"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid."
--President Dwight Eisenhower
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"Of those men who have overturned the liberties of republics, the greatest number have begun their career by paying an obsequious court to the people, commencing demagogues and ending tyrants."
--Federalist No. 1
I am a second generation Marine. My father is a Marine, but he served back in the Vietnam era. I was reading the newsletter and some of the stories reminded me of a story about my father. As many of you know during the Vietnam war the Marines that were fighting in the war were not treated with very much respect as they deserved when they returned home. My dad said that when he came home he was spit on and called many names. One day my dad and I were eating in a restaurant.. This was before I joined the Marine Corps. As we got up to leave a man walked up and noticed the hat my dad was wearing. The hat read "Vietnam Veteran". The man walked up, asked my dad if he served in the military. My dad said yes he served in the Marine Corps. Almost instantly the man had tears in his eyes. He reached out and asked if he could shake his hand. My dad shook his hand and as the man stood there with tears in his eyes he said thank you for the dedication that you have to the United States. Thank you for fighting for those that don't appreciate it and those that do. My dad said thank you and we left the restaurant. I noticed my dad was pretty quiet when we got in the pickup. He looked over at me and said "it has been a long time since someone has said thank you." With the world the way it is now the only thing that we have to back us up is our Pride. If you ever get a chance to thank a veteran, do it. You might be surprised the reaction you get from it. To all the Marines in Iraq and other places of the world. OOORAH and Semper Fi.
Lcpl. Hamrick, Jackson
"The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns, as it were, instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish squirting out ink."
A friend forwarded a copy of your newsletter to me a couple of months ago, and I have since gotten onto your regular email list. I enjoy reading both current letters from Iraq and Afghanistan as well as reminiscences from prior wars.
I was a Cpl in the Corps '70-'72 (CoG, 2/7, 1st MarDiv), and spent all of my time at Pendleton (yes, they had 2 yr grunt enlistments during 'Nam). My father was a WWII Marine (SSgt, purple heart at Midway), and both grandfathers were WW1 Marines (1 awarded silver star at Belleau Wood, the other was decorated at Chateau Thierre (sp?) and both also Cpls). The two years I spent in the Corps helped positively shape my life, and I still feel great pride at having been a part of such a dedicated tradition. I've been a police officer for just over 27 years.
I just wanted to say thanks for all of the good articles, quotes and letters. And thanks for reminding me that there are still a lot of dedicated people serving our country. The positive letters coming out of the war zones give me hope and reinforced pride in America. I also enjoy the anecdotes from some of the veterans. Thanks again.
Dana Smyser (Cpl, '70-'72)
"The notion that Europe is united in opposition to U.S. policy in Iraq is a myth. Twenty-one European countries have sent troops to Iraq, as have 16 of the 26 NATO member states. The opposition of French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder to the liberation of Iraq shouldn't be perceived as representative of Europe as a whole. Indeed, a majority of European governments backed the U.S. decision to liberate Iraq."
This week I attended the funeral of a local marine, Cpl Ian Zook. He died Oct 12 (USS Cole anniversary) in Iraq's Al Anbar province. If anyone was with him and could give his family the comfort of knowing about his last day, I would love to pass it on to them.
And if this reaches someone who would like to know about his final care state side, some highlights. His father was a 19 yr veteran of the local HWY patrol here in Pt St Lucie, Fla, so 90 officers flanked one side of the burial tent, while many young active duty Marines flanked another. My husband quickly organized his Marine Corp league veteran group to flank the other side.
The parents told us they were very moved to see the vets. His best friend and he join at the same time, folded the flag to present to his mother.
Memorial quote from the service, "the flag waves and the eagle flies thanks to the men and women that stood and fought like Ian did.
"Never suppose that in any possible situation, or under any circumstances, it is best for you to do a dishonorable thing..."
To: LtCol Mark A Smith 2/24
Sir I have tears in my eyes over the loss of Daniel and the way that you have informed us of this loss. I am so deeply touched by all of you in 2/24 of your commitment to duty and honor. All of you are living the highest traditions of our Corps.
I have read from many traditions in my life. I was born of Jewish parents (by the Law of Moses) and raised Catholic. But there is no higher path than that of a warrior. There are other paths that will bring one to his or her God but no path is beyond that of a warrior.
To die on the battlefield for a just cause and to have in your spirit filled with such pure intention as Daniel had (and as all of you in 2/24 carry within yourselves) warrants immediate self-realization and entry into the highest of all realms where the Creator, and Sustainer of all that exists resides.
You are quite right to feel that when one of you falls in battle it is like an angel falling from heaven. Sir I wish to say that you and your men are walking saints and the One True God of All smiles upon your worthiness as displayed in your actions of duty and honor.
Duty and Honor in the highest sense are nothing less than aspects of Love and to everything I have read and studied these past 18 years there is nothing the Almighty loves more than an attitude such as this. In the Saying "USMC- Attitude is Everything" it is this sense of duty and honor that is eluded to. It is this sense of duty and honor that Daniel represents and all of you in 2/24 represent and all of our warriors in Iraq and Afghanistan represent.
God bless you all.
James Joseph Hoagland USMC 1964-1968 Chu Lai RVN 1965-1966
Sgt. Grit, I read every letter, every week, and yearn for the next newsletter. The Vietnam stories take me back, stir up the old fears, the old worries, and the old desires to "lock and load" -- and I was a winger. My father, Corporal Terry Thomas, 43-45 was in the 2nd Div as a BAR man and radioman. My brother, SSgt Robert Thomas, 65-71 was the NCOIC of the embassy guard in Saigon in '69. He later retired as a CWO4 from the Army Reserve. My brothers in law, Sgt Mike Hill and Sgt Rod Liermann were with me in VMCJ-1 in Danang in '70. (My wife only had 2 sisters to hook up with my Marine buddies). My brothers in law also each had a Marine brother. My nephew, Corporal Carl Lee, just returned from Iraq. We are Marines through and through and forever. I too, want to thank the Corps for taking the young maggot that I was and making me the man that I am.
Semper Fidelis my brothers and sisters
Terry Thomas, Sgt. of Marines 67-70
My name is Ken Dameron and I served 10 years in the Air Force and 11 more years in the Air National Guard. My son will graduate from boot camp November 12th. I am so proud of him. There is no way I could have made it through what he has gone through in the last few months. I didn't have strength physically or mentally. I just want to tell the entire world, or at least fellow Marine members, that I am proud of my son and I love him dearly for what he is about to do for his country!
Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.
Harry S. Truman 2-22-1959
Thank you Lindsay Winter, your words are truly inspirational. I printed out the letter and am sending it to my son who is now in his fourth week at PI boot camp. You said so well exactly what I feel in my heart. I am sure my son will make that turn from boyhood to manhood in 13 short weeks. We are filled with anticipation at seeing him graduate on Christmas Eve. What a gift!
K. Leopold, Ohio
Sgt.Grit, On 9-18-04 we lost one of the great Marines!
SgtMaj Lawrence Healy passed away in a nursing home in Florida,after a long illness. This Marine was wounded on Iwo Jima,Korea and Vietnam! I served in D-Co. 1st.Battalion,4th. Marines with him in Hawaii and Chu Lai (1965-1966). He was one of the best and will be missed by all who knew and served with him. Thanks for your newsletter.
Former Sgt. Jack Parris
Hey there guys. I've gotten your newsletter for about a year now and love it! I grew up in a Marine family, so anything that ahs to do with Marines....I'm there:) About a year ago I decided I wanted the military life style. Not something you would expect to hear from a 19 year old girl, but it seems to fit me! I set out on my "search" to find me a Marine and I was successful. All though I am no longer with him, I still am proud of him. If it wasn't for him I wouldn't have any of the friends I do now. They are ALL Marines:) Back in July my brother started thinking of joining the Corps. He went trough all the testing and what not and by the end Aug. he was already telling people his boot camp date. He was supposed to be leaving Sept. 2 for Parris Island, but because of the hurricane it was pushed back until Sept.13. At first I was excited he was leaving just for the fact that I know he would (will) make a fine Marine. They told him that because of the second hurricane that hit near PI his date was pushed back yet again to Sept.20, So once again we all pushed the good-bye parties back another week. the afternoon of the 13th he got a call on his cell phone and when he hung up he told dad that he had approximately 6 hours before he left for Boot. When I heard that my heart sank. With him and I being extremely close for brother and sister...I didnt want to see him go. He left that evening and has been PI for about a month and a half now. Only 6 more Sundays to go:) Also, my friend was shipped to Cuba this past Sat. I dropped him off Fri. night on base and told him good bye and when I drove off...my eyes over flowed with tears. I dint know it was going to be that hard to say good bye. I want to thank every one who is in the Corps (and every other service) for protecting our country and helping us keep our freedom! You do an AWESOME job:) If it wasn't for ya'll, America wouldn't be what it is today. thank you!
Granddaughter, Sister, and Friend of Marines!
You are in a war, Mr. President. I was in a war, too. And in a war there is only one rule: FORM YOUR BATTALIONS AND FIGHT.
Oliver Wendell Holmes 1944
Dispose of your tattered, worn out and frayed American flags without cost to you. Send your flag to the Kitchen Table Gang Trust, 42922 Avenue 12, Madera, CA 93638-8866 and we will dispose of your flags in a proper and dignified manner with full honors pursuant to the United States Code. Please, don't throw your old flag in the trash, send them to us!
"Society's demands for moral authority and character increase as the importance of the position increases."
I was with the 22nd. Marines at Tsingtao after the war, we were lucky to fine a 12 year young bright Chinese boy sleeping out doors, we named him Smokey, we quickly had a Chinese tailor fit him up with a uniform, dress greens, stripes, badges, ribbons etc. he was proud as any Marine, I spent a lot of time with him playing card games I taught him, and he almost beat me with a game of poker, he told me....( you cheap Stonny) he meant you cheat Stanley..I had a good time with him along with other, but then the NCOs took over, promoted him to Sgt.etc. A first Sgt. was getting in touch with a wealthy family somewhere in California, he, the Sgt. don't recall his name tried very hard to have him shipped to the States., this is the time I said so long to Smokey and never found out if he made it to the States, if there is anyone out there knows the outcome of this "beachhead" I sure will appreciate it, I have been trying for many years by mail and phone calls, now with this computer I can reach out over the USA hoping someone will know something or someone I can call, write or email me, At Okinawa I was with G2 Headquarters, there and Okinawa, then transferred to I Co.3rd. Bn 22nd., when we went to Guam we were loading LSTs for the invasion of Japan.then transferred to Hq. 22nd. Captain Marsded was my Co there and on Okinawa, Lt. Tony Fileff was one of our officers along with 1st. Lt. Bob Parrott, I talked briefly with his Wife, she told me he passed away, it was in 1986 I believe, my first open heart surgery was performed at Lankenau Hospital in Phila.I conversed with her there., now I am Jr. Vice with the Wyoming Valley Marine Corps. League, in Wilkes-Barre Pa.,if anyone knows of this situation, Please get in touch with me at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org....Thanks and Semper Fi..
i don't know if you take quotes for the newsletter but i have one that my grandfather tells me almost every day.
"thanks for being an American"
-john peschman, USS Enterprise 1944
Little Melissa comes home from first grade and tells her father that they learned about the history of Valentine's Day.
"Since Valentine's Day is for a Christian saint and we're Jewish," she asks, "will God get mad at me for giving someone a valentine?"
Melissa's father thinks a bit, then says "No, I don't think God would get mad. Who do you want to give a valentine to?"
"Osama Bin Laden," she says.
"Why Osama Bin Laden?" her father asks, in shock.
"Well," she says, "I thought that if a little American Jewish girl could have enough love to give Osama a valentine, he might start to think that maybe we're not all bad, and maybe start loving people a little."
"And if other kids saw what I did and sent valentines to Osama, he'd love everyone a lot. And then he'd start going all over the place to tell everyone how much he loved them and how he didn't hate anyone anymore."
Her father's heart swells with pride and he looks at his daughter with new found pride. "Melissa, that's the most wonderful thing I've ever heard!"
"I know," Melissa says. "And once that gets him out in the open, the Marines could blow the sh!t out of him."
I teach at an elementary school in Duluth, Georgia. Our students are participating in "Project Holiday Bear". (Our school mascot is a bear). We are filling holiday stockings to ship to the 2/11 Headquarters Battery in Iraq where my son is stationed, as well as to a unit of Army Black Hawk pilots stationed in Kuwait, where my co-worker's brother is stationed. The kids are so excited about what they are doing to support our troops during the upcoming holiday season. Proud mother of a US Marine, KC in Duluth, Georgia
I have created a page for organizations that are helping our Marines around the world. If you have an organization submit for inclusion. Sgt Grit
Deepest thanks to you and your readers/writers for the encouragement and info. I stumbled onto your newsletter while looking for Marine jewelry and decals when my son early-enlisted in his senior year of H.S. He's two weeks away from graduation from boot camp now and I'm getting things ready for the trip to San Diego (Yippee!). His letters have been very informative and upbeat (thank the Lord!) but I've taken as much comfort from the things I've read from the Marines and Moms in your newsletter. I love how you Marines have such loyalty to each other! Thank you! And you fellow Moms, my heart overflows with gratitude to you, for your taking the time to reach out and encourage the rest of us, and even more, for having reared sons or daughters who grew up wanting to become United States Marines!
"It is of great importance to set a resolution, not to be shaken, never to tell an untruth. There is no vice so mean, so pitiful, so contemptible; and he who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and a third time, till at length it becomes habitual.
The Sunni Arabs are only a minority in Iraq (about 20% of the population), yet they control most of central and western Iraq. The way the media covers the Sunni Arab violence, you the impression that the entire country is in flames. In most of Iraq, U.S. civil affairs teams and civilian aid workers report no unrest or violence at all. However, that doesn't make news: Sunni Arab terrorist are the news. Despite the attacks on local police and civilians who support the government, resistance to "the resistance" is everywhere. Most Iraqis don't want the 20th century tyranny of Saddam, or the 14th century lifestyle of al Qaeda.
"Were we directed by our communications media as to when to sow, and when to reap, we should soon want for bread."
--- Thomas Jefferson
I tried to send this a week ago and it went to my outbox and I never noticed. Shows how techie This old tanker is. The Vietnam Wall will be in Huntsville, Texas starting Nov 4 2004. Opening ceremonies are at 1000. The wall will be here through Nov. 7, 2004 and be open 24hrs. A day. This is the Last stop for the wall in Texas this year. Huntsville is on I 45, 75 mi North of Houston and 175 mi. south of Dallas, More info at http://www.huntsvilletexas.com/ I may be too late but any help you can give will be appreciated.
P.S. I got stopped by a pretty girl in Houston yesterday and got my ego deflated when she just wanted to know where my bumper stickers came from. She wanted some for her dad. You should hear from her soon. D@mn we are getting old.
This young guy of about 30-35 gets out of the Marines after Nam. He lives his life like the American dream. When the War on Iraq comes around he goes down to the local recruiting station, and tells the recruiter, "I want in, I wanna fight."
But the recruiter says, "Sorry man, you're too old."
"Fine," the guy says. "I'll go to the Pentagon. I have a friend there. He'll let me in!"
So he goes to the Pentagon and tells his friend, "I want in, I wanna fight."
But his friend says, "Sorry Buddy, you're too old."
"Fine," the guy says. "I'll buy a boat and row to Iraq!"
So he goes out and buys himself a rowboat and starts rowing to Iraq, chanting "Semper Fi, Do or Die, OO-Rah, OO-Rah!" over and over again.
GOD goes up to St. Peter and says, "St. Peter, what do I do to stop this guy?" St. Peter tells GOD, "Why don't you take his brain? It's the root of all thought."
So GOD takes the guy's brain. It doesn't faze him. "Semper Fi, Do or Die, OO-Rah, OO-Rah!". GOD then says, "Now what?!"
St. Peter replies, "Why don't you take his heart? It's the seat of all emotion."
So God takes it. Doesn't faze the guy. "Semper Fi, Do or Die, OO-Rah, OO- Rah!'.
So GOD says, "Now what should I do?!"
St. Peter smiles and says, "Take his balls."
So GOD takes the guy's balls. The guy stops rowing, looks confused, turns his boat around, and begins chanting, "Off we go,into the wild blue yonder..."
"If it comes down to a battle between the wimps and the barbarians, the barbarians will win."
----Thomas Sowell (50's era Marine)
I bet you have a bigger lobby than I as one person, so I'll pass this on to you and see if you can affect a change.
My husband, former USMC Viet Nam era, and I were visiting the Wall in DC on Saturday evening, October 9th at 10:00 p.m. A tour guide was speaking to a group of about 20 teenagers (14-15 years old), and I overheard this woman say to this group "The Vietnamese never intended to hurt our soldiers, just wound them". Needless to say I turned to my husband, asking if he heard what the woman said. He did not so I repeated her statement. He then intercepted her and asked here just what she had said and why she had said it. Needless to say, the teenagers were all ears. She never told us her source of information and then said "I am a child of war, I saw bombs, bombs, bombs, hitting everywhere, everywhere", became very frazzled and hurried off with her group. My husband then said to her as she rushed away "if they never intended to hurt anyone, explain the 58,000+ names on that wall to these children".
I have written to the National Park Service in DC, asking if they could help identify this woman and educate her on the war she is so mis- informed about. This woman was about 50 years old, blonde/grey haired, somewhat portly, and had a very strong European accent. She certainly isn't doing American history any favors out there, needless to say what she is saying about our military.
Thanks for listening. Anything you can to do track her down would be appreciated. We are Mike and Glenda Jackson @ email@example.com.
Semper Fi, Mike and Glenda Jackson
I had started the USMC PARENTS PLATOON..earlier this year..The reason I started this was because there was a huge need for a support group like this in North West Arkansas...and because we want to help our troops and their families that have been impacted by this war..we get together for Fundraisers that raise money to go towards our Troops serving overseas...Needless to say our group and our efforts have not gone un- noticed..A month ago,a Sr. class of students opted to donate $500.00 towards our group instead of going toward their float for the parade at homecoming...the local Armory(Chuck) actually drove a humvee for these selfless students to ride on in the parade..It did my heart proud to see these caring your people walk tall & proud carrying Old Glory...they were all dressed in cammies,with grease paint..Thes students need to be applauded for this generosity they have extended towards our Troops fighting for our freedom! The monies that are donated are generated back into care packages and much needed items for our brave men & women..Right now USMC PARENTS PLATOON are working on OPERATION CHRISTMAS GIFTS...these are boxes filled with enough goodies for the whole platoon to have a wrapped gift and snacks to eat on Christmas day...God Bless Our Troops
Semper Fi Kaci Jo,,PMM of LCPL Chad USMC PARENTS PLATOON
I am amazed when the politicians on both sides drag out the statistics to prove their points. One side will talk about the number of casualties, whether high or low, and I will think of the Marines who went across that reef at Tarawa. The other side will say something, and I will think about all of those Marines who tried to crawl up that black sand on Iwo Jima. One or other of the presidential candidates will talk about courage, and I look back at the Marines who came out of the Chosen Reservoir.
My father said to me one day when I was a young lad, "Son, I have some good news and some bad news for you". I told him to give me the bad news first. He said "Son, Aliens from outer have landed all over the world and it looks like they are trying to take over". I was really scared, but I then asked him what the good news was. He said "Son, the Aliens are eating politicians and peeing gasoline".
Around every 4 years or so, I look up into the sky hoping to see some Alien space ships. I am sure those Aliens that landed on earth were Space Marines.
L.M. Bishop HQ Co, HQ Btn, HQ Rgmt, Camp Pendleton
I want to say thank you for all that is in the military and I there was a web site that helped me though the tough times when son was in boot camp. I didn't know anything about the Marines but what my son told me and showed me but it did him great and he loves it he said he made the right choice in his life. I wanted to say thank you for being there and its great the you all can show some of these young kids that this could be them and you all take the time to talk to the parents and my son wanted to be a Marine since he was little and I said you can be it if you want it and he did it so people like you need to be thanked to so thanks. We are very proud of our son, because when he joined I heard so much bad stuff and they teach them that your outside family is worthless and my son has gotten a lot better and made him grow up fast but he said he would not change it for the world. So thanks to men and women like you.
"The elective franchise, if guarded as the ark of our safety, will peaceably dissipate all combinations to subvert a Constitution, dictated by the wisdom, and resting on the will of the people."
I am a 26 year old Sgt of Marines and I served in Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and at ground zero of the World Trade Towers. I want to share something with people who think that my generation is selfish and lazy.......Today at work we were having a discussion about politics and my coworker stated that the problem of people my age is we are the "Me-Generation".......Currently there are over 130,000 troops of which 80-90% are of my generation serving in Iraq right now, and another 1100 or more who have sacrificed there lives for there country....This is just a sample of my generation.....So the next time some one tells you that our generation is selfish.........tell them to go suck start an M-16!
"Elections are a good deal like marriages, there's no accounting for anyone's taste. Every time we see a bridegroom we wonder why she ever picked him, and it's the same with Public Officials."
I recently returned from my sons graduation at San Diego. I could not believe my eyes when I seen my son for the first time in 18 weeks. He had some difficulty in the process of becoming a MARINE. I was really beginning to wonder if he was really going to make it. In his fifth week in to boot camp he came down with pneumonia, which took his out of commission for 2 weeks and when thing were starting to look up and he had four weeks before graduation, he received stress fractures to his right foot which took him out of commission for four more weeks. To make a long story short. With everything that took place in his life, while he was in boot camp. I just could not believe how much he had changed. Not only does he have self respect for himself but, for everyone. I just cannot say how much gratitude I have for the Drill Instructors and for everyone else that took my son under their wing. This BOY has change into a TRUE MARINE MAN! He has now gone to SOI (school of Infantry) for 8 weeks.
I just wanted to say THANK YOU!
And to say I think every young man or woman should go through this at some point in their life. Thanks Again. ONE PROUD FATHER! My sons name is Jace Kinzie
- Big Red One-1003 pl. Delta comp.
In December, 2002, 36 years after my own graduation, I was privileged to attend my GOD SON's/NEPHEW's graduation at MCRD San Diego. At that time, it was my pleasure to purchase his first set of dress blues. Today, November 1, 2004, it was my privilege to purchase his first NCO SWORD. I'm welled up with pride; not for my own brief service as a Viet Nam MARINE; but for the MARINES who have served, and still serve. OLD CORPS, NEW CORPS, BROTHERS ALL.. Henry C. Rottmann
just a letter to let you know my lil' brother and his girl friend shipped out monday nov. 1 to try and earn the title i an few others claim. i did all i could to ready him and he is ready to attack. i told him i would help him get acquainted with the "very special " quarter deck by sending him cookies and other things that will somehow make him stronger. but all messing around aside, i pray for him and all others that are in now. these are grim times and only the best of the best will come out. if anyone wants to send letter i can post the address when i get them.
"i will bring back the title and the EGA jan 28!" - REC. Godby
"good luck dennis and amanda, DI's make their heart POP!"
Lcpl Jeremy Godby
7th COMM, 9th COMM
From the Commanding Officer, Col. C. A. Tucker - Regimental Combat Team 7 (RCT-7) - Letter to Families - Dated 19 October 2004
Hello again, after a long hiatus. Last 6 weeks or so have been busy as we worked to establish the new battalions in their areas of operations and worked to get the "old' battalions home. 3/7, 2/7, and 1st LAR are all safely home and on their block leave period. 1/7, 1/23, and 3d LAR have assumed their battle space and continue to perform superbly. The enemy, as we expected, is surging as we approach the U. S. and Iraqi election period and enter Ramadan. Enemy activity in this AO has picked up, to the enemy's detriment. They are not very smart, and when they decide to come out and fight, are easily killed. His patterns remain the same as we saw in April: move 50-150 terrorists into a city or community, use terror and intimidation to assume control, kill and maim local citizens, get his picture taken with is RPG and AK-47, then wait to see himself on the evening news. Interesting side note to ask how often you see pictures of these guys posturing and how often you see pictures of them fighting. Then compare that to how often you see pictures of U. S. servicemen fighting and how often you see pictures of them posturing. Provides a good metric for who is winning this thing: the enemy postures when the cameraman is present, but when it comes to fighting he is the most base of cowards. You don't see many images of these guys fighting because they're too busy hiding or running once the fighting starts. They're much more comfortable beheading innocents. Side note also demonstrates how, with the best of intentions and within the rightful bounds of our constitution, the press becomes unwitting collaborators in the enemy's information operations campaign. This is a fight for the will of the American and the Iraqi people. He targets the Iraqis through murder and intimidation; he targets you through the images. Anyway.. we have fought him well in a number of engagements over the past week or so. TF 1/23, 1/8 and 2d Force Recon Co performed magnificently in an operation in the city of Hit that killed 30 or so terrorists without harming an innocent Iraqi and restored both security and governance to a city taken over by the bastards for a 72 hour period last week. Of greater significance, the 503d Iraqi National Guard Bn fought as the RCT-7 main effort, were the first ones into the city, and remains there today providing security for the community. The enemy chased out of Hit moved into the city of Rawah about 50 miles west, TF 1/8 and an Iraqi Army Unit hunted them down there, killed 10-15 more and restored that community to its citizens. In other parts of the AO, Iraqi police and National Guard and Border Police have fought off numerous attacks on their own... in my mind the most striking example of the progress we continue to make across the AO. The enemy cannot maintain this surge for long: the Iraqi people are rapidly tiring of him, the Iraqi Security Forces are fighting back, and we are killing them with stunning regularity. He surges in order to influence the American and Iraqi elections; when both proceed as planned, his efforts will begin to crumble. We now have 2 police academies, 2 ING training academies, and 2 Iraqi Border Police Training Academies operational. We continue to see the fruits of these efforts in The increasing professionalism, confidence, and competence of the Iraqi Security Forces. Firefights are dramatic and make the news; but where we are going to win this is through the establishment of viable Iraqi Security Forces. It is a challenging road, fraught with friction, but every day we see progress. Training ISF remains our main effort and will continue to be both our main effort and our ultimate ticket home with victory. The civil effort continues apace also. Our most significant current effort is the construction of the hospital in Ar Rutbah.. a $1M effort that will provide medical services to a community currently 4 hours away from the closest medical care. Your Marines and Sailors continue to perform with courage and intellect in this most complex and ambiguous of conflicts. We are anxiously awaiting election day in the hopes that the media picture and national dialogue will transition from the subjectivity of politics to the objectivity of national interest. Building a democracy is a dirty business-has been throughout the history of democracy from ancient Greece through the present day. Regard our national effort here through the prism of that reality. RCT-7 remembers the sacrifices of LCpls A. R. Boyles and R. Mateo, KIA 24 Sep 2004 vic Fallujah; Cpl. I. T. Zook, KIA 12 Oct 2004 vic Husaybah; Cpl W. I. Salazar KIA 15 Oct 2004 vic Husaybah; Sgt Owen, U. S. Army, KIA 15 Oct 2004 vic Husaybah; SPC J. Santos, U. S. Army, KIA 15 Oct 2004 vic Husaybah. Please remember their families in your prayers.
Share your Courage. And stand fast.
C. A. Tucker
Colonel, U. S. Marine Corps
"We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared, so we may always be free"
- Ronald Reagan
God Bless America!!