Honor Courage Commitment
I’ve always heard these words but never knew what they really meant until I joined the Marines back in 2004. These are the words of the USMC and they define what being a Marine really is. All those cool commercials don’t do it justice, it is a brotherhood that you can’t experience anywhere else, it’s one of those things that you may hate while you’re in it but respect and love it at the same time due to the brotherhood you formed with the Marines you trained with and served with.
I want to share with you a story on Memorial Day that I don’t really talk about too often but it has had a profound impact on me and really puts Memorial Day in full perspective and gives you an inside look as to what kind of person we have protecting us and our country as we sleep. I will omit the names and exact locations for personal reasons. Hopefully this will help you get a feel for how great our country really is and how great the people in America really are.
It was some time in 2006 and we were doing a few missions here and there for 4-7 days at a time and then we would come back to base for 4-5 days and then do it again. This was pretty much what we did for the 7 months we were there. This story does not pertain to my platoon, but it happened to a close friend of mine, who is tragically no longer with us. He and his platoon were out on a routine mission nothing special, but anybody who has been out there knows that those are the most dangerous missions of all due to all the road side bombs or IED’s as they are called. These are by far the deadliest things out there in Iraq because you just can’t see them and you never know where they are.
They were driving down the road in their Humvee; Humvee’s usually have 5 guys in each one the gunner, driver, comm guy, team leader, and another Marine usually an engineer. While driving they got hit with an IED on the passenger side right underneath the gas tank, the Humvee immediately exploded and with the explosion the gunner was thrown out of the Humvee about 150’. Meanwhile the other four guys were still in the Humvee shell shocked from the explosion, one died on the spot and the other three were suffering from burns and would have died as well if it wasn’t for the Courage of the gunner who made it back to the Humvee and dragged all 4 Marines out of the Humvee by himself as he himself was suffering from wounds due to the IED himself. He gave these guys an opportunity to survive because he never even thought twice about going back to saving them, in a situation where every second counts for life and death he never hesitated.
Unfortunately weeks after this explosion the 3 Marines passed away due to infections from all the burns. One of those guys was a good friend of mine and we Honored them each and every day we went out on a mission and I still Honor him each and every day of my life. To know so many people who would give their life to protect me and my family without even knowing us is a thought I have in my mind each and every day. My friend did that on this day and so many others have done it before and after him.
He Committed his life like so many others to serving and protecting this country. You may not support the President or support this war but please take the time out of your day not just today but every day to show support to all the Veterans and all the Military Servicemen out there. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about our fallen soldiers and I ask you to please do the same. Work hard every day, overachieve every day, over deliver every day, and don’t let a day go by were you can look back at it and say to yourself that you wasted it because these guys don’t have that opportunity anymore so do it for them.
Have a Great Memorial Day Guys and I will see you back at the gym tomorrow!!!!!