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Deep within the mountains of Gifu Prefecture, in a small farming village hidden away from the fast-paced city life, the family of a fallen Japanese soldier eagerly waited for the return of a precious heirloom. For the first time in 73 years, the Yasue family can finally receive closure for the brother that never came home from war.

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MARINE OF THE WEEK // “I saw my sergeant laying down and I said, ‘Not today.’”

Cpl. Moses Cardenas
H&HS, 1st LAR, RCT-2, II Marine Expeditionary Force
Iraq, August 2, 2007
Award: Silver Star

While conducting a combat patrol, Lance Corporal Cardenas’ platoon was attacked by heavy automatic fire, a suicide bomber, and rocket propelled grenades after stopping two suspicious trucks. During the initial stage of the fight, a Marine fell wounded in the open between the opposing forces. Realizing that the bulk of friendly weapons were masked, Lance Corporal Cardenas left his safe position behind a vehicle and fought his way across 50 meters of fire-swept, open desert against five armed insurgents to rescue the fallen Marine. After sustaining a gunshot wound to the neck that knocked him to the ground, Lance Corporal Cardenas tenaciously rose to his feet, calmly reloaded his squad automatic weapon, and continued his assault until he reached the wounded Marine. With rounds impacting around him, Lance Corporal Cardenas alternated between pulling the wounded Marine and shooting bursts of controlled automatic fire at the enemy. After pulling the wounded Marine 100 meters, he continued suppressive fire while rendering first aid until medical personnel arrived to tend to the wounds of both Marines. Throughout this close and fierce fight, he ignored his own severe wounds, remained fixed on his task, and saved the life of a fellow Marine. By his bold leadership, wise judgment, and complete dedication to duty, Lance Corporal Cardenas reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

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Ah, the military salute. Why is it such a thorn in so many people’s side? According to the Guidebook for Marines ( May 1, 1966 edition), on page 20 it says: Courtesy is the accepted form of politeness among civilized people. Courtesy smoothes the personal relationship among individuals in all walks of life. Civilian rules of courtesy are generally applicable to the military life. However, military courtesy has developed certain special forms of politeness and respect which you as a Marine must be thoroughly familiar with and must practice. The most important of all military courtesies is the salute. This is an honored tradition of the military profession throughout the world. The salute is a custom that goes back to earliest recorded history. It is believed to have originated in the days when all men bore arms. In those days warriors raised their weapons in such a manner as to show friendly intentions. They sometimes would shift their weapons from the right hand to the left and raise their right hand to show that they did not mean to attack. Just as you show marks of respect to your seniors in civilian life, military courtesy demands that you show respect to your seniors in the military profession. That, plain and simple, is the history of the military salute and why the junior initiates the salute and the senior returns it. The salute has always only been intended to be a sign of courtesy and respect, not a sign of subservience. To repeat a phrase above, it is an honored tradition of the military profession. Courteous civilians say hello, nod, smile, or wave, when they meet, but only military people get to give and return each other a snappy salute. And it would be as much a discourtesy for a senior not to return a salute as it would be for the junior not to render it. When I enlisted in the Marines in December of 1966, it was my intention to apply for the Enlisted Commissioning Program as soon as I could. After that expecting one day to be an officer myself. I made it a point to render to every officer I ever encountered (yes, even the jerks) the snappiest salute I could come up with. Later, after I earned and received my commission as a second lieutenant in February of 1968, I made it a point to return every salute I received with just as much snap. But never once did I feel I owed someone a salute nor did I feel someone owed me one. As a military man, it was simply a courtesy I was proud to be able to render. What few times I encountered an enlisted person (or a junior officer, as I advanced in rank) after that who failed to render me a salute, I generally ignored the incident unless I was familiar enough with the person to know that the discourtesy truly was intended to be an insult and was not just an oversight. By doing that, I never gave some old salt (who had clearly forgotten the history and tradition of the military salute) the opportunity to say and gloat, Lieutenant/captain/general, I don’t owe you s**t! The best salute I ever gave to anyone, though, was the one I gave to my son upon his graduation from MCRD-SD in September of 2000. He just looked at me and blushed and forgot to return it. (No, I didn’t write him up.) Larry Quave a proud enlisted and commissioned Marine, ’66-’71

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While going through Boot Camp at S.D. in November 1950, everyone knew we were headed for Korea. What a relief to get to the Rifle Range at Camp Mathews at last, even if we had to live in tents due to the influx of recruits. Camp Mathews was on the East side of old highway U.S. 101 near Leucadia, CA. The first weekend there, the Junior D.I. had us all fall in on Sunday morning and selected 10 “boots” for a working party. Another NCO no one had ever seen before was standing by to take us to our work detail, whatever that was going to be. On his command, we were marched off to the “Easy Range”. At the range maintenance building, we were each issued a bucket of beautiful glossy Marine Green paint and a four inch brush, and told simply, “paint the head”, and the young Corporal left.
We painted the outside of the Head. He did not return. We painted the inside of the head. He did not return. We painted the urinals, the commodes, (including all the seats and porcelain, valves, and handles) the sinks and faucets, the deck, the screens and the windows. Everything was totally “Marine Corps Green”.
He did not return. We put the Paint cans beside the locker, jammed all the brushes in the solvent bucket and marched ourselves back to the platoon area.
About four hours later the DI had us fall in. The Range NCO was there who looked each one of us square in the eye and asked if we were on the working party to paint the Head, and we each individually answered “Sir, No Sir!”
I think the Range NCO came back two or three more times looking for green paint traces. Once to look at our boondockers, once to check fingernails. Neither he nor our Jr. DI ever found out who “painted the head green”.
p.s. A note to now Retired Sergeant Major M.A. Delgado, still living in Oceanside CA; The truth is out. Yessir, I was one of them!
Brad Robinson

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Marine of the week // Kyle Carpenter

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as an automatic rifleman with Company F, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines, Regimental Combat Team One, 1st Marine Division (Forward), 1st Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), in Helmand Province, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom on 21 November, 2010.

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Marine K-9 takes one last emotional ride with veteran

Hundreds of people gathered in Michigan to say a goodbye to a cancer-stricken dog who served three tours in Afghanistan with the U.S. Marines.

Cena, a 10-year-old old black lab, received a hero’s farewell Wednesday before being euthanized at the USS LST 393, a museum ship in Muskegon, and carried off in a flag-draped coffin.

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Marine Vet Makes Statues of Fallen Soldiers for Their Families Free of Charge

A Marine veteran is on a mission to honor fallen soldiers.

Cliff Leonard, who served in Vietnam, uses his artistic skills to create sculptures of Marines and Navy corpsmen who have been killed in Iraq or Afghanistan.

He started with a fallen Marine from Jacksonville, Florida, in 2010, and then he decided to do all the Marines and corpsmen in the city.

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More than 70 years ago, during World War II, a group of Native-American Marines known as Navajo Code Talkers used their native tongue, Navajo, to transmit secret strategic messages via radios.

Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Peleliu, Iwo Jima: the Navajo code talkers took part in every assault the U.S. Marines conducted in the Pacific from 1942 to 1945. They served in all six Marine divisions, Marine raider battalions and Marine parachute units, transmitting messages by telephone and radio in their native language – a code that the Japanese never deciphered.

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Cpl. Jason Dunham
3rd Battalion, 7th Marines
Iraq, April 14, 2004
Award: Medal of Honor
Cpl. Dunham’s squad was conducting a reconnaissance mission in Karabilah, Iraq, when they heard rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire erupt a distance away. Dunham led his Combined Anti-Armor Team towards the engagement to provide fire support to their Battalion Commander’s convoy, which had been ambushed as it was traveling to Camp Husaybah. As Dunham and his Marines advanced, they received enemy fire. Dunham ordered his squad to dismount their vehicles and led a fire team on foot several blocks south of the ambushed convoy. Discovering seven Iraqi vehicles attempting to depart, Dunham and his team stopped the vehicles to search them for weapons. As they approached the vehicles, an insurgent leaped out and attacked Dunham. Dunham wrestled the insurgent to the ground and in the ensuing struggle saw the insurgent release a grenade. He immediately alerted his fellow Marines to the threat and, aware of the imminent danger and without hesitation, Dunham covered the grenade with his helmet and body, bearing the brunt of the explosion and shielding his Marines from the blast. In an ultimate and selfless act of bravery in which he was mortally wounded, he saved the lives of at least two fellow Marines. (DoD & U.S. Marine Corps photos)

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The Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert Neller starts the Washington Nationals game by throwing the opening pitch. This game is devoted to honoring our corps, country and families.

The Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert Neller
starts the Washington Nationals game by throwing the opening pitch.
This game is devoted to honoring our corps, country and families.

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