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An Inspiration To Fellow Marines

Article by Salvador Rivera
FOX 5 News

A video showing retired Marine Jose Barron crawling up a steep hill on his hands and one leg has gone viral and has turned him into an online sensation.

Barron attended a reunion over the weekend at Camp Pendleton for Marines who were deployed to Afghanistan in 2010, members of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment.

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Now Enter The Marines

Most of your readers are like me, a Viet Nam vet. I'd like to share some memories of Iraq. My goal is to let my fellow Viet Nam vets know that Iraq was like a Viet Nam in the desert. Those who served there, and in Afghanistan, don't always get the respect they deserve (in my opinion). I think the same happened to the Viet Nam vet from Korea vets and they in turn from WWII vets.

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Protest In Baghdadi

I wanted to submit two pictures for you from my time in Iraq. The first is a banner that we found between two houses in Al Baghdadi in early April 2004. At this time we were guarding a former Iraqi ASP between Al Asad and the train station. There was a protest in Baghdadi over the cordon being set up around Fallujah for the first operation to clear the city. This was just a few days after the contractors were burned and hung from the bridge. On the day of this picture some civilian contractors were in the wrong place at the wrong time and drove into the protest. One of the vehicles got stuck in the crowd and we left ASP Flea to try and rescue the contractors. When we arrived one of the contractors had been executed and was lying in the road. We cleared the immediate area, loaded the body, and began to clear some nearby houses we believed the insurgents had gone into. During the house clearing we found the banner. It roughly says they are protesting the surrounding of Fallujah, the city of "heroes and martyrs". From left to right is LCpl Bishop, Cpl Turner, LCpl Street, and me.

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I Informed The Commandant

"A Marine is a Marine… There's no such thing as a former Marine."
–General James F. Amos, 35th Commandant of the Marine Corps

Iraq, 2004

Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Hagee, visited his Marines in Iraq for some photo ops at the Al Faw Palace in Baghdad. Marines stood in line to have their picture taken with the Commandant. At the end of the line stood an Army CW04 (me). I informed the Commandant that I served in the Marine Corps in Viet Nam with 2/5 at An Hoa in 1967. I then asked if a former Marine could have his picture taken with the Marine Commandant.

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Tribute Jerseys

I wanted to share these photos. Our baseball team wore digi desert jerseys with a name of a fallen Marine across the back of each jersey to commemorate these heroes. The top photo is of former Marines CPLs Klent Luschen (02-10) and Josh Wells (03-11) with their sons. The second photo is during a moment of silence that the team dedicated to these Marines for their sacrifice.

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Major Times Three

Here goes…

I was commissioned thru the Regular NROTC program at the U. of Minnesota in 1963 and, of course, joined the Marines. (I decided to be a Marine when I was 8 years old.) I was the SupO for the 2d Radio Bn, then served 2 "wonderful" years of sea duty aboard the USS Wright, CC-2 (C.O. of the Marine Detachment). Then my wife "convinced" me to leave the regulars, and so I went right into the active reserves (Supply Management Officer for the 4th Marine Division; and finally as a Major, Company Commander, India Co, 3d Bn., 24th Marines. (Never went to Vietnam – 2 sets of orders to WestPac (Viet Nam); both cancelled.) I had an NSG top secret clearance, and the Navy NSG did not want to risk Marine junior officers getting captured… which did happen in 1965 …bummer). And LBJ would not call up the Reserve 4th Marine Division. (15 years).

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