Michael Waters-Bey and his grandson Kenneth, son of Marine Sgt. Kendall Waters-Bey, one of the first U.S. casualties in Iraq, hail the soldier as a hero. Photo: Askia Muhammad

‘My son is a hero’

‘My son was framed’  (FinalCall.com News – Tale of Two Soldiers)

BALTIMORE (FinalCall.com)–U.S. Marine Staff Sgt. Kendall Waters-Bey was one of the first American casualties in the U.S. invasion of Iraq. He died on the first day of the war with two other Marines and eight British commandos in the crash of a Sea Knight helicopter just inside the Iraqi border.


A Muslim, a member of the Moorish Science Temple of America, 29-year-old Sgt. Waters-Bey will be remembered as a popular man who was literally “loved by all” who knew him. He was saluted and buried as a true “hero” with full military honors April 4 by dignitaries including Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich (R), Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), both of the state’s U.S. senators, as well as by hundreds of ordinary citizens who wanted to pay their respects.

“My son is a true hero and he was a very, very great person,” Michael Waters-Bey told The Final Call. “He didn’t have (any) enemies. And he was loved by everybody who was in his company,” he said in an interview.

“I was not angry. I was hurt, and at that time it was a sensitive moment for me,” Mr. Waters-Bey said, explaining his tearful, live television response during which he held a picture of his son in his hand and declared, “I want President Bush to get a good look at this, really good look here. This is the only son I had, only son.”

“That’s why I looked and said what I said. Because I had to direct it to the person who started all this. He’s his father’s first born, and first born (and) a boy too, so you have to understand (his feeling in that way) too. Seriously,” Mr. Waters-Bey insisted.

“My son’s mother told me about it (son’s death). My son’s wife had called her and told her that the Marines knocked on her door and told her that my son was one of the Marines that was in the first casualties,” he said, recalling how he first learned of his son’s death.

“It was devastating to me. Not only shock, but it was devastating to me to hear that because that was my only son. I loved that boy.” said Mr. Waters-Bey.

Sgt. Kendall Waters-Bey joined the Marine Corps 11 years ago, in part, “to get away from the streets and also he wanted to do something positive with his life and also have a nice career,” his father said.

To other Muslims and Moorish Americans who may have relatives in the armed forces fighting in the Iraqi invasion, Mr. Waters-Bey offers timeless advice. “I would say, first of all, one thing we must maintain is our faith in Allah. That’s the first thing, right?

“Second of all, even though you have different views about the war and things that’s going on, still be supportive with your relatives (serving in the military) because that’s a duty and a job that they chose to do.

“And just have that faith in Allah. Whatever decision to be made, just don’t stop having your faith in Allah with it,” said Mr. Waters-Bey, whose 9-year-old grandson Kenneth lives with him now. “He’s hurt. He’s hurt. But like he said, his father’s his hero. Just like he’s my hero, his father’s his hero.

“Basically, he has to get over the fact of his father’s passing. That’s the deepest thought in his mind right now, is his father’s passing, because they were so close knitted together,” he said.

“My son is a true hero,” Mr. Waters-Bey concluded, “and he was a very, very great person, and he didn’t have no enemies, right? And he was loved by everybody who was in his company. You know? And that’s why I put that out there like that.”