Another young person not having a birthday
Jo Ann Davidson
P.S. This is your last chance to join the First Lady in making this an extra special birthday celebration - please take a moment to sign a birthday e-card for the President.
Some people don't get to see their 22nd birthday, forget 60th.
Lcpl Nicholas Whyte, killed in Iraq.
Brooklyn loses a proud son
Sniper's bullet in Iraq ends life full of promise
BY JOTHAM SEDERSTROM and CORKY SIEMASZKO
DAILY NEWS WRITERS
Marine Lance Cpl. Nicholas Whyte would have turned 22 yesterday, but instead of marking his son's birthday, Whyte's father was planning a funeral.
"He was the kind of kid a father could be proud of," Andre Whyte said quietly at his home on E. 51st St. in Brooklyn.
An Iraqi sniper in the viper's nest of Ramadi shot Whyte in the neck Wednesday, snuffing out the young Marine's promising life, the military said.
Andre Whyte found out his son was dead a day later.
"When he was about 4, he said, 'Dad, I want to be a soldier,'" the grieving father, a city Correction Department captain on Rikers Island, recalled yesterday. "We tried to convince him otherwise. But even then he knew."
The Manhattan-born son of Jamaican immigrants, Nicholas Whyte was a straight-A student at Public School 221. He won a scholarship to a private junior high school in Massachusetts and went on to attend a private high school in Hartford, his dad said.
But Whyte pined for New York and returned to the city where he graduated from James Madison High School, determined to be a Marine. He enlisted in August 2003 and first fought in Fallujah.
"He could have done a million other things besides this," said Clive Campbell, 43, a family friend who also is a correction officer at Rikers. "He had so many options."
Andre Whyte said the last time he talked to his son was on Father's Day - moments after his younger son, 10-year-old Triston, gave him a card with both sons' signatures.
"I never signed any card," the elder son told his dad on the phone before laughing, his father recalled.
Whyte said his son's body will be returned to Brooklyn on Tuesday, and a funeral will be held Friday. His wife, Annette, 44, was too crushed to speak yesterday.
"He fought for what he believed in. He was a soldier and he followed orders," Andre Whyte said. "He believed what he was taught."
posted by Steve @ 7:10:00 AM