THE FEW THE PROUD What the heck is up with you Marines a man asked me once. I asked what do you mean? He continued and said you guys have this indescribable bond that even though you may not even know each other personally you automatically are great friends and start talking like you havenâ€™t seen each other in awhile regardless of age, rank or gender and take care of each other as if you were brothers. I laughed and told him yes, itâ€™s a respect thing I guess. We recognize each other as Marines and know the training the other has gone through and earned. When I was enlisted (Corporal) I stayed far away from Officers as possible. They are the â€œdark sideâ€� and will crush you for something or another. But since I had been an enlisted Marine and now Officer I would never ask them to do anything I havenâ€™t done already or wouldnâ€™t do with them. As an Officer you do everything with and for your Marines. As the same goes for any senior rank you take care of the young Marines first, its our â€œlawâ€�. Young Marines always eat first before Staff Sergeants and junior officers eat before senior officers. Not all branches do this but Marines do and when I was enlisted I had the goal to be an officer and promised myself that I would always take care of the enlisted Marine. We were out in Afghani once and had hot chow arranged special air deliver to us that night . Thinking they would get hot chow a few of the men ate their single ration MRE (Meal Ready to Eat) at about lunch time. We were positioned on a 10,000 foot hill and when the time came for the aircraft to arrive the helos called and notified us of the inability to reach us because we were positioned too high for them to reach and the altitude was to thin for them to fly in. So knowing the men have to eat, the Staff Sergeants and Officers gave up their chow for the Marines. We put the junior Marines first. In combat, wars are won by the young Marines in the mud in the alleys fighting head to head with the enemy. Granted Officers are in sync with their senior enlisted Marines and formulate the plan but itâ€™s the team leaders who execute and determine if the plan will be a success or failure. As an officer you are responsible for whatever your men do or fail to do. With training, respect and love like they are your own kids you sharpen them to razor sharp non stop so when the time comes that they are deployed to Iraq to enforce the nations policy, you know their capabilities, and they know yours and you are successful at defeating the enemy regardless of the situation. Our bond is a brotherhood, a gun club and some even go to the extent of it being like a mafia. It will always be that way because Once a Marine Always a Marine. There are no former Marines, only dead Marines. We were in a small village were we knew their were enemy soldiers hiding waiting for us. As we began to move towards the village the enemy small arms fire began with the distinct soundd of the Russian AK47, the Marines began to maneuver spread out and attack moving toward the reinforced enemy and into the oncoming gunfire. One squad moved and began suppression as another unit moved to kill the insurgents. An advancing Marine exposeshimself and gets hit in the leg and is down in the open. His is bleeding badly and is in the the middle of the street. His First Sergeant (senior enlisted in a rifle company) sees the Marine and without hesitation exposes himself to enemy fire runs down the middle of the street to retrieve the downed Marine. He tries picks the Marine up over his shoulder but he is too heavy with all of the gear and he has no time to ponder as bullets continue to be fire at them He drags him back behind a rock where the corpsman begin treating him for his wound. A tourniquet is applied and he will be ok but perhaps not if the 1stSgt didnâ€™t act quickly without care of himself and retrieve the Marine before another round could have mortally wounded him. There are hundreds of stories as this but we as Marines never leave a man behind, never despite the danger. We as Marines care for one another, police our own and hold each other accountable for our actions. We are Marines by choice, we donâ€™t make policy we enforce it and we do it together as one team, one voice. Apparently this is something Senator Murtha has forgotten. He isnâ€™t caring for your Marines or America. He isnâ€™t speaking with one voice and by pulling out of Iraq or Afghanistan before we are done is treason. He continues with his damage control techniques but it to late Senator. As I sat next to him in Haditha Iraq during his visit and he pounded on the table with his closed fist and stated we are behind you and we want to finish this. Well Sir you finished this alright although Im not talking about Iraq, Im talking about your career and your respect. You have lost the respect of the brotherhood. You have failed to take care of your junior Marines Sir! You have to live with that on your conscious. I would rather be dead than disrespect all of the fallen Marines as you have. I guess what that guy in the beginning witnessed was the American spirit and the brotherhood of the Marines. Someone who has earned the title of The Few and The Proud and kept it. May God continue to Bless America. Captain of Marines. COMBAT UPDATE Iraqi Army Soldiers, U.S. Marines and Army Soldiers from 2nd Brigade Combat Team (28th Infantry Division) concluded Operation Gashshaar (Skinner) in central Ramadi today. The operation began on the evening of Dec. 7 and was the seventh disruption operation conducted in Ramadi since Nov. 16 to set conditions in the city for successful elections December 15. The operation netted four weapons caches and several detainees and also two command initiated rocket systems designed to ambush passing convoys in central Ramadi. The combined forces also discovered a roadside bomb that the insurgents planned to use in the rocket attack.Iraqi and U.S. forces also disrupted terrorist plans when they discovered an insurgent bomb making factory in the center of the Ramadi Shopping district. Artillery and mortar rounds, timers and remote detonators were found in the bomb making facility. The previous operations conducted by the Iraqi Army and U.S. Forces in Ramadi recently were: Operation Panthers, Bruins, Lions, Tigers, Shank and Rams. Details concerning Operation Skinner were not provided earlier due to operational security.