We are dropping smoke and getting outa here! Blogger just couldnâ€™t handle it, so we went and got our own place. please adjust your links!! ONE MARINES VIEW.COM SEE YA THERE!
Do what the media did not
Being a Lieutenant in Hawaii back in 1999 was great. I had just returned from one of many deployments to Japan, Australia and Korea. I had â€œdash oneâ€� (first born) eating and pooping like they are suppose to and I was looking for orders for back to the mainland of good ole US. It was early afternoon when I was at home getting some chow when I got a phone call. It was my mother and she had asked me if I have heard whatâ€™s going on? I asked with what and she said the shootings here. I said no as I turned on the Communist News Network (CNN) and saw the unfolding of the Columbine High school shootings. With all of the electricity and shock I couldnâ€™t believe it. Total chaos and confusion as I watched the TV. The sadness that we would experience again on Sept 11th ran through conversations at work and with friends. I couldnâ€™t believe my eyes, why you ask? Well mainly because I was talking to my mother on the phone and I could see her in the back yard as news helo circled the high school. It hit hard at home because I graduated from Columbine High School. Many of my buddies were teachers there. I could see where people were trapped and knew exactly where they were and knew they were truly trapped. I told my mother to get back inside as this thing could spill into the streets. I thought about my friends, teachers and a couple Marine recruiters I knew at the school at the time. I didnâ€™t want to go back to work and had terrible helpless feelings. I thought and watched to see if any of my buddies were out or if they had been hit. No news on any of them brought the worse thoughts. The kick in the gut feeling that followed as they advertised the wounded and dead after the two shooters were dead hit home for many. The principle, a friend and a mentor as a football coach for me through the years had recently been assigned as principle and he was served up a hell of a day that day and he handled it well. Columbine is a great school. It resides in you basic middle class neighbor hood, a great neighborhood. Many peoples life changed that June 20th, including mine. Semper Fi Capt B DARRELL SCOTT TESTIMONY Guess our national leaders didn't expect this, hmm? On Thursday, Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Scott, a victim of the Columbine High School shootings in Littleton, Colorado, was invited to address the House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee. What he said to our national leaders during this special session of Congress was painfully truthful. They were not prepared for what he was to say, nor was it received well. It needs to be heard by every parent, every teacher, every politician, every sociologist, every psychologist, and every so-called expert! These courageous words spoken by Darrell Scott are powerful, penetrating, and deeply personal. There is no doubt that God sent this man as a voice crying in the wilderness. The following is a portion of the transcript: " Since the dawn of creation there has been both good & evil in the hearts of men and women. We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other eleven children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers. "The f irst recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field. The villain was not the club he used.. Neither was it the NCA, the National Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain's heart. "In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA. I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA - because I don't believe that they are responsible for my daughter's death. Therefore I do not believe that they need to be defended. If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel's murder I would be their strongest opponent. I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy -- it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies! Much of the blame lies here in this room. Much of the blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves. I wrote a poem just four nights ago that expresses my feelings best. This was written way before I knew I would be speaking here today: Your laws ignore our deepest needs, Your words are empty air. You've stripped away our heritage, You've outlawed simple prayer. Now gunshots fill our classrooms, And precious children die. You seek for answers everywhere, And ask the question "Why?" You regulate restrictive laws, Through legislative creed. And yet you fail to understand, That God is what we need! "Men and women are three-part beings. We all consist of body, mind, and spirit. When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and wreak havoc. Spiritual presences were present within our educational systems for most of our nation's history. Many of our major colleges began as theological seminaries. This is a historical fact. What has happened to us as a nation? We have refused to honor God, and in so doing, we open the doors to hatred and violence. And when something as terrible as Columbine's tragedy occurs -- politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA. They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that contribute to erode away our personal and private liberties. We do not need more restrictive laws. Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre. The real villain lies within our own hearts. "As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes, he did not hesitate to pray in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right! I challenge every young person in America, and around the world, to realize that on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School prayer was brought back to our schools. Do not let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain. Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for legislation that violates your God-given right to communicate with Him. To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA -- I give to you a sincere challenge. Dare to examine your own heart before casting the first stone! My daughter's death will not be in vain! The young people of this country will not allow that to happen!" Do what the media did not - - let the nation hear this man's speech. Please send this out to everyone you can. In Iraq MemorialMarine who was student at Columbine High School during 1999 attack killed in Iraq ASSOCIATED PRESS 10:08 a.m. December 14, 2004 Associated PressLance Cpl. Greg Rund, 21LITTLETON, Colo. â€“ A Marine who was a freshman at Columbine High School when two students killed 13 people there was killed in action in Iraq, his family said. Lance Cpl. Greg Rund, 21, was on his second tour of duty in Iraq when he was killed Saturday, his family said in a statement released Monday. He had talked about joining the Marines throughout high school and enlisted shortly after graduating in 2002. The Marines confirmed Rund's death Wednesday, saying he died in combat in Al Anbar Province. He was assigned to the 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, Calif. Rund was a freshman when Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris shot 12 students, a teacher, and then themselves on April 20, 1999. "Greg made us so proud, but he never wanted to be recognized for his actions," said the statement from his family. "Neither Columbine nor Iraq was to define him." Rund was on the 2000 state championship football team, and his younger brother, Doug, now plays football at Columbine as a sophomore. "It seems so unfortunate that you get through some things, but it catches up with you," Ken Holden, Rund's former high school counselor, told the Denver Post. Rund's family described him as "reckless, smart, off-key and wonderful." "He never did anything like everyone else did," the statement said. "He did everything to the extreme and always knew that somehow with his humor and a little luck, he would make it through."
SAVED THE DAY
OK gang, we are back in business solely because of the help of â€œAndoâ€� who sent me a code insert that assisted me in getting Blogger totally â€œunassedâ€�. Thank you my friend for whoever sent you to our aide, I thank you! Stop over at Andoâ€™s blog and say hey. He has some great posts! Capt B
Sorry gang about the format, aparently Blogger is having a bandwidth issue. I'll give them a bit to get is unassed then perhaps I will have to go to plan "B" Capt B
Shared cigars bring Marines together in Fallujah
CAMP BAHARIA, Iraq A thick billowy cloud of white smoke lingered in the air above the relaxed Marines. It was quitting time and Marines were enjoying a ritual of sortsMarines and sailors from 1st Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 5, take time at the end of their day to enjoy a good cigar at the chapel here.â€œItâ€™s great,â€� said Sgt. Russel R. Ellman, an administration chief at Headquarters and Service Company. â€œIt is kind of like having a barbecue back home with all of your buddies.â€�The men gather at the building one day a week to release some of the stress they encounter throughout the week.â€œItâ€™s just a great way to bring the guys together in a relaxed environment,â€� said Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Thomas S. Pratt, a religious programmer who helped to get the weekly event started. â€œIt can be very stressful for the guys out here, especially without their families. This allows them to come together and joke around to help ease all of that.â€�Pratt met with Navy Lt. Marc J. Bishop, the chaplain here, and discussed the idea to hold a cigar night. Before long he was on the internet looking for sponsors to donate cigars to the cause.â€œI saw a picture online of a bunch of Marines in Iraq smoking cigars and having a good time,â€� said Pratt, of Denver, Colo. â€œI started doing my research and found a place that would hopefully send us some cigars. Within a couple weeks, boxes and boxes of cigars started coming.â€�Flyers and word of the night quickly spread around the camp. After two of the nights, Marines here started showing up by the dozens.â€œWhen you put people in a social environment, they do not only talk about what they do, but who they really are,â€� explained Bishop, a Catholic priest. â€œIt allows me to interact with Marines in an informal, less stressful environment, rather than engage them while they are in their work settings.â€� Errah! I need one of those now! Capt B
Some people just donâ€™t get it. When you hear the title Marines, people usually think or have the thoughts of the 200lb monsters ready to pull you appendages off who are locked in a glass cage that has a sign reading, break only in case of war. Wellâ€¦â€¦ok, the cages are really steel but that doesnâ€™t matter. In todayâ€™s battles and continuous threats against America, Marines and the other services have grown way past the traditional in your gut fighting. Donâ€™t get me wrong for a second, we Marines like to fight and are more than happy to do it when the call comes. Throughout the past few years when the light came on your Marines were ready. Not only to kick butt but to go way beyond of basic tactics. Todayâ€™s demands require Marines to be able to evolve from one mission to another in a blink of an eye. Terms like 3 block war use to be the foundation of Marine training. Now young Marines find themselves fighting head on one minute then conducting humanitarian missions the next only to roll back into head on fighting an hour later. â€œBy 2020, eighty-five percent of the world's inhabitants will be crowded into coastal cities -- cities generally lacking the infrastructure required to support their burgeoning populations. Under these conditions, long simmering ethnic, nationalist, and economic tensions will explode and increase the potential of crises requiring U.S. interventionâ€� As Marines operate in Iraq and Afghanistan it is more and more evident that things will get busier for us and other services. Busier and at times it may be very difficult or blurred at times. Regardless of training one cannot always tell the difference between combatants and noncombatants because sometimes one becomes the other in a flash. So as young Marines are making life and death decisions in a blink of an eye and continue to excel past the expectations of even senior leadership, before judging on â€œhow wellâ€� we are doing in Iraq know that there are thousands if not tens of thousands events that transpire and lead to the success of a major events, like the successful elections in Iraq but you may never here of them. These marines and their actions are the meat and potatoes that produce unsung heroes in our Corps and in our country. The Marine Corps is a young gun club. The majority of our front line fighters are from 17-26 years old. In many situations the determining factor in if a mission succeeds or not is if the young rifleman makes the right decision, at the right time. Life altering decisions made with his experience and reinforced with confidence and judgment. So while you may think there is nothing but fighter jets skreeetching down over in Iraq (sometimes but not much any more) remember that large groups of young Marines are accomplishing tough missions in the trenches and making the right call. Conducting operations that may have taken weeks before and completing them in days. Operating in remote regions with only their Staff Non Commissioned leadership or even alone with Corporalâ€™s running the squad. Itâ€™s a young man taking his orders, understanding what needs to get done and doing it right. Regardless if itâ€™s taking a building or handing out chow for starving citizens, your Marines are on the job and winning. Semper Fi Capt B CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq (May 31, 2006) -- The sound of a cement mixer breaks up the darkness on a lone Iraqi road near the city of Fallujah. Marines are working in what is known as "black out" condition - no light other than the moon and the occasional glimmer of a flashlight. It's 6 a.m. on May 24, and the lazing Iraqi sun will soon be rising. This is the time many Americans get up for work, but for the combat engineers of Charlie Company, they've already put in an eight-hour day. The Marines of Charlie Company, commonly referred to as "Hell-Bent Charlie," of Combat Logistics Battalion 5, are hard at work repairing the roads that intersect the city and countryside of Fallujah.Repairing the streets of Iraq isn't quite like repaving a road in the United States. Instead of fluorescent orange vests and hardhats road workers wear in the States, Marine engineers carry rifles with optic sights, and wear combat gear consisting of a protective vest, helmet and ammunition for a combined weight of over 50 pounds. The roads these Marines work on are traveled by Iraqi citizens, along with coalition and Iraqi Security Forces and are constantly damaged by roadside bomb attacks. Fixing them is crucial to the movement of supplies and troops in the area, said Maj. Steven R. Svendsen, the executive officer of CLB-5 and 40-year-old native of Beaman, Iowa. The work done by the Marines is also helping rebuild the Iraqi infrastructure, he said.The night repair mission begins right after dusk with a quick meeting entailing the mission and latest intelligence findings. Last minute gear checks are conducted before they leave the security of Camp Fallujah where they're based. "Hell Bent Charlie" goes straight to work quickly filling two holes as soon as they leave the confines of the base.Not much longer afterwards they encounter the very threat they are trying to fight - an improvised explosive device, commonly called IEDs. The engineers set up security and call the explosive ordinance disposal team. The potentially deadly device is neutralized in minutes and the Marine road workers press on. These road-side bombs are a favored weapon used by the enemy to wreak havoc on coalition forces. The threat of IEDs is one of the main reasons these Marines are on the road. "A lot of (the roads) have fallen into disrepair over the years; (they are) a perfect place for an insurgent to put an IED," said 1st Lt. Edward J. Walsh, a 26-year-old native of Melrose, Mass.Sometimes craters from IEDs are used multiple times making the work to fill these dangerous potholes very important, explained Walsh.For the craters to be repaved efficiently, the Marines must work together while performing individual tasks. Different teams of engineers have specific jobs and responsibilities that fit into the overall route repair process. While conducting the repairs separate teams are tasked to provide security, survey the crater to make sure it is safe to repair, and conduct the actual repair, said Sgt. Shawn Peterson, a 27-year-old native of Missoula, Mont. The Marines have to work fast to avoid being a target of insurgents and still perform their job with precision. Many of these missions have been subject to deadly sniper and mortar attacks. Surveying is the first step to repairing the road. Many factors must be calculated to properly repair a crater."We have to account for the size of the hole, depth of the hole and how long we're going to be on site," said Peterson. For a crater to be filled properly, dirt is molded into a foundation, then cement is poured in, said SSgt. Jose R. Miranda, a 26-year-old from Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.After smoothing off the top of the quick-drying road patch their off in search of more roads in need. Working with hundreds of pounds of concrete mix and dirt - in temperatures well above 100 degrees during the day - is a physically demanding job for these Marines. The results of their efforts are evident to the engineers every time a convoy rides a road made safer by their work.Riding in the back of a vehicle on a freshly repaired road in Iraq, his uniform splattered with dried concrete mix, Lance Cpl. Joshua I. Hamptonhanshaw, looked content."It's nice seeing the results of what I'm doing," said the 21-year-old native of Phoenix, Ariz
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Viper's gunships escort Marine patrol in Karma
KARMA, Iraq - Under a baking Iraqi sun, beads of sweat roll down a Marine's face as his eyes slowly scan the surrounding fields of tall grass, looking for insurgent forces that could ambush him and his fellow Marines' dismounted patrol. Suddenly, the thumping sound of helicopters breaks through the noise of his beating pulse and a squawking radio in his ears. Air support has arrived.Like guardian angels, the sharp-eyed crews of a UH-1N Huey and AH-1W Super Cobra with Marine Light Attack Squadron 169, Marine Aircraft Group 16 (Reinforced), 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, use their bird's eye perspective, flying just above treetops or thousands of feet in the air to provide reconnaissance on the convoy's route through the streets and fields of Karma, May 11."Our mission was to fly in the vicinity of Karma, Iraq, in support of the dismounted patrols that were throughout the city," said 1st Lt. Brian P. Brassieur, a Huey pilot. "We were looking for any improvised explosive devices on the roads or any military-aged males digging holes in the road and anything (insurgents) might be doing to disrupt our patrols."The squadron's ability to successfully support the Marine ground forces on patrol begins at the squadron's airfield in Al Taqaddum."Before every flight, and at the beginning of our training, we always do cockpit coordination and crew briefs, as well as a section brief," said Capt. Brian J. Crawford, a Huey pilot and Laurel, Md., native. "First, the crews from both aircraft get together and conduct a thorough brief on how we're going to conduct that flight. Then, myself, the other pilot and the two crew chiefs will sit down and talk about the conduct of operations for the day. It's everything from what we expect to see, what we expect to execute and all the communications associated with accomplishing that."Once in the air, the two helicopters sped toward Karma. The two pilots in the Super Cobra and the two pilots and two crew chiefs in the Huey kept their eyes open, alert to the threat posed by surface-to-air missiles and gunfire."Communication is the key for these kinds of missions, because without proper communication no one knows what's going on," said Lance Cpl. Justin W. Ahlers, a Huey crew chief and West Bend, Wis., native. "We all might see pieces of a whole, but we won't be able to put it all together without communication to make the picture complete. That allows us to accomplish the mission more effectively."The desert landscape surrounding their airbase quickly passed below Ahlers and the other Marines in the helicopters before turning into lush fields and canals, as they passed over the land surrounding the Euphrates River and approached Karma. "Once we got in the vicinity of where we were supposed to be, we contacted the forward air controller on the ground," said Brassieur, a Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., native. "He is apprised of the whole situation because he is right in it. He tells us what's going on, what he needs us to do, where his position is and how we can support him."Through coordination, the ground and air Marines can form an accurate picture of what lies ahead down the streets of Karma. The information flow between the forward air controller on the ground and the two helicopters is the key to the success of the convoy escort and the safety of the Marines on the ground. "Marine aviation's overall role is to support ground troops, and in Karma, we were providing immediate, overhead close air support and reconnaissance to them," said 1st Lt. Kyle R. Vandegiesen, a Super Cobra pilot and North Allteboro, Mass., native. "The grunts can only see a couple hundred meters around themselves. We have the vantage point of 500 to 1,000 feet above the ground."According to Vandegiesen, the view from above is crucial to the success of their mission. "The key to any battle is situational awareness," he said. "Whoever has it is going to win. If you can see the enemy then you've got him, that's what we provide." The Vipers ability to provide an "eye in the sky" for the ground troops is a vital part of the Marine aviation mission here."When I go over a station, when I'm over Karma, I want to look out for those Marines, that's what I've been trained to do and that's what I'm going to do," said Brassieur. "The Marine Corps revolves around the grunts on the ground. We're just here to support them. That's what we're here to do."
NEWS ON MEMORIAL DAY
Memorial day has come and gone and the #1 biggest news event at least on CNN was that the â€œJolie-Pitt baby is the 'Peaceful Oneâ€� Vomit,cough,spit â€¦â€¦..In the world of Barry Barnes doped up and breaking records to The Hilton sisters being the worlds biggest mental disasters, it is a cruel day when those above topics are ran every thirty minutes and nothing is said about the great progress in Iraq and Afghani. Sure, they said many Americans are celebrating Memorial Day todayâ€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦hello missing the meaning of the day. I know you all did it right. Semper Fi â€œMore than dutyâ€� Capt B
AMERICA DOESNT FORGET! This Memorial Day is the first one I have been home at since I deployed to Afghanistan for 8 mos, then Iraq for a year. A lot has happened in that time, to me, my family and my fellow Marines but I havenâ€™t forgotten. I think about the warriors from past battles Inchon, Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima and wonder if they felt the same as us during this Memorial holiday. A time you let the faces of the warriors past stay a little longer in your immediate memory and stare at them and remember them. Here one minute and then gone so quickly the next, its incredible that they are gone. They were just here. America doesnâ€™t forget. Your thoughts and grief follow through to their children and families who will be getting the word way to soon that their warrior has been killed in action. The knots in the stomach of the service members who are about to inform the families of their loss are no comparison to the pain the family is about to endure as their lives are changed forever. America does not forget. Our American warriors did not fight for glory, but to fulfill a duty. They did not want to be heroes, they wanted to see mom and dad again and to hold their sweethearts and to watch their sons and daughters grow. They desired the daily miracle of freedom in America, yet they gave all that up and gave life itself for the sake of others. You cannot ever let those warriors down by not continuing to raise their honor for what they have done for this country. Grieve if required but continue to honor them in a way that if they were here it would bring a smile to their face. Thatâ€™s all they would have wanted. To be appreciated for what they have done and for you to be proud of them. To thank their fellow warriors who might need to hear it now and then, to raise the flag if it isnâ€™t already posted on your porch and to tell their loved ones that they didnâ€™t get to meet because they were off fighting when they were born, what they were like and how brave they were. We owe this to them, America doesnâ€™t forget. For those that did go fight and are here now, be glad that you are home. Cherish it. Be glad you have someone thanking you and perhaps think of it this way, everything you do from now on, being fun, tuff or whatever the emotion, you do it for those that have paid the price in the past and cannot be here to feel it with you. That is one way to honor those who have fallen for us. America doesnâ€™t forget. From Debra Youngblood (mother of Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Travis L. Youngblood) I just read a few entries in your blog and I am so very glad I did. Since my son's death in Iraq, on July 21, 2005, I have been trying to reconcile my hatred of this war with my son's strong belief that what the troops were doing was the right thing in Iraq. I know that many people don't realize how much the troops have helped the Iraqi people. My son was a field medic with the II Marine Expendiary Unit, Lima company. He was wounded in Hit, Iraq on July 15, and died 6 days later in Iraq. Your words give me comfort not only for his convictions, but for the care he received. Many blessings to you. Debra S. Youngblood Capt B response: Maâ€™am- I just finished watching A&Eâ€™s special on 3/25. I visited them often at Haditha Dam and they were always pumped and excited. Your last name stays with me as I knew a young Marine with the same name in Hawaii when I served there in 1996. The position I held in Ramadi Iraq, was the sort that I knew of fallen warriors as soon as they were injured. Your sons name sticks with me in my gut and I can remember when I heard about him being first wounded as it made me think about the young Marine I knew in Hawaii. The medical attention he received was the very best and additional medical personnel were on him providing additional attention within seconds. When I heard he had past away I sat down in our CP, put my hands in my lap and thought about you, his family and knew his death was not in vain. As an infantry officer all of my Marines are my kids. Loosing one is like loosing apart of myself. Marines conducting operations in Iraq have made such drastic accomplishments; it will be a long time before people actually realize what they are doing there and in Afghanistan. Serving in Afghanistan for 8 months then home for 3, then sent to Iraq for a year, I have seen the progress that warriors like your son are doing, with my own eyes and thatâ€™s why I try to educate and show others what we are doing through my Blog. Like Iraq and the progress made, your son has helped make great gains with the Iraqi people, the country and especially his Marines. The Corpsman in the unit is a cherished person we all hold close to us and although he didnâ€™t enlist to be a Marine, corpsmen are transformed and are one of us. Your son has made a difference and has helped change the world. My deepest gratitude and respect for the hero who has past and the one I write to. ------------------------------------------------------------------ Letter from Karen Mendoza (Wife of Marine Maj. Ramon J. Mendoza, Jr.) Family and Friends, I was honored to be in the presence of such fine Marines and Sailors last week. Ray's bronze star presentation was a time not grieve but reflect on the accomplishments made by the Echo Company Team. Yes, they were a team and Ray loved building that team. Ray believed that the most important leadership trait was LOYALTY. Echo Company performed to Ray's high standards and expectations because they were loyal to each other, their country and their Marine Corps. He was so proud to be their commander and I was so proud to share Ray's bronze star with all of Echo Company. A little blue box held the award, but it represented something bigger. Ray's LT's, 1st Sgt, Gunny and Plt Sgts stood with our family. Ray was the commander but the Marines made everything happen. He would have not received this award if it wasn't for their outstanding performance. I find great comfort knowing that his last days were with his "team". I ran across an article that was written about Ray in the 90's during his wrestling years at Ohio State. Ray mentioned one thing that stood out when he joined the OSU Wrestling team. It was how close the team was and he believed it was the catalyst to their successful season. What will always be true about Buckeyes.... they are always for the "team" and forever Loyal. The Echo Company team has earned the Bronze Star. The last line on Ray's headstone at Fort Rosecrans reads "Company E 2/1"... still loyal to his boys watching over them from heaven. Below is the link to an article that was in the base newspaper. Hope all is well with everyone... we're still pressing forward and adjusting to our new life. Blessings Always, karen To all of Americaâ€™s heroâ€™s HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY AMERICA DOESNâ€™T FORGET! Semper Fidelis â€œMore than dutyâ€� Capt B
COMMANDANT TO REINFORCE STANDARDS AND CORE VALUES in Visits to Marine Bases Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C. - (May 25) -- General Michael W. Hagee, Commandant of the Marine Corps, left this morning to visit Marines at forward operating bases in Iraq to reinforce the ideals, values and standards for which Marines have been known for more than 200 years. Reflecting his personal concern over recent serious allegations about actions of Marines in combat, Hagee will address Marine officers and enlisted men and women in a series of events inside and outside the U.S. over the next several weeks. Hageeâ€™s remarks will focus on the value and meaning of honor, courage, and commitment and how these core values are epitomized by most Marines in their day-to-day actions - both in and out of combat. During these talks, Hagee will reemphasize the training all Marines receive in the Law of Armed Conflict, the Geneva Conventions, and Rules of Engagement. He will remind his Marines that each of them has a duty to obey and issue lawful orders and apply only the necessary force required to accomplish the mission. He will not address any specific incidents currently under investigation until any and all legal actions are complete. A full biography and high resolution image of General Michael W. Hagee can be found at: www.marines.mil/cmc/33cmc.nsf/cmcmain
â€œOn Marine Virtueâ€� By Gen. M. W. Hagee Recent serious allegations concerning actions of Marines in combat have caused me concern. They should cause you to be concerned as well. To ensure we continue to live up to General Lejeuneâ€™s description of a Marine as someone who demonstrates â€œall that is highest in military efficiency and soldierly virtue,â€� I would like to review the importance of our core values. As Marines, you are taught from your earliest days in the Corps about our core values of honor, courage and commitment. These values are part of and belong to all Marines, regardless of MOS, grade, or gender. They guide us in all that we do; whether in combat, in garrison, or on leave or liberty. To a Marine, honor is more than just honesty; it means having uncompromising personal integrity and being accountable for all actions. To most Marines, the most difficult part of courage is not the raw physical courage that we have seen so often on todayâ€™s battlefield. It is rather the moral courage to do the â€œright thingâ€� in the face of danger or pressure from other Marines. Finally, commitment is that focus on caring for one another and upholding the great ideals of our Corps and Country. The nature of this war with its ruthless enemies, and its complex and dangerous battlefield will continue to challenge us in the commitment to our core values. We must be strong and help one another to measure up. The war will also test our commitment to our belief in the rule of law. We have all been educated in the Law of Armed Conflict. We continue to reinforce that training, even when deployed to combat zones. We do not employ force just for the sake of employing force. We use lethal force only when justified, proportional and, most importantly, lawful. We follow the laws and regulations, Geneva Convention and Rules of Engagement. This is the American way of war. We must regulate force and violence, we only damage property that must be damaged, and we protect the non-combatants we find on the battlefield. When engaged in combat, particularly in the kind of counterinsurgency operations weâ€™re involved in now, we have to be doubly on guard. Many of our Marines have been involved in life or death combat or have witnessed the loss of their fellow Marines, and the effects of these events can be numbing. There is the risk of becoming indifferent to the loss of a human life, as well as bringing dishonor upon ourselves. Leaders of all grades need to reinforce continually that Marines care for one another and do what is right. The large majority of Marines today perform magnificently on and off the battlefield. I am very proud of the bravery, dedication, honor, courage and commitment you clearly display every day. And America is proud as well. Americans, indeed most people around the world, recognize that Marines are men and women of the highest caliber - physically, mentally, and morally. Each one of you contributes in your own unique way to our important mission; I am proud of your dedication and accomplishments. Even after 38 years, I still stand with pride every time I hear the Marines Hymn. The words of that Hymn mean something special to me. Especially, â€œKeep our Honor Cleanâ€�. I know that means something to all of you as well. As Marines we have an obligation to past Marines, fellow Marines, future Marines and ourselves to do our very best to live up to these words. As your Commandant, I charge all Marines to carry on our proud legacy by demonstrating our values in everything you do - on duty and off; in combat or in garrison. Semper Fidelis.
MEMORIAL DAY TRIFECTA Memorial Day is much more than a three-day weekend that marks the beginning of summer. To many people, especially the nation's thousands of combat veterans, this day, which has a history stretching back all the way to the Civil War, is an important reminder of those who died in the service of their country. This Memorial weekend you should be taking your kid to Vets hospital, visiting fallen warriors or if you stay inside at home educate them or yourselves on our nationâ€™s military and fallen warriors and what it has meant for them to serve. Recently, HBO aired â€œBaghdad ERâ€� where the majority of the feed back of those who pony up to watch it said it was typical HBO persuasive BS. Now CNN is going to air â€œCNN Honors American Troops on Multiple Platforms for Memorialâ€�. They advertise that they will be pushing, â€œComing Homeâ€� explores how the current war differs from previous conflicts, including the effects on social support systems for military familiesâ€� They are basing this of off primarily donated video footage, letters etc donated through their web site link http://turnerinfo.turner.com/Local%20Settings/Temporary%20Internet%20Files/Local%20Settings/Temporary%20Internet%20Files/OLK1F/www.cnn.com/cominghome that didnâ€™t work when I clicked on it. Perhaps they had turned it off so close to airing of the show but my gut call is this is going to be a typical Communist News Network (CNN) broadcast and will, like the HBO debacle will try to persuade the viewer on how â€œbadâ€� this war is and how â€œbadâ€� he President is doing. I will eat crow if they come across as the President being the â€œshitâ€� and doing better as they could ever dream of, but something tells me there will be a underlining subject of Yak, spit spew coming from the CNN, ACT II Another televised event will be of Lima Company 3/25 and their action with in Iraq starting on Thursday, May 25th at 9pmC. Featuring candid interviews and never-before-seen video, we tell the story of the hardest hit combat unit of the Iraq war. Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines, a reserve unit out of Columbus, Ohio was deployed to Iraq from February 28-September 30, 2005. http://www.aetv.com/listings/episode_details.do?episodeid=163325 ACT III The third watch able show is 60 Minutes and the coverage of Cpl Fulkâ€™s and his funeral services. Unlike the first of our trifecta, 60 minutes is usually pretty good on not involving a political agenda. If youâ€™re going to watch TV donâ€™t be a self centered hooyaa. Get yer ass over to A&E, History Channel or the like and watch some warriors slug it out. Plusâ€¦.it will drive the women crazy!!! â€œMore than dutyâ€� Semper Fi Capt B
Could this be said about Iraq and Afghanistan as well?...........
Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) (The Civil War) created in this country what had never existed before a national consciousness. It was not the salvation of the Union; it was the rebirth of the Union.Memorial Day Address (1915]
HADITHA, Iraq When some Marines return from Iraq, they bring back memorabilia, such as tattered Iraqi flags or old photos of Saddam Hussein they found in cluttered streets. Some, like 20-year-old Lance Cpl. Jeremy Russell of Salem, Ore., will bring back memories of actions on the battlefield and scars from being wounded in action.Russell, an infantryman with Weapons Company of the Hawaii-based 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, was manning a machine gun turret in a Humvee struck by an improvised explosive, or IED, last month. The battalion arrived in Iraq two months ago, and has since had to deal with numerous IEDs while patrolling the streets in the Haditha â€œTriadâ€� region â€“ an area of about 75,000 people along the Euphrates River in western Al Anbar Province and renowned insurgent hotspot.The blast left him with a piece of shrapnel embedded in his right hand and a severely bruised leg, and left three other Marines dead: Sgt. Lea Mills, 21, from Brooksville, Fla.; Sgt. Edward G. Davis, 31, from Antioch, Ill.; and Cpl. Brandon M. Hardy, 25, from Cochranville, Pa.â€œI thought I was going to die,â€� said Russell.The IED struck Russellâ€™s vehicle during a three-hour mission to recover another U.S. military vehicle. With vehicle in tow, the Marine convoy was enroute to their base at the Haditha Dam. It was 2:30 a.m., and the night seemed quiet, said Russell. â€œI could hear the Marines below me talking about their families while I was in the turret,â€� said Russell. â€œI just kept my eyes on the road behind me to make sure there were no vehicles approaching.â€� Still, he kept alert to ensure no vehicles approached the U.S. convoy. Aside from IEDs, vehicle suicide bombers are also a threat in Al Anbar Province, said Russell. Russell said the Marinesâ€™ talking in the vehicle â€œdied down a littleâ€� just seconds before an earth-shattering explosion, which was followed by two fireballs on either side of the vehicle. Russell tucked his chin and closed his eyes, hoping to avoid the majority of the blast. He did. The blast destroyed the rear left side of the humvee and flipped the vehicle 180 degrees onto its left side. Russell was ejected from the vehicle onto the roadway and feared the vehicle would rollover on top of him. â€œIt felt like minutes had past and everything was in slow motion,â€� recalled Russell. â€œBut it really took only two seconds for the IED to detonate and throw the vehicle on its side.â€� As he laid in the street, disoriented from the blast, Russell, who is serving his first combat deployment since he joined the Marine Corps in 2004 to â€œsee the world,â€� remembers smelling fuel â€“ a leak from the vehicleâ€™s gas tank.He also saw the vehicles three other passengers lying motionless in the street. Two of the Marines were killed on impact and another died a short time later, according to medical records. Russell climbed back into the humvee to notify the other Marines in the convoy of his situation, but the radio was broken.Russell then notified Marines ahead of him in the convoy by using luminous flares he located in the vehicle. He also rearmed himself with his M16 rifle, ready to fight off a secondary attack. Believing he was the only Marine around, Russell saw Lance Cpl. Cheyenne Macintosh, an Assault Amphibian Vehicle crewman from Seaman, Ohio. Macintosh was traveling back to Haditha Dam in the same convoy as Russell. Macintosh, 20, was checking the mortally-wounded Marines when he noticed Russell had survived the blast and was completely covered in soot. Staff Sgt. Michael Woodridge, 28, a section leader assigned to Weapons Company, had several other Marines from other vehicles in the convoy secure the area and be watchful for a secondary attack. â€œIt was chaotic,â€� said Woodridge, a native of Augusta, Ga. â€œThe back end of the humvee was completely gone.â€�Shortly after, Russell was evacuated by helicopter to a near-by medical facility. As his adrenaline began to wear off, he began to feel the pain from his injuries on the helicopter, he said. Shrapnel was lodged in his hand, his right leg throbbed in pain after he was tossed around inside the turret, and eventually ejected onto the ground, he said. Russell, who is now fully recovered and back to daily patrols with his unit, says the incident has not deterred him from patrolling daily. Given the chance, heâ€™ll deploy again to Iraq after his battalion returns to the U.S. in the Fall, he said. â€œI never imagined I would be in a life-or-death situation,â€� said Russell. â€œWhen I joined the Marine Corps, the only thing I knew about combat was what I saw on TV shows like M.A.S.H.â€�As Russell recovers from his injuries to his hand and leg, his fellow Marines say he still has high spirits. â€œRussell has kept his head up high and still has his sense of humor,â€� said Macintosh. â€œIt helps everyone else in the platoon stay in high spirits until we can go home.â€�
FRAUDS This isnâ€™t the first time a dress wearing, twinkie eating, zit face bag of bones piece of crap decided to imitate one of our finest. Here is a heart punch into a wanna be that should have stayed in bed. But this isnâ€™t the first piece of monkey crap to wake up and decide â€œhey, Im going to play soldier todayâ€� or for that fact Marine! The latest was in April of this year where Colonel insignia: $5.50 Purple Heart: $38.95 Dress blues: $520 Punishment for impersonating a military officer: $2,500 Reaction from one former Marine: Less than gung-ho. In this nut jobs case, Albert T. McKelvey stated end result he needed to â€˜haveâ€� a title and be something heâ€™s not. â€œHe wore the uniform and played the role of colonel for years at veteran functions, holiday ceremonies and military funerals, giving speeches, celebrating the birthday of a Navy admiral and presenting folded flags to widowsâ€� What the hell are these people thinking?? If you want to wear the gear then get your ass downtown and enlist. There are a couple sandy resorts that would love to have you come play Marine in! Last year this old hoot played it out until he got so busted. â€œLawson had passed out coins â€” the kind of metal tokens generals and some senior enlisted give out in a long-followed military tradition. He even passed out coins at a recent post event to Marines from Bravo Company who just returned from a yearlong mobilization in Iraq.â€� Two years ago, Walter Carlson, 58, of Summit, New Jersey, was arrested Wednesday at services for Marine Lieutenant John Wroblewski, 25, of Jefferson Township, New Jersey. He was released after paying a $10,00 bond. These are just a few of the shit bags out there that want to taint the history, honor and respect paid for by our forefathers and warriors of today. This is actually good we are attacking this like blood in the water as many Bloggers have recently . If we donâ€™t another shit stain will go and order his Marine or Army uniform and reap the respect due for the fallen warriors that actually paid the ultimate price. I say firing squad FOR THEM ALL or flame throwerâ€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦.their choice, Im in a good mood! Semper Fi Capt B HUSAYBAH, Iraq â€“ After three years without a police presence in this western Iraqi town of approximately 10,000, the community is beginning to see a fully-restored police force with the introduction of two new police stations. With a new force of fully-trained police officers, many of whom are seasoned veterans from the previous police force, Iraqis here hope the added security forces will curb insurgent activity in the area, according to tribal sheikhs. The Police Transition Team here, a team of Coalition service members responsible for training and mentoring Iraqi police officers, has worked in recent months to prepare these law enforcement officials for their duties of providing law and order here. Despite delays in the arrival of necessary police equipment, such as vehicles, the new police stations are providing an additional asset for Iraqi security forces by collecting tips and information from citizens and responding to criminal activity to combat insurgent operations in the region, according to the transition team. â€œThe police officers are eager to get out there in the towns and establish a presence,â€� said Staff Sgt. Robert Torres, an intelligence chief with a transition team serving in western Iraq. â€œThey are very organized, motivated, and they already have the respect from the community.â€�
WHY AREN'T YOU LINKED TO ONE MARINE'S VIEW MAGGOT?? If you see a link you like,highlight it and then click â€œeditâ€� from the menue in your frame. If youâ€™re using Blogger.com you can load it like a photo and the switch to HTML to get the code for your template. Worst case email me and I will email you the code. Semper!...........see comments!!
BAGHDAD ER On May 21st HBO will be airing â€œBaghdad ERâ€�. Itâ€™s an in your face look at the wounded receiving first rate medical care in Baghdad. HBO is probably going for shock value to gain viewers as they show amputation and massive trauma of our service members. They say the series isnâ€™t â€œProâ€� or Negativeâ€� warâ€¦â€¦â€¦..ok, right. There could be some education in it IF they describe what they are doing as in many already live medical shows. However, I bet that HBO wont be covering the â€œeducationalâ€� portion but the â€œshockâ€� value portion of it. Itâ€™s hard for me to want to support it because many of the guys shown could be someone I or many others out there know or served with. These are YOUR service members that volunteered to go to war and then are wounded and filmed. Did they ask they service members if it was ok before they started shooting the film? Doubt it. As I bet many beyond those initial stages of their wounds will want to watch that sort of thing now. Nor would fellow service members or their families. How would you feel if you were sent to a shit stain like Iraq for a year, wounded, then had your only privacy displayed for the world on TV? Give me a break! If its for anything other than â€œshockâ€� than why hasnâ€™t their been this kind of show for cops, firemen etc that were wounded in their service?? The many service members wounded already feel guilty for being wounded and having to depart from their buddies, why rub it in their face? Instead of showing gore and the loss of American life on TV (which the bad guy scumbags love to see by the way) why donâ€™t they spend the equal filming time on the large amounts of Iraqi hospitals and schools built? How about filming the past elections and the great results and showing that on HBO? Because they couldnâ€™t persuade your opinion as much about the campaigns thatâ€™s why. Because that would be GOOD news. You see the media doesnâ€™t want to show success in Iraq or Afghanistan. They are the spearhead of the American info demise. If the media was for President Bush and they did show the large accomplishments that were being done donâ€™t you think his rating would be higher? You see the media wants to show failure of our actions in Iraq & Afghani. Just like on your nightly news the only thing you hear about is wounded. Wouldnâ€™t it be something if the news broadcaster came across the nightly news and said â€œToday the Marines completed the 95th hospital or school in the Al Anbar regionâ€�??? It wont happen, just like HBO wouldnâ€™t do a special on the massive gain in either campaign. Instead they are going to show wounded service members in raw footage, tore up with massive trauma caused by an enemy IED or gunfight and in some cases they will show the heroâ€™s passing away. They will air service members saying negative things but wont air any of them saying positive things. I thought TV was supposed to be entertainingâ€¦â€¦. I could only hope that some good may come out of this show where perhaps people may feel sorry, guilty or angry for what is happening and decide to educate themselves on what we are doing there, decide to support they troops through many organizations like â€œAnyMarine.com or furthermore like after Sept 11th perhaps they will be compelled to enlist. Because quite frankly if its tore up young heroes, gore and blood you want to see than you should go down to your local recruiting office, sign up and get your butt over to Iraq or Afghanistan for a year. If you donâ€™t want to do that than you are wrong not to support your service member every way you can besides going there and laying in the dirt next to them. Its your callâ€¦â€¦one person can make a difference! For those that do choose to watch it, remember the below as you do............. By Col. Brett Wyrick USAF- The first rule of war is that young men and women die. The second rule of war is that surgeons cannot change the first rule.We had already done around a dozen surgical cases in the morning and the early afternoon. The entire medical staff had a professional meeting to discuss the business of the hospital and the care and treatment of burns.It is not boastful or arrogant when I tell you that some of the best surgeons in the world were present - I have been to many institutions, and I have been all around the world, and at this point in time, with this level of experience, the best in the world are assembled here at Balad.LTC Dave S., the Trauma Czar, and a real American hero is present. He has saved more people out here than anyone can imagine. The cast of characters includes two Air Force Academy graduates, Col (s) Joe W. and Maj. Max L. When you watch ER on television, the guys on the show are trying to be like Max - cool, methodical and professional. Max never misses anything on a trauma case because he sees everything on a patient and notes it the same way the great NFL running backs see the entire playing field when they are carrying the ball.Joe is an ENT surgeon who is tenacious, bright, and technically correct every single time - I mean every single time. The guy has a lower tolerance for variance than NASA. LTC (s) Chris C. was the Surgeon of the Day (SOD), and I was the back-up SOD. Everyone else was there and available - as I said the best in the world.As the meeting was breaking up, the call came in.An American soldier had been injured in an IED blast north of here, and he was in a bad way with head trauma. The specifics were fuzzy, but after three months here, what would need to be done was perfectly clear - the 332nd Expeditionary Medical Group readied for battle. All the surgeons started to gravitate toward the PLX which is the surgeons' ready room and centrally located midway to the ER, OR and radiology.The lab personnel checked precious units of blood, and the pharmacy made ready all the medications and drugs we would need for the upcoming fight. An operating room was cleared, and surgical instruments were laid out, the anesthesia circuits were switched over, and the gasses were checked and rechecked. An anesthesiologist and two nurse anesthetists went over the plan of action as the OR supervisor made the personnel assignments.In the ER, bags of IV fluids were carefully hung, battery packs were checked, and the ER nursing supervisor looked over the equipment to make sure all was in working order and the back-ups were ready just in case the primaries failed. The radiology techs moved forward in their lead gowns bringing their portable machines like artillery men of old wheeling their cannon into place. Respiratory therapy set the mechanical ventilator, and double-checked the oxygen. Gowns, gloves, boots, and masks were donned by those who would be directly in the battle.America can bring to the war - were in place and ready along with the best skill and talent from techs to surgeons. The two neurosurgeons gathered by themselves to plan. LTC A. is a neurosurgeon who still wears his pilot wings proudly. He used to be a T-38 instructor pilot, and some of the guys he trained to fly are now flying F-16s right here at Balad. He is good with his hands and calm under pressure. The other neurosurgeon is Maj. W., a gem of a surgeon who could play the guitar professionally if he was not dedicated to saving lives. A long time ago, at a place on the other side of the world called Oklahoma, I operated on his little brother after a car accident and helped to save his life. The two neurosurgeons, Chris, and I joined for the briefing. Although I was the ranking officer of the group, Chris was the SOD and would be the flight lead. If this was a fighter sweep, all three of those guys would be Weapons School Patch wearers.The plan was for me and the ER folks to assess treat and stabilize the patient as rapidly as possible to get the guy into the hands of the neurosurgeons. The intel was that this was an IED blast, and those rarely come with a single, isolated injury. It makes no sense to save the guy's brain if you have not saved the heart pump that brings the oxygenated blood to the brain. With this kind of trauma, you must be deliberate and methodical, and you must be deliberate and methodical in a pretty damn big hurry.All was ready, and we did not have to wait very long. The approaching rotors of a Blackhawk were heard, and Chris and I moved forward to the ER followed by several sets of surgeons' eyes as we went. We have also learned not to clog up the ER with surgeons giving orders. One guy runs the code, and the rest follow his instructions or stay out the way until they are needed.They wheeled the soldier into the ER on a NATO gurney shortly after the chopper touched down. One look at the PJs' faces told me that the situation was grim. Their young faces were drawn and tight, and they moved with a sense of directed urgency. They did not even need to speak because the look in their eyes was pleading with us - hurry. And hurry we did.In a flurry of activity that would seem like chaos to the uninitiated, many things happened simultaneously. Max and I received the patient as Chris watched over the shoulder to pick out anything that might be missed. An initial survey indicated a young soldier with a wound to the head, and several other obvious lacerations on the extremities.Max called out the injuries as they were found, and one of the techs wrote them down. The C-collar was checked, the chest was auscultated as the ET tube was switched to the ventilator. Chris took the history from the PJs because the patient was not conscious. All the wounds were examined and the dressings were removed except for the one on the head.The patient was rolled on to his side while his neck was stabilized by my hands, and Max examined the backside from the toes to the head. When we rolled the patient back over, it was onto an X-ray plate that would allow us to take the chest X-Ray immediately. The first set of vitals revealed a low blood pressure; fluid would need to be given, and it appeared as though the peripheral vascular system was on the verge of collapse.I called the move as experienced hands rolled him again for the final survey of the back and flanks and the X-Ray plate was removed and sent for development. As we positioned him for the next part of the trauma examination, I noted that the hands that were laid on this young man were Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, American Indian, Australian, Army, Air Force, Marine, Man, Woman, Young and Older: a true cross-section of our effort here in Iraq, but there was not much time to reflect.The patient needed fluid resuscitation fast, and there were other things yet to be done. Chris watched the initial survey and the secondary survey with a situational awareness that comes from competence and experience. Chris is never flustered, never out of ideas, and his pulse is never above fifty.With a steady, calm, and re-assuring voice, he directed the next steps to be taken. I moved down to the chest to start a central line, Max began an ultrasonic evaluation of the abdomen and pelvis. The X-rays and ultrasound examination were reviewed as I sewed the line in place, and it was clear to Chris that the young soldier's head was the only apparent life-threatening injury.The two neurosurgeons came forward, and removed the gauze covering the soldier's wounded head, and everyone's heart sank as we saw the blossom of red blood spreading out from shredded white and grey matter of the brain. Experience told all the surgeons present that there was no way to survive the injury, and this was one battle the Medical Group was going to lose. But he was American, and it was not time to quit, yet.Gentle pressure was applied over the wound, and the patient went directly to the CT scanner as drugs and fluids were pumped into the line to keep his heart and lungs functioning in a fading hope to restore the brain. The time elapsed from his arrival in the ER to the time he was in the CT scanner was five minutes.The CT scan confirmed what we had feared. The wounds to the brain were horrific and mortal, and there was no way on earth to replace the volume of tissue that had been blasted away by the explosion. The neurosurgeons looked at the scan, they looked at the scan a second time, and then they re-examined the patient to confirm once again.The OR crew waited anxiously outside the doors of radiology in the hope they would be utilized, but Chris, LTCs A and S., and Maj W. all agreed. There was no brain activity whatsoever. The chaplain came to pray, and reluctantly, the vent was turned from full mechanical ventilation to flow by. He had no hint of respiratory activity, his heart that had beat so strongly early in the day ceased to beat forever, and he was pronounced dead.The pumps were turned off; the machines were stopped, and the IVs were discontinued. Respectful quiet remained, and it was time to get ready for the next round of casualties. The techs and nurses gently moved the body over to the back of the ER to await mortuary services. And everyone agreed there was nothing more we could have done.When it was quiet, there was time to really look at the young soldier and see him as he was. Young, probably in his late teens, with not an ounce of fat anywhere. His muscles were powerful and well defined, and in death, his face was pleasant and calm.I am always surprised that anyone still has tears to shed here at Balad, but thank God they still do. The nurses and techs continued to care for him and do what they could. Not all the tubes and catheters can be removed because there is always a forensic investigation to be done at Dover AFB, but the nurses took out the lines they could. Fresh bandages were placed over the wounds, and the blood clots were washed from his hair as his wound was covered once more. His hands and feet were washed with care. A broken toenail was trimmed, and he was silently placed in the body bag when mortuary services arrived as gently as if they were tucking him into bed.Later that night was Patriot Detail - our last goodbye for an American hero. All the volunteers gathered at Base Ops after midnight under a three-quarter moon that was partially hidden by high, thin clouds. There was only silence as the chief master sergeant gave the Detail its instructions. Soldiers, Airmen, and Marines, colonels, privates and sergeants, pilots, gunners, mechanics, surgeons and clerks all marched out side-by-side to the back of the waiting transport, and presently, the flag-draped coffin was carried through the cordon as military salutes were rendered.The Detail marched back from the flight line, and slowly the doors of the big transport were secured. The chaplain offered prayers for anyone who wanted to participate, and then the group broke up as the people started to move away into the darkness. The big engines on the transport fired up, and the ground rumbled for miles as they took the runway. His duty was done - he had given the last full measure, and he was on his way home.The first rule of war is that young men and women die. The second rule of war is that surgeons cannot change the first rule. I think the third rule of war should be that those who have given their all for our freedom are never forgotten, and they are always honored.I wish there was not a war, and I wish our young people did not have to fight and die. But I cannot wish away evil men like Bin Laden and al-Zarqawi. These men are not wayward children who have gone astray; they are not great men who are simply misunderstood.These are cold-blooded killers and they will kill you, me, and everyone we love and hold dear if we do not kill them first. You cannot reason with these people, you cannot negotiate with these people, and this war will not be over until they are dead. That is the ugly, awful, and brutal truth.I wish the situation was different, but it is not. Americans have two choices. They can run from the threat, deny it exists, candy-coat it, debate it, and hope it goes away. And then, Americans will be fair game around the world and slaughtered by the thousands for the sheep they have become.Our second choice is to crush these evil men where they live and for us to have the political will and courage to finish what we came over here to do. The last thing we need here in Iraq is an exit strategy or some damn timetable for withdrawal. Thank God there was no timetable for withdrawal after the Battle of the Bulge or Iwo Jima. Thank God there was no exit strategy at Valley Forge. Freedom is not easy, and it comes with a terrible price - I saw the bill here yesterday.The third rule of war should be that we never forget the sacrifices made by our young men and women, and we always honor them. We honor them by finishing what they came to accomplish. We remember them by never quitting and having the backbone and the guts to never bend to the yoke of oppression.We honor them and remember them by having the courage to live free. For all of the wounded warriors out there, stay tuff and KEEP ATTACKING! Capt B Semper Fi ZAIDON, Iraq - Insurgents beware. That bump in the night might just be a Recon Marine aiming in.Marines of B Company, 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion, Regimental Combat Team 5 own the night here. When the rest of the world quiets down with the setting sun, these Marines are gearing up. This is their witching hour. They thrive in the darkness and keep insurgents on the run.â€œI feel very comfortable working at night,â€� said Sgt. Aaron C. Torian, a 28-year-old team leader from Paducah, Ky. â€œI feel safe because I have concealment.â€�Life is different under the night optical devices. Not only is everything in view bathed in a grainy-green hue, itâ€™s almost as if world turns on itâ€™s head. Marines said their senses become keener. Survival instincts kick in and they turn to primeval predators. They hunt under the darkness, aided by their night optic devices.â€œWeâ€™re used to working with the NODs,â€� Torian said. â€œSince your vision is limited, your hearing becomes enhanced.â€�Cpl. Michael J. Ruttenber said heâ€™s â€œjust as comfortable as the day timeâ€� working with night vision.
Reveille Radio 1 features Cpl Pack, a US Marine wounded twice in Fallujah. He tells his story and how it happened and what he was against. Click the Play "arrow" on the left side of the audio bar below. Leave your questions & comments in the comments section for Cpl Pack to respond to! Semper Fi & enjoy! (7min 6 sec) MP3 File
IT AINT EASY BEING GREEN Following up on the Mothers day post, there is due recognition for another group of people that pay a dear price along with mothers, military spouses and family members. My first deployment back in 1997 was an eye opener for me. Nervous, doing a million things at once, not getting any of them done, one addition made the fire burn hotter. My better half was expecting and expecting about the day I was scheduled to depart. Luck would have it I was able to see the birth only to deploy a couple days after. Man did I ever hear it about that. Spouses and family members take it for the team time and time again while their military half is off in glorious spaâ€™s and living large in far off placesâ€¦â€¦yea right. From enrolling the kids to school to registering the house with the post office, scheduling departure inspections with the housing dept and battling the unfamiliarityâ€™s that come with a new move, they continuously step up, and accomplish the mission. During deployments, spouses battle the broken sink, car, windows and all the other natural phenomenon that happen as soon as the warriors leaves for deployment. They become dependant and self sufficient where they fend for themselves. They are home front warriors and behind every good warrior are a great spouse and family. Not knowing what their spouse is doing or going through is almost better for their good. Hearing stories or rumors and watching the news always makes them uncomfortable because apart of them is what the news is about. Like the deployed warriors, they too develop their own routines and try not to think of the loved ones. They know their loved ones are out there but develop a livelihood that operates without thinking about them. Its always tougher thinking about them when they are so far away and when you do think about them, itâ€™s a special time, your time. As the same is for the deployed warriors, conducting a daily chaos in an uncertain environment their day could only be distracted if they continuously sat around and thought about home. There is a time and place for it. Best suggestion is for service members to try to be creative and remind their spouses they care about them while being deployed. Handwritten letters are the best in this electronic world where its so easy to send an email off. But to get a card in the mail is a powerful way to say â€œIm thinking about youâ€�. Best recommendation for the warriors at home, is to stay busy. Kids usually take care of that but those without little warriors should get involved with a community group, job or active event. Unfortunately, some dependants say good by to their loved ones the day they deploy and never get to say anything else again to them. There is always that thought of â€œI might not come back from thisâ€� out there when you leave. The percentage is so low; you never expect it would be you or your loved ones. These are the toughest ones. Seeing the small kids asking you the question, â€œDo you know where my daddy is?â€� Obviously speechless you hack your way through an explanation to an innocent Childs face. It aint easy being green, green in the states or abroad. Dress Blue Marines arriving at a door step is one of the first steps in notifying the family members of a Marine killed in action. A domino affect is about to transpire where a hundred peopleâ€™s life is about to change. The immediate spouse or family memeber being dealt the toughest blow and most immediate. Nothing said can really help, nothing but time. These are the true warriors with their life falling apart and with it never going to be the same again. Hate, sorrow and pain settling to pride and the ever-present lossâ€¦â€¦.over time. Yes, these are the true warriors of our service members. The deployed know what they volunteered for; they know what they are getting into as they have been trained for it. The family members, they deal with the repercussions of their loss. Not knowing the details but not sure they want to know all of them at least right away. For all family members of current, past and the fallen that have served our great country, know you also are never forgotten and that without your support, your servicemember would make it, but it would be a bumpy road. The American Airlines 757 couldnâ€™t have landedmuchfartherfromthe war. The plane arrived in Reno on a Friday evening, the beginning of the 2005 â€œHot August Nightsâ€� festival â€” one of the cityâ€™s biggestâ€”filled with flashing lights, fireworks,carefreemusicand plentyof gambling. When a young Marine in dress uniform had boardedthe planetoReno,thepassengerssmiledand nodded politely. None knew he had just come from the planeâ€™s cargo hold, after watching his best friendâ€™s casketloadedonboard. At 24 years old, Sgt. Gavin Conley was only seven days youngerthanthemanin the coffin.Thetwohad met as 17-year-olds on another plane â€” the one to boot camp in California. They had slept in adjoining topbunks,thetwoyoungestrecruitsin the barracks. All Marines call each other brother. Conley and Jim Cathey couldhave been.They finished each otherâ€™s sentences,had matchinginfantry tattoosetched on their shoulders, and cracked on each other as if they had grown up togetherâ€” which, in some ways, theyhad. When the airline crew found out about Conleyâ€™s mission, theybumpedhim to first-class.He had never flowntherebefore.Neitherhad Jim Cathey. On the flight, the woman sitting next to him nodded toward his uniform and asked if he was coming or going.Tothe war,she meant. He fell backon the wordsthe military had told him to say: â€œIâ€™mescortinga fallenMarinehometohis family from the situationin Iraq.â€� Thewomanquietlysaid shewassorry,Conleysaid. Thenshebeganto cry. When the plane landed in Nevada, the pilot asked the passengersto remainseatedwhile Conleydisembarkedalone. Thenthe pilottoldthemwhy. Thepassengerspressedtheir facesagainstthewindows. Outside, a procession walked toward the plane. Passengers in window seats leaned back to give others a better view. One held a child up to watch. From their seats in the plane, they saw a hearse and a Marine extending a white-gloved hand into a limousine,helpinga pregnantwomanoutof the car. READ THE WHOLE STORY HERE Al FURAT, Iraq -- In this small, mostly-Sunni region nestled along the Euphrates River in Al Anbar Province, Iraqi men say they are fed up with the insurgency in Iraq, and are doing something about it â€“ joining the Iraqi Army.More than 189 Iraqi men, most 30â€™ish in age, lined up to sign their name on the dotted line and enlist for service during a May 8 Iraqi Army recruiting/screening drive in this town located just 14 miles northwest of Ramadi.Despite insurgentsâ€™ threats and violence here, most seem quite eager just to serve, regardless of where Army life may lead them.One 30-year-old Iraqi man accepted for enlistment said his younger brother had his left leg amputated after infection set in from a gunshot wound from insurgents. Heâ€™s hoping his enlistment in the Army is the beginning of the end of the insurgency in Al Anbar Province, he said.â€œHe told me, my brother â€“ â€˜save our country,â€™â€� said the man through an interpreter. â€œâ€™Donâ€™t let another guy end up like me.â€™ I just do this for him.â€�Similar stories can be heard from just about all of those who showed up to the one-day enlistment screening. About 20 new Iraqi Army hopefuls were asked, through an interpreter, to raise their hand if they had not been personally affected by violence from the insurgency. HADITHA, Iraq -- A Marine sat on a collapsible metal chair with several other warriors seated around him and stared at four sets of dog tags, combat boots, rifles and Kevlar helmets. Tears welled up in his eyes as he slowly let his head drop into his hands. The tears fell, splashing the concrete floor. This Marine is one of hundreds from the Hawaii-based 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment who are still mourning the loss of Staff Sgt. Jason C. Ramseyer, who was killed two weeks ago in an explosion from an improvised explosive device.IEDs â€“ roadside bombs used by insurgents in Iraq to target Coalition and Iraqi Forces â€“ are the number one killer of U.S. troops in Iraq, according to the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count â€“ an organization which tallies U.S. and coalition casualties based off Department of Defense press releases. In a solemn ceremony at the Marines forward operating base here April 30, the Marines honored four more of their own killed recently during combat operations in Al Anbar Province. Among the deceased are: Sgt. Edward G. Davis, 31, of Waukegan, Ill.; Sgt Lea R. Mills, 21, of Brooksville, Fla.; and Cpl. Brandon M. Hardy, 25, of Cochranville, Pa.; who were killed April 28, 2006, when their vehicle struck and IED. Cpl. Eric R. Lueken, 23, of Jasper, Ind., was also killed by an IED April 22, 2006. Davis, Mills and Hardy were assigned to the Camp Pendleton, Calif. â€“ based 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion and were attached to 3/3 for duty. Lueken was assigned to 3/3. Individual eulogies were read for each of the fallen service members by Marines who served with them. Many of the Marines sat stone faced and tried to hide their emotions as they reflected on the fallenâ€™s lives. â€œThese Marines are not heroes because of how they died,â€� said 2nd Lt. Rajesh Mistry. â€œThey are heroes because of how they lived.â€�Some Marines could only offer a few words to describe their fallen comrades. â€œLueken was the kind of guy you could go to and tell how bad your day was and he would make it better,â€� said Cpl. William Harrison. â€œIt was still registering to me that he is no longer with us.â€� Sgt. Jim Coelho, 3rd Assault Amphibious Battalion, worked very closely with Davis, Mills and Hardy. â€œThe Marines are not laughing and joking with each other like they usually do,â€� said Coelho. â€œWe were all close; we were all brothers.â€� Gunnery Sgt. Jeff Duncan was the platoon sergeant for Davis, Mills and Hardy, and recalled characteristics of each one. â€œEach one of them had something different to offer the company,â€� said Duncan. â€œDavis we called â€˜Manimalâ€™ because he was always lifting weights. Mills could fix practically anything, and Hardy was a good leader who knew his job well.â€� Duncan said Davis, who would have been promoted May 1, will be posthumously promoted to staff sergeant. During the memorial, Navy Lt. Paul Tremblay led the singing of a hymn called â€œEternal Father, Strong to Saveâ€� -â€œEternal Father strong to save,Whose arm hath bound the restless wave, Who bids the mighty ocean deep,Its own appointed limits keep,O hear us when we cry to thee,For those in peril on the sea.â€œEternal Father grant we pray,To all Marines both night and day,The courage honor strength and skill,Their land to serve the law fulfill,Be thou the shield forevermore,From every Peril to the Corps.â€� After the playing of â€œTaps,â€� the Marines paid final respects to the fallen and left the makeshift chapel the same way they shuffled in â€“ with solemn faces. The battalion is scheduled to return to the United States later this Fall. BE LIKE MIKE........................OR HIS BROTHER! Meet Command Sgt. Maj. Jordan We yield to no one in our admiration of Michael Jordan, but I can't figure out why we haven't heard anything about his oldest brother James -- make that the Army's Command Sgt. Maj. James R. Jordan. Command Sgt. Maj. Jordan is completing his thirtieth year of service with the Army's 35th Signal Brigade and reaching his mandatory retirement date. Because his unit is about to be deployed to Iraq for a year, however, he has asked for permission to extend his duty for the year. Separated in the height department from his baby brother by nearly a foot, Command Sgt. Maj. Jordan appears to have set the example for him in the heart department. He is retiring today after a successful year tour in Iraq.