GLADIATORS! Modern day warriors. So we aren’t beating the crap out of criminals or fighting lions on Saturday afternoons in coliseums and eating chicken drumsticks in the streets (ok Im not sure about that last one) but today’s warriors are as tuff and have the same fight in them as the old Roman tuff guys did. Covered with armor, multiple weapons hanging on them and traveling in packs, today’s Marines bring victory in multiple size cans of whoop ass and flexibility to respond anywhere in the world. Tuff, young full of tenacity and spirit, we defend a country and help the little guy all in the same set of armor. We wear the white hat and do what’s right even when its not popular. Selfless sacrifice, it isn’t uncommon to here of Marines giving their all to aide others and paying the ultimate price in doing it. The recent book “Jarhead� story’s and other neanderthal style inaccurate view of us are in mostly error, in the minority and are derived from an one viewed originator with little experience or future. Today’s Marines are smart as a whip, dedicated, healthy and strong. They have goals and are determined to make a difference in the world and are a good example of how one person can make a difference and did I mentioned they volunteered for this stuff?. Brave, tuff as nails and confident, today’s Gladiators demonstrate how they can be your worse nightmare one second and care for children the next. Young Marines make life threatening decisions in a blink of an eye, leading squads of Marines in way that large corporations could only dream about having in their management team function and doing it in the worse conditions. In fact many corporations do pursue Marines to employ as they know they have the leadership, organizational skills and maturity demanded in upper management businesses. The young Marines are the ones getting things done on the streets. The Gladiators in the arena of today’s battles. For extraordinary heroism while serving as a Scout Sniper, Scout Sniper Platoon, in Support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. During the battle for Baghdad, Sergeant M's sniper team arrived within Company F's position as they came under heavy small arms fire from a determined enemy force. He immediately encouraged Marines to deploy and return fire. Noticing a disabled civilian vehicle on the road in the line of fire and with complete disregard for his own life, he rushed forward amidst a hail of gunfire and dragged a wounded Iraqi civilian to safety. Returning to the front, he spotted a wounded Marine struggling to get off the same fire swept street, he risked his life to lead the Marine to safety. Returning to the front, he spotted a wounded Marine lying in the street. Ignoring the hailstorm of bullets, Sergeant M rushed into the street for a third time to carry the injured Marine to safety. Sergeant M returned a fourth time to evacuate an unconscious Marine. Returning to the front again, he dashed into the contested street and assisted a Marine to safety who had been dazed by an explosion. Sergeant M ensured medical attention was administered and verified that evacuations were ongoing. By his outstanding display of decisive leadership, unlimited courage in the face of heavy enemy fire, and utmost devotion to duty, Sergeant M reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat. THEODORE ROOSEVELT(Paris Sorbonne,1910) For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy as Automatic Rifleman, 1st Plt, Company L, 2d Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 04-06. O 8 May 2005, during an assault in New Ubaydi, Iraq an enemy ambush seriously wounded four members of Lance Corporal C’s squad and trapped two of them in a courtyard. Leaving his covered position, he engaged the enemy at point blank range with his M249 machinegun thereby allowing one injured Marine to be pulled to cover. He then joined a Marine in a frontal assault of the ambush site forcing two insurgents from the rear of the house and into friendly fire and permitting the recovery of the wounded injured Marine. As the assault to clear the house continued, armor piercing rounds were fired from a hidden bunker beneath the floor boards, mortally wounding another Marine. Lance Corporal C refused to leave the building without the fallen Marine, and twice brave intense machinegun fire while attempting to recover the fallen Marine’s remains. On 11 May, an improvised explosive device destroyed Lance Corporal C amphibious assault vehicle, killing or wounding all 17 passengers. Ignoring his wounds, he attempted to recover wounded Marines trapped inside the vehicle to only be thrown out of the vehicle from a secondary explosion. Receiving additional shrapnel wounds, yet undeterred, Lance Corporal C returned to the burning vehicle and pulled a Marine to safety. By his bold leadership, wise judgment and complete dedication to duty, Lance Corporal C reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. Honoring SSGT Daniel Clay, USMC SPEECH OFHON. JEFF MILLEROF FLORIDAIN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVESTHURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2005 Mr. MILLER of Florida.: Mr. Speaker, this week I attended the funeral of SSgt Daniel Clay. Sergeant Clay was from my district and one of ten Marines killed by an IED in Fallujah, Iraq on December 1, 2005. Dan's father, Bud Clay, shared with me a letter his son wrote to his loved ones before he was killed. Accompanying his son's letter was a letter Bud had written to President Bush. Mr. Clay asked me to take this to Congress and share with you so that we could all see Dan's final thoughts and wishes. May God Bless SSgt Daniel Clay, his family, our veterans, our troops, and the United States of America. MOM, DAD, KRISTIE, JODIE, KIMBERLY, ROBERT, KATY, RICHARD, AND MY LISA: Boy do I love each and every one of you. This letter being read means that I have been deemed worthy of being with Christ. With MaMa Jo, MaMa Clay, Jennifer ..... all those we have been without for our time during the race. This is not a bad thing. It is what we hope for. The secret is out. He lives and His promises are real! It is not faith that supports this .... But fact and I now am a part of the promise. Here is notice! Wake up! All that we hope for is Real. Not a hope. But Real. But here is something tangible. What we have done in Iraq is worth any sacrifice. Why? Because it was our duty. That sounds simple. But all of us have a duty. Duty is defined as a God given task.! Without duty life is worthless. It holds no type of fulfillment. The simple fact that our bodies are built for work has to lead us to the conclusion that God (who made us) put us together to do His work. His work is different for each of us. Mom, yours was to be the glue of our family, to be a pillar for those women (all women around you), Dad, yours was to train and build us (like a Platoon Sgt) to better serve Him. Kristie, Kim, Katy you are the five team leaders who support your Squad ldrs, Jodie, Robert and Richard. Lisa you too. You are my XO and you did a hell of a job. You all have your duties. Be thankful that God in His wisdom gives us work. Mine was to ensure that you did not have to experience what it takes to protect what we have as a family. This I am so thankful for. I know what honor is. It is not a word to be thrown around. It has been an Honor to protect and serve all of you. I faced death with the secure knowledge that you would not have to. This is as close! to Christ-like I can be. That emulation is where all honor lies. I thank you for making it worthwhile. As a Marine this is not the last Chapter. I have the privilege of being one who has finished the race. I have been in the company of heroes. I now am counted among them. Never falter! Don't hesitate to honor and support those of us who have the honor of protecting that which is worth protecting. Now here are my final wishes. Do not cry! To do so is to not realize what we have placed all our hope and faith in. We should not fear. We should not be sad. Be thankful. Be so thankful. All we hoped for is true. Celebrate! My race is over, my time in war zone is over. My trials are done. A short time separates all of us from His reality. So laugh. Enjoy the moments and your duty. God is wonderful. I love each and every one of you. Spread the word .... Christ lives and He is Real. Semper Fidelis, December 7, 2005. President George Bush, The White House, Washington, DC. DEAR PRESIDENT BUSH: My name is Bud Clay. My son, SSgt Daniel Clay--USMC was killed last week, 12/01/05, in Iraq. He was one of the ten Marines killed by the IED in Fallujah. Dan was a Christian--he knew Jesus as Lord and Savior--so we know where he is. In his final letter (one left with me for the family--to be read in case of his death) he says ``if you are reading this, it means my race is over.'' He's home now--his and our real home. I am writing to you--to tell you how proud and thankful we (his parents and family) are of you and what you are trying to do to protect us all. This was Dan's second tour in Iraq--he knew and said that his being there was to protect us. I want to encour! age you. I hear in your speeches about ``staying the course''. I also know that many are against you in this ``war on Terror'' and that you must get weary in the fight to do what is right. We and many others are praying for you to see this through--as Lincoln said, ``that these might not have died in vain''. You have a heavy load--we are praying for you. God bless you, BUD CLAYPensacola, FL The above two award citations and last letter home are good examples of countless events that happen to Marines every day here in Iraq. These examples display selfless actions on the battlefield, acts of bravery and show the core Gladiator spirit which is still alive in your Marines. This spirit has been in Marines throughout the years to include WWI & WWII and even back then they had the same warrior mentality. Don’t fret America, our nation will prosper and grow because we have young men and women in our armed forces who will be tomorrow’s leaders, who knows what the word commitment means, who don’t cut and run, who know we can’t let mad dictators eliminate innocent people and completely understand the cost of these actions but still have the guts to do something about it. We protect life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Nobody’s going to come to our shores and tell our children what we can and can’t do, I will be dead before that happens. Yes we are in good shape America because we have modern day Gladiators amongst us! Semper Fidelis, time for a CeeeGar! Capt B COMBAT UPDATE IEDs are ever present in the area (big surprise) although them enemy tries intimidation tactics of suicide bombers in Iraqi Police recruiting areas and fails to deter the Iraqi’s from making a difference. These tactics show how desperate the insurgents have come in their attempts to discourage the Iraqi people. Because of Gladiators like the above, they are failing.
SSGT Clay was my platoon sergeant. He was the best leader I have ever had to lead me. Now he is watching over us from the pearly gates. Semper Fidelis SSGT.
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