Dustin Michael Gould
Sergeant, United States Marine Corps
RELEASES from the United States Department of Defense
No. 244-07 IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DoD Identifies Marine Casualty
The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. Staff Sergeant Dustin M. Gould, 28, of Longmont, Colorado, died March 2, 2007, while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq. Gould was assigned to 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California.
For more information in regard to this
release the media can contact the Camp Pendleton public affairs office
at (760) 725-5044.
An Oklahoma Marine who was scheduled to return home next month died in Iraq Friday.
Karen Gould confirmed that Marine officers came to the beauty salon where she works Friday morning and informed her that her son, Staff Sergeant Dustin Michael Gould, had been killed.
The military has not confirmed Dustin Gould's death.
Karen Gould says the Marine officers told her that Dustin Gould -- a bomb technician -- was killed as he tried to disarm an explosive device.
She says her son was a kind, gentle man who loved animals and was very generous. Karen Gould says her 28-year-old son was proud of what he was doing but was, quote, "sick of the way things were."
The Gould family has been touched by the Iraq war before. Dustin Gould's half-brother, who was in the Army, was killed by a sniper in Iraq.
Dustin Gould leaves behind his wife, Elizabeth, his father and his sister.
Services are pending.
The 28-year-old Staff Sergeant was killed Friday in al-Anbar province, Iraq, according to the Department of Defense. A native of Norman, Okla., Gould was assigned to the 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California.
Although Gould lived in Longmont with his father, David, he attended Berthoud High School, graduating in 1997.
Military officials told Dustin Gould’s mother, Karen, that her son died while saving others’ lives.
“He was disarming (a bomb) to save his whole platoon, and he took the fall for it. So he saved the others,” said Karen Gould of Oklahoma.
While on patrol, Dustin Gould and his fellow Marines discovered an explosive device on the road, said David Gould, now of Atlanta. Dustin Gould, who served in the explosive ordnance-disposal unit, thought it was safe and moved it to a vehicle.
“When he was placing it in the vehicle, it exploded,” David Gould said.
This was Dustin Gould’s fourth rotation in Iraq — he had been there since August — and he was scheduled to return in just 15 days, David Gould said.
During his service, Dustin Gould received medals of commendation for recovering and safely disposing of large amounts of explosives, his father said.
“It was an astronomical amount. I can’t remember offhand,” David Gould said. “He knew it was dangerous. He wanted to be the best.”
When Dustin Gould was in high school, he was not sure what career he wanted, so he began investigating the military, David Gould said. He decided to join the Marines because it is an elite group.
“It was hard to let him go,” David Gould said. But he knew his son had made up his mind. “He always had a good head on his shoulders.”
His mother had trouble seeing him in the military, though. “He was the kindest, gentlest, sweetest person. I would have never, ever believed in him going overseas, being a Marine,” Karen Gould said, calling her son a “good leader” who never whined or gave anyone trouble.
Dustin Gould did not like being at war in Iraq, his father said. But he believed the U.S. had to fight there to prevent terrorists from attacking this country.
“He believed in what he was doing,” David Gould said.
A family friend, Kay Weyneth, said Dustin Gould had told her the Iraqi people did not appreciate having the U.S. military there.
“You never met such an unselfish, outstanding young man,” said Weyneth, who lives in Norman, Okla. “He never gave his mother trouble. He always excelled in whatever he did. He would give you the shirt off his back. No mother could wish for a better son.”
Dustin Gould and his father moved from Oklahoma to Colorado after his parents divorced, David Gould said. They lived in Fort Collins for a while before moving to Longmont.
“He and I just loved the outdoors,” David Gould said. “We spent all the time that we could there.”
David Gould moved from Longmont a few years ago, and none of the family lives here, he said.
Dustin Gould also is survived by his wife of eight years, Elizabeth, who lives in California; and his sister, Bethany White, 31, of Van Buren, Arkansas. A half-brother who was in the U.S. Army was recently killed by a sniper in Iraq. His name was not available Monday.
6 march 2007:
A Norman, Oklahoma, Marine died Friday when he attempted to disarm a bomb, but saved his comrades in the process.
Staff Sergeant Dustin Michael Gould, 28, a bomb technician, was on patrol when he came across an explosive device.
Gould analyzed it and thought it was safe. He was moving it to a vehicle when a second explosive that was part of the same device exploded.
"When he was placing it in the vehicle, it exploded," his father, David Gould, told the Longmont (Colo.) Daily Times-Call.
Dustin died a hero because he saved the lives of everyone in his platoon, family friend Kay Weyneth of Norman said.
Gould was on his fourth tour of duty in Iraq and was scheduled to return home in only 15 days, his father said.
The news was delivered in person to his mother, Karen Gould, of Norman, at her work Friday at Annie's Salon, 930 24th Avenue SW.
As soon as the two Marines showed up, she knew that something was wrong, salon owner Annie Rust said, because her son had told her they would send someone in person if he died.
Karen Gould flew out to Camp Pendleton, California, this past weekend, where she will wait with David Gould and her son's wife, Elizabeth, until his body arrives in about a week, said Weyneth, who has known the family for years.
Memorial services in Norman are pending, she said.
Gould was born in Norman January 18, 1979, Weyneth said. He moved to Colorado with his father the next year after his parents divorced.
In high school, he began researching the military. His father said he chose to join the Marines because it is such an elite group.
"It was hard to let him go," David Gould said, but Dustin had made up his mind.
"He always had a good head on his shoulders."
Family friends in Norman said he was a strong, caring person.
"You have never met such an unselfish, outstanding young man," Weyneth said. "He never gave his mother trouble, he always excelled at whatever he did, he would give you the shirt off his back. No one could wish for a better son."
Gould received medals of commendation for recovering and safely disposing of "tons" of explosives, his father said.
"It was an astronomical amount," David Gould said. "I can't remember offhand."
His exemplary actions commanded the respect of all those around him, his father said.
"He was a true Marine," he said.
This is not the first time Gould's family has experienced the pain and loss of war: Gould's half-brother, who was in the Army, was killed by a sniper in Iraq only two weeks ago, Weyneth said.
Gould is survived by his mother, father, wife at Camp Pendleton, California, sister Bethany White of Van Buren, Arkansas, and grandparents Bobby and Inez Gould of Byng.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
When Karen Gould watched her son's casket lower
into the ground at Arlington National Cemetery, she knew a few body parts
wrapped in linen and his uniform were all that were inside.
"I never got a chance to bury my son," said his mother, who lives in Norman, Oklahoma. "Some of the other mothers had a sense of closure. I never got that because I never saw my son again."
Dustin Gould was born in Norman but moved to Longmont with his father, David, and graduated from Berthoud High School. His family remembers him as a kind, gentle person determined to enter the military, even though they asked him not to. He picked one of the most dangerous jobs, disarming explosive devices.
Knowing he saved lives in that job provides some comfort for his family, even if it cost him his life. It doesn't provide nearly enough comfort, though.
"It's my greatest loss," his mother said. "He was my baby, and I'll be in a bitter mood until the day I die. It wasn't worth his life."
His mother remembers a son who enjoyed the thrill of danger. He rode motorcycles, scuba dived and even wrestled alligators.
Those are some of her good memories. But there are plenty of bad memories, too, such as hearing her son was identified by a partial "Semper Fi" tattoo on a piece of his body.
Two weeks after he was killed, he would have been on a plane back to a family still angry at the war.
"He died a useless death," his mother said.
"It's just like Vietnam. It's the same type of war. It's all about politics."
Posted: 25 March 2007 Updated: 4 May 2007 Updated:2 July 2007 Updated: 20 March 2008
Photo Courtesy of Holly, April 2007
Photo Courtesy of Holly, March 2007