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On June 1, 1954, the United States Congress declared that the 11 of November would be known as Veterans Day, a federal holiday for Americans to pay homage to those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. On Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017 the residents of Big Bear Lake did just that, in a ceremony that included numerous veterans from past and present conflicts.

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MARINE OF THE WEEK // INSIDE THE HELL HOUSE: “We had to get them out. That became the mission – the only mission.”

Cpl. Robert J. Mitchell, Jr
Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines – Home of the Thundering Third, RCT-1, 1st Marine DivisionI Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF)
Operation Phantom Fury
Fallujah, Iraq
November 13, 2004
Award: Navy Cross

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U.S. Marine Corps pilots are trained to operate advanced aircraft in often dangerous situations. These pilots are the only aviators in the U.S. military who are taught the basics of infantry tactics prior to flight school. This ensures every Marine is a rifleman. Though the chances of an aviator leading a platoon of infantry Marines are slim to none, there are cases where pilots are embedded in infantry units.

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Sharp and Sober

Iwakuni, Japan in the mid 1950’s, My good buddy Nick Dubovick and I returned to base after a pretty wild night on the town. The next morning I found a crumpled piece of paper in my pocket, entirely written in Japanese. Didn’t ring any bells with me so I asked Nick if he had a clue. He said that he found the same paper in his pocket so we showed them to our Japanese houseboy. He said that they were from a tailor shop and that we had bought a couple of sport coats.

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Believed Everything I Heard

We had landing nets at 29 Palms. That’s right, landing nets right out there in the middle of the desert. They were at the enlisted swimming pool. The enlisted pool was huge and I remember hearing it said the pool was larger than Olympic size.

At the deep end it had a diving tower (at least that’s what we used it for) with platforms at 20, 30, and 40 feet in addition to the one meter and three meter spring boards on the side. Twenty feet was fun and you could almost do a belly flop from it with no damage. Thirty feet was where you had to start watching what you were doing and from forty feet, you could do some serious damage if you were not careful.

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“They were so close you could see their hands throwing grenades”

Lance Cpl. Thomas Adametz
Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines – The Professionals, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF)
Operation Iraqi Freedom
April 26, 2004
Award: Silver Star

Following the seizure of two key buildings along a vital avenue of approach into the company’s sector, Lance Corporal Adametz and his squad moved into the northern most building and provided security for his platoon’s position. The enemy’s fierce attack of rocket-propelled and hand-thrown grenades onto his platoon’s position resulted in four serious and numerous minor casualties. With disregard for his own safety, Lance Corporal Adametz exposed himself to grenade and small arms fire in order to provide suppressive fire facilitating the evacuation of the wounded Marines. Picking up a squad automatic weapon from a wounded Marine, he delivered withering fire on enemy forces 25 meters away. Lance Corporal Adametz’ aggressive actions and devastating fire were critical in repelling the enemy’s attack. By his bold leadership, wise judgment, and complete dedication to duty, Lance Corporal Adametz reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

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It’s interesting to read the stories about how different wanna- be’s suggest or pretend to desire the name Marine. When I was a young 2nd Lt in flight training in Pensacola in the 70’s, I still remember several Navy Ensigns (even one or two Annapolis Grads) quietly murmuring how they wish they were Marines. It was evident to them that with only a few months of military service under our belts and not much experience at anything, Marines are something different and special.

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How serving in the Marine Corps helped prepare Rob Riggle for Hollywood

Rob Riggle is known for his roles in “The Hangover,” “Step Brothers,” “Dumb & Dumber,” and countless of other characters in movies and TV shows.

But before the 47-year-old made his mark in Hollywood, Riggle served in the Marine Corps for 23 years.

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