A Darkhorse Battalion Marine and the Family Left Behind

Kait Wyatt carries her 1-month-old son, Michael, at the burial for her husband, Marine Cpl. Derek Wyatt, at Arlington National Cemetery, Jan. 7. Photo by Evan Vucci/AP courtesy of NPR.org.

Before deploying with the Darkhorse Battalion, Marine Cpl. Derek Wyat recorded bedtime stories for his unborn son. His widow talked with NPR’s Tom Bowman for his ongoing series on the 3rd Battalion, 5th Regiment which suffered a record number of casualties while deployed in Afghanistan.

Part five of seven

Last year, on Dec. 6, Kait Wyatt was up early, making breakfast, when the doorbell rang at her home on the Camp Pendleton Marine base.

She opened the door. Two Marines stood there.

“I wanted it to be them telling me that he was OK, that he was hurt or something along those lines. But I knew,” Kait recalls.

“I automatically knew Derek had passed away,” she says.

Her husband, Cpl. Derek Wyatt, was serving in Afghanistan with the 3rd Battalion, 5th Regiment, known as “Darkhorse.”

Kait was pregnant: She was due to give birth in just a couple of weeks, in mid-December.

The Marines began the ritual, and Kait, who was 22 at the time, began to sob.

“I kind of heard Derek’s voice in the back of my head saying, ‘There’s nothing you can do about it now, sweetheart. You just need to be strong and to get through this last little bit of your pregnancy,’ ” she says. “And so I dried up my tears, and I asked: What do we do now?”

You can read the full article and listen to Tom Bowman’s story HERE.


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