduation because they are both paratroopers. Will Smith and Terry Walker told me what happened. I was, and still am, working at U.S. Embassy Baghdad. Glad to hear you are getting better and great picture with my big boss.

    Semper Fi!
    Keith Kluwe

  35. Johnny Perry Jr says:

    Gunner Cargile is the true nature of what a MARINE is, and what every MARINE should want to be, he inspried me, and countless others. It was a honor serving with him and this nation and the MARINE CORPS need more men like him. Semper Fi..

    Cpl Perry, 2/2 Caat

  36. Amanda & Tj says:

    We Love You Daddy!!!

  37. […] pray for CW4 Cannon Cargile. On Saturday March 10th Cannon was traveling in an up-armored Humvee, riding in the front […]

  38. Mark Gwozdz says:

    Mrs. Cargile can I have a contact email for Cannon Cargile. He was my senior drill instructor in 1993.

    • cavmom says:


      I have not corresponded with Cannon and his family for many years. I do have a current email address for Master Gunner Nick Vitale, who’s father helped me gather information for this article. If you want I will pass on your contact information and he can pass it on to Cannon.

      Cindy Justice… aka CavMom

  39. Rich Welch says:

    Gunner cargile! Great man and great marine! Along with gunner vitale! Best days of my life serving with you both!..sgt.Welch

  40. Tim Figurelle says:

    Hey Marine, it’s Fig. I am proud as well as honored to have rode with you back in the 80’s at the Stumps . I always knew you would make the Corps and America proud of your service.

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