Sgt. Byron Wayne Norwood, USMC, was born in Austin, Texas on August 11, 1979 and was killed in action in Fallujah, Iraq on Saturday, November 13, 2004 while participating in a rescue attempt for 7 Marines who were wounded and trapped in a building. Byron would have considered his mission a success, as all seven survived and returned to their families. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
He was the third of five children born to Bill and Janet Aston Norwood. He was a 1998 graduate of Pflugerville High School, where he played trumpet in the Marching Band and Jazz Band and participated in several drama productions.
After graduation, he fulfilled a life-long dream of joining the Marine Corps, following in the footsteps of both of his grandfathers who served with the Marine Corps during WWII. After Boot Camp and School of Infantry at Camp Pendleton, Byron returned to Austin for Reserve duty and college and then began active duty as a Recruiter’s Assistant. He left Texas in July, 2001 to serve with 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines and completed a sea deployment with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit from June through December, 2002.
From February to May, 2003, Byron’s Unit fought in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and after returning to Camp Pendleton, spent time studying Arabic before his second tour in Iraq. His Arabic language skills and knowledge of culture and customs helped greatly with his efforts in training of Iraqi Special Forces. He believed strongly in the objective of assisting in the building of a democratic Iraq and was proud to be a part of the history of that new nation.
Byron had a deep spirit of Patriotism and love for his Country and Community of Pflugerville, his family and friends, and his God. He shared that devotion openly and considered it an honor to be a protector for those he loved. He believed that it was essential to fight terrorism at its source in order to lessen the likelihood of having to do so in our own neighborhoods.
Byron’s captivating sense of humor and beaming smile enriched the lives of all those around him. He was kind, sensitive and considerate, always placing the needs of others before his own. His last selfless act was that of giving his life for his Country and his brother Marines.
He is survived by his parents; sister Kristen and brother-in-law, David Hullum of Pflugerville; brother, Grant, of Austin; sister, Grayson, of Austin; and brother, Colin, of Lubbock/Pflugerville; grandparents, Jeane and Jake Aston, of Houston; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.. His family is so proud of his honor, courage and commitment to the service of his Country.