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Bill Barber at Chosin Reservoir

"Bill Barber"

In 1950, Bill Barber saved the lives of 8,000 Marines. His five-day stand with 220 men against a force of 1,400 is considered one of the greatest holding actions in Marine Corps history.

Barber, 78, was raised on a farm in Kentucky. After learning that Germany had invaded Poland, he joined the Marines at age 19. He earned a Purple Heart at Iwo Jima and the Legion of Merit in Vietnam. In between, he earned the country's highest military award, the Medal of Honor, for his heroism in Korea.

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Marine Corps Sniper Carlos Hathcock

Carlos N. Hathcock II

On May 20th, 1959, at 17 years of age, Carlos N. Hathcock II fulfilled his childhood dream by enlisting in the United States Marine Corps. His ability as a marksman was soon recognized by the instructors on the rifle range at Camp Pendleton where he was undergoing recruit training. Later, while based in Hawaii as a member of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, Carlos won the Pacific Division rifle championship. Following his assignment in Hawaii, Hathcock was transferred to Marine Air Station, Cherry Point, North Carolina, where he quickly found himself shooting competitively again. This time he set the Marine Corps record on the "A" Course with a score of 248 points out of a possible 250, a record that stands today. The highlight of his competitive shooting career occurred in 1965 when Carlos out-shot over 3000 other servicemen competing to win the coveted Wimbledon Cup at Camp Perry.

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The Courage of Col Louis C. Plain and GySgt John Basilone

The Day I Learned The Meaning Of Courage
From The Colonel And The Gunny

The two bravest Marines I saw on Iwo Jima black sand beaches were Colonel Louis C. Plain and Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone. I don't know this for a true fact, but to the best of my knowledge; the Col. and the Gunny came in on the third wave Basilone was the boat leader in Platoon Leader Second Lieutenant Roy Johnson's LST (Landing Vehicle Tracked) In a private conversation with Lt. Johnson, while sailing from Spain to Iwo Jima aboard LST 10 Landing Ship Tank Basilone told Johnson, he intended to win a Second Medal of Honor. This doesn't sound like John Basilone talking.

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Impromptu Marine Corps Response by Senator John Glenn

Subject: John Glenn's Response to H. Metzenbaum, May 3, 1974, Ohio Senate Democratic primary

This exchange between Senators Glenn and Metzenbaum is worth reading. Pretty impressive impromptu speech! Next time someone accuses you or any veteran of not having a "job" because you're in the military, quote Sen Glenn.

Howard Metzenbaum to John Glenn:

"How can you run for Senate when you've never held a 'job'?"

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Gunnery Sergeant Levesque

From Semper-Fi to Semper-Eye

Behind the Eye

Gunnery Sergeant Donald A. Levesque (RET) comes from a small town in Massachusetts. In 1962 at the age of almost 19 years old, having three years work experience and being high school dropout, Levesque joined the United States Marines. After graduating from Parris Island, his assignments included "G" Company, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines at Kanioi Bay, Philippines, C Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines Camp Le Jeune, North Carolina; Drill Instructor at F Company, Second Recruit Training Battalion, Parris Island; and L Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Division, Viet Nam. Serving a little over 7 years at the age of 25, and just completing his eighth combat operation, Gunny claims he received his "blessing of blindness." Yes, on April 10, 1969, at 3:33 p.m., Levesque, with the second-hand on the "3" on his waterproof Timex watch, which he wore on his lapel, took a licking and his watch stopped ticking. He proclaimed, "There must be something above me as to why I'm still kicking."

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A Tribute to the Real Survivors: our Veterans

The Real Survivors
By: Lieutenant Colonel James G. Zumwalt (USMCR, Retired)

As one reads through the list of combat medals: three Purple Hearts, three Silver stars and four Bronze Stars, one wonders how a single Marine could have seen so much action and managed to survive. But, through two wars, Korea and Vietnam, Sergeant Major Louis Rountree has proven to be a survivor.

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Survival at Tarawa

A Tale of Heroes
By Justin King Edited by Jeremy Rouse

My friends, fellow readers, I would like to spend the time to tell you a story, a story that is as true as the sky is blue. A story of true patriotism, bravery, and actions that had been taken throughout this country's history by the men and women in uniform who have served this country with great honor and pride so that we Americans can live with the freedoms we have today. A story that in my hopes will never be forgotten so that future generations can realize that this is just one of millions of stories of sacrifice, honor, and duty that so many before them have shown in the face of odds that were most definitely stacked against them. A story of a Marine, yet not just any Marine, but my grandfather. A man that I will always be proud of, about whom I will always speak to those who will listen, and who I will always hold in the highest regard.

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The Meaning of True Heroes

Heroes
By: Richard E. Nygaard, SSGT USMC 1953-1963

Sgt. Grit, I have once again finished reading American Courage. The discussion about Jihad Johnny could, if one cared, give one pause. However, I would like to say to my fellow Marines, do not talk to me of the likes of Jihad Johnny, for I have known many real heroes and walked the hallowed ground on which they fought and died.

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A USMC Sgt Major’s Tribute Following September 11

We Never Leave Our Brothers Behind
By: Major David C. Andersen, USMC, New York City PAO

Groud Zero Photo

AP GROUND ZERO, NEW YORK — Pain shot through my back in the late night hours of 6 March 2002 from the weight of the stretcher, but Marines always complete the mission. With Sgt. Maj. Michael S. Curtin, 45, USMCR (RET) NYPD, in my left hand and his wife and daughter only feet in front of me, sense of duty led the way as it has for many men better than I for hundreds of years.

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Always Faithful by Captain William W. Putney

Reviewed by Carol Conley

Retired Captain William Putney, of the United States Marine Corps, recounts his story of the 3rd Marine War Dog Platoon used in World War II in his memoir Always Faithful. In June 1943, Putney enlisted in the Marine Corps. Fresh out of college with a degree in veterinary medicine, he was hoping to serve his country with honor and courage. It came as a disappointment when his orders sent him to be a line officer in the War Dog Platoon. However, he was soon engrossed in the training of the dogs and handlers for combat in the Pacific. Putney?s writing flows easily carrying the reader along on his journey as he describes the almost seven months of training, the trip to Guadalcanal, and the tension filled, dangerous liberation of the island of Guam. After the war was over he was horrified to learn that the war dogs were being euthanized. No attempt was being made to retrain them for safe return to the civilian owners who donated them. He spearheaded the effort to establish a detraining program of the courageous dogs serving our country with courage and distinction. His efforts paid off when the Marine Corps established the war dog detraining program. The program was a huge success and out of 559 Marine Corps dogs, only 19 had to be euthanized (15 due to health reasons and only four were considered too incorrigible for civilian life). Putney paints the reader a clear picture of what the training, the dogs and their handlers, and war was like. It is at times humorous and horrifying without bogging us down in military slang incomprehensible to the non-military reader. This memoir is a wonderful story for the history buff, military buff, and dog lover.

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