CPL Vincent Taaffee
USMC... Camp Pendleton, California... Crash Rescue/Firefighter... 1st MEF Operation Iraqi Freedom
Born - February 8, 1982... Emancipated - August 17, 2012
From the day Vincent was born, there was never a dull moment! He viewed life through a different set of lenses, and his brilliant, creative mind gave birth to some very unique ways to shock people out of their comfort zone... He was like an explosive bucket of worms, a colorful frenzy of activity, whose zany antics had the power to diffuse intensely difficult moments and make people smile!
Everyone who has had the privilege of knowing Vince can testify to his kindness, extreme generosity, his loyalty, his sensitive, tender heart, his courage (even when deeply afraid), and his ability to savor life. (He lived more life in 30 short years, than most people do in a lifetime!)... And he loved... Deeply... There was a depth to him that I have rarely seen, and it was that very same spirit that ministered to, and touched so many, many lives.
From a very young age (3 years old), Vincent had two passions... Military service, and fishing... And his life was dominated by both!
Becoming a Marine was one of the proudest moments of his life! It is what he lived for! Even after returning from Iraq with severe PTSD, he chose to return, as an independent contractor. He loved serving his country, and he gave his best! Sadly, PTSD dominated and tormented him in his post war life, and he had to fight tooth and nail for any help he received. Finding a new normal proved to be elusive.
He loved nature, camping, history, music, hunting, and adventures of all kinds! He was a surprisingly good cook!... Not surprisingly, he found respite on the water. With a fishing pole, he could find moments of peace... and fish! His last day on this earth, was spent fishing.