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FIGHTING FOR FREEDOM

From a young age, 1st Sgt. Gilbert G. Oshana knew he wanted to serve his country. He wanted to give back to the nation that had given him so much and had blessed his family. Oshana’s love for the United States and desire to serve led him to enlist in the Marine Corps, and his love for his country has continued to grow throughout his years of service.

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Veteran steals truck, transports dozens to hospital after Las Vegas shooting

Taylor Winston had remarkable poise less than 24 hours after Sunday night’s deadly mass shooting at a Las Vegas country music concert. The Marine veteran ran from danger after a sniper opened fire on the crowd, but instead of leaving, he drove more than two dozen victims to the hospital.

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Always Carried A Swagger Stick

I arrived at MCRD, SD around 9am on the 21st of Sept. 1961 and stood on the yellow footprints outside of the receiving barracks across from the base theatre. At that time the street between the theatre and receiving barracks was off limits to regular vehicular traffic, but that is no longer the case. The yellow foot prints were moved to just in front of receiving barracks sometime in ’62 or ’63. Our basic issue included 2 yellow sweatshirts and 1 pair of red shorts. The shorts were used mainly at the swimming pool and sometimes on Sundays during free time. Our three DI’s were Korean war vets, SDI Gy/Sgt E-6, J N Green, JDI S/Sgt E-5, R P Regalot and JDI Sgt E-4, P J Phelps, and all three were promoted upon our graduation. All three were hard as nails and a little attitude adjustment was not uncommon, but fairly meted out. My platoon number was 275, the second of four in the series and we were the Honor platoon. JDI Phelps was a little unusual as he was British with his father being in the Royal Marines. He always carried a swagger stick though I never saw him use it for anything other than pointing.

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Toughest Old Bird

SSgt J.L. Stelling was my Platoon Commander in 1968. After the first two weeks living in tents, we were the first platoon to be welcomed to the new High rise barracks in San Diego. SSgt J.L. Stelling introduced himself from the top floor while we were outside washing our clothes. From that point on Boot Camp became a whole lot more interesting. He was bad, though, and scared the sh-t out of everyone. The other two D.I’s were p-ssies. SSgt Stelling demanded perfection in everything we did. As a platoon, we won every streamer except the two PT streamers. Believe me, it was hell to pay to the bitter end for not winning them all. Graduating as Honor Platoon we still weren’t good enough to eat with a fork or knife, nor was the smoking lamp lit before we boarded the Busses for Camp Pendleton. He had us by the short hairs to the bitter end. I went from scared, to hating him, to total respect. Before leaving boot camp, I became salty and had developed a mental toughness that I have kept to this day thanks to SSgt Stelling. “There’s always that 10%, there is no excuse, and always do your last order first”. The civilian world hated these Stelling quotes which I live by. He is by far the toughest old bird I’ve ever had the privilege to have known. To this day I still don’t like eating with a spoon.

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2nd Fumble, Stumble, Stagger and Gag

The name of the exercise has changed from ‘CAX’ (Combined Arms Exercise) to ‘Mojave Viper’ (If I’m up to date on that… no guarantees), but it involves infantry battalions, plus attachments and re-enforcements, moving to the Air-Ground Combat Training Center… or whatever they call that particular chunk of California Mojave desert… more commonly known as ’29 Palms’ or, ‘The Stumps’. There might be as many as ten of these exercises in a year, and were about half and half First and Second Division evolutions.

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Act On Instinct

I recall one day at PISC, we were lunging into the hanging dummy with fixed bayonet. The 2nd Lt did not like the way I growled so after the third time he had the platoon form a circle around him and then he called me into the center with him and growled at me saying he was going to show me how to do that. Then he came at me with the rifle and bayonet aimed at me. I do not remember what I did but I took the weapon away from him and had him on the ground while bouncing the rifle butt into his groin.

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Marine Math

The Korean War, in which the Marine Corps fought and won some of its most brutal battles, was not without its gallows of humor.

During one such conflict a ROK (Republic of Korea) commander, whose unit was fighting along with the Marines, called legendary Marine General Chesty Puller to report a major Chinese attack in his sector. “How many Chinese are attacking you?” asked Puller. “Many, many Chinese!” replied the excited Korean officer.

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MARINE OF THE WEEK // Only minutes after that photo was taken:

MARINE OF THE WEEK // Only minutes after that photo was taken:

1st Lt. Baldomero López
1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment1st Marine Division
Inchon, Korea
September 15, 1950
Award: Medal of Honor

With his platoon 1st Lt. Lopez was engaged in the reduction of immediate enemy beach defenses after landing with the assault waves. Exposing himself to hostile fire, he moved forward alongside a bunker and prepared to throw a hand grenade into the next pillbox whose fire was pinning down that sector of the beach. Taken under fire by an enemy automatic weapon and hit in the right shoulder and chest as he lifted his arm to throw, he fell backward and dropped the deadly missile. After a moment, he turned and dragged his body forward in an effort to retrieve the grenade and throw it. In critical condition from pain and loss of blood, and unable to grasp the hand grenade firmly enough to hurl it, he chose to sacrifice himself rather than endanger the lives of his men and, with a sweeping motion of his wounded right arm, cradled the grenade under him and absorbed the full impact of the explosion. His exceptional courage, fortitude, and devotion to duty reflect the highest credit upon 1st Lt. Lopez and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

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MARSOC MARINE RETAINS TITLE AS ULTIMATE TACTICAL ATHLETE

Sgt. Ethan Mawhinney, a Pittsburgh native and a Marine Air Ground Task Force planner with U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command, successfully defended his championship title at the Marine Corps’ third annual HITT Tactical Athlete Competition at Camp Pendleton, Calif., Aug. 28th through 31st, 2017.

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