It is quite obvious if GWB were still in office we would be hearing more about the Marines and Sangin. As it is, I suspect the press is ignoring this heart-breaking story. Pink Flaming friend and confident Sally Vee sent this to me today:
We are asking everyone to say a prayer for “Darkhorse” 3rd Battalion 5th Marines and their families. They are fighting it out in Afghanistan & they have lost 9 marines in 4 days. Pass it on. Semper Fi, God Bless America and God Bless the United States Marine Corps. Often Tested, Always Faithful, Brothers Forever.
Claire FitzGerald, Chaplain
Marine Corps League
There is an aspect of this story that just makes me angry. What you see here is the bulk of coverage on the topic. We have a thousand brave Marines giving their all to protect freedom, and evidently no one gives a damn. I just plain old makes me want to cry.
Having sent out a few email to those “in the know” I am discovering that NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING is being said or done to mention what is going on in Sangin and to honor the lives of these men who are protecting our freedom. After being in touch with someone, I noticed this person mentioned that a rant and rave might diminish the story. I thought about it and agreed. Then I realized that maybe a rant and rave is what is needed.
Pardon my language, but what the H – E – Double Toothpick is going on in this country? I can fully understand the Dems and the press protecting Obama, but what about the GOP?
At least 75 Marines have died in the past few months.
Does anyone care?
Then Sally received this from Carolyn Blashek of Operation Gratitude:
Sally–it is much worse than even this. Darkhorse has lost close to 20 Marines (killed; many more terribly wounded)–and they only arrived in Sangin in mid-September. We have sent packages to every Marine in the Battalion, but mail has been very slow getting in. This battlefront will become part of Marine Corps legend.
One of the fallen from the 3/5 Darkhorse is 1stLt Robert Kelly–son of LtGen John Kelly, legendary for saying…””The Marines took Iwo Jima; Baghdad ain’t shit” as he led the force into Iraq. A devastating blow to an extraordinary Marine family and to the entire Marine Corps family…as is every loss.
Shared with me is the tribute to his son that General Kelly posted online. It is a tear-jerker. Once again, it makes one ask why these brave heroes are being ignored.
“…Family and Friends,
As I think you all know by now our Robert was killed in action protecting our country, its people, and its values from a terrible and relentless enemy, on 9 Nov, in Sangin, Afghanistan. He was leading his Grunts on a dismounted patrol when he was taken. They are shaken, but will recover quickly and already back at it. He went quickly and thank God he did not suffer. In combat that is as good as it gets, and we are thankful. We are a broken hearted – but proud family. He was a wonderful and precious boy living a meaningful life. He was in exactly the place he wanted to be, doing exactly what he wanted to do, surrounded by the best men on this earth – his Marines and Navy Doc.
The nation he served has honored us with promoting him posthumously to First Lieutenant of Marines. We will bury our son, now 1stLt Robert Michael Kelly USMC, in Arlington National Cemetery on 22 Nov. Services will commence at 1245 at Fort Myers. We will likely have a memorial receiving at a yet to be designated funeral home on 21 Nov. The coffin will be closed. Our son Captain John Kelly USMC, himself a multi-tour combat veteran and the best big brother on this earth, will escort the body from Dover Air Force Base to Arlington. From the moment he was killed he has never been alone and will remain under the protection of a Marine to his final resting place.
Many have offered prayers for us and we thank you, but his wonderful wife Heather and the rest of the clan ask that you direct the majority of your prayers to his platoon of Marines, still in contact and in “harm’s way,” and at greater risk without his steady leadership.
Thank you all for the many kindnesses we could not get through this without you all. Thank you all for being there for us. The pain in unimaginable, and we could not do this without you.
“…Nevertheless, these are exactly the sorts of ideals that are being tested in extremis in Sangin, a small town in southern Afghanistan where a single unit, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, has been fighting to make good on all on the hot talk about the new, improved, industrial-strength Surge and the Undeniable Genius of David Petraeus and has, as a direct result, suffered some of the worst casualties in recent history, losses of a magnitude that haven’t been seen since the darkest days of the Iraqi insurgency, indicative of a vicious, locked-in fight beginning to collapse in on itself like a dying star, annihilating anything that drifts too close. Fifteen killed. Forty-nine wounded. Nearly seven percent of the entire battalion dead or wounded. All in just thirty days.
Of course, to the average American, there is nothing, absolutely nothing new here. In an age of stereotypes, what is a Marine battalion other than a gang of unfortunates and semi-literate savages, all of them hailing no doubt, from the unwashed, Jesus-addled, gun-loving middle of the country, colliding head-on into the hard facts of life for the non-college-bound? Sacrifice is for saps, so the thinking goes, God knows why people go into the service these days and to take anything more than a passing interest in the whole awful show is to somehow be complicit in it….”
These brave Marines are turning to the Lord for help!
Once you start digging into the story, the tragic irony is NO ONE is covering this. There is the story of Lace Cpl. James Stack.
October casualties include:
• Sgt. Ian Tawney, 25. The squad leader was killed Saturday by an improvised explosive device while on a foot patrol, Marine officials said. He enlisted on March 14, 2005, and had deployed to Iraq in 2007.
• Lance Cpl. James Boelk, 24. The infantry rifleman was killed by an IED while on a foot patrol last Friday, officials said. He was on his first combat deployment.
• Lance Cpl. Joseph Lopez, 26. The infantry rifleman was killed by an IED while on a foot patrol last Thursday, officials said. He was on his first combat deployment.
• Lance Cpl. Alec Catherwood, 19. The infantry rifleman was shot to death while on a foot patrol last Thursday, officials said. He was on his first combat deployment.
• Lance Cpl. Irvin Ceniceros, 21. The machine gunner was shot to death while on a foot patrol last Thursday, officials said. He was on his first combat deployment.
Four additional Marines were killed last Wednesday in the same IED blast while riding in a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All-Terrain Vehicle, or M-ATV, according to media reports. Those Marines include:
• Cpl. Justin Cain, 22. The machine gunner was on his first combat deployment.
• Lance Cpl. Phillip Vinnedge, 19. The anti-tank assaultman was on his first deployment.
• Lance Cpl. Joseph Rodewald, 21. The machine gunner was on his first combat deployment.
• Pfc. Victor Dew, 20. The anti-tank assaultman was on his first deployment.
Additional details about the deaths were not immediately available, but the Corps said the unit is now based in Sangin in a news release covering the death of Lance Cpl. John Sparks, 23. He was shot to death Oct. 8, becoming the first Marine to die on 3/5’s deployment, Marine officials said.
The most recent Marine casualty announced was Cpl. Jorge Villarreal, 22. A member of Pendleton’s 1st Battalion, 11th Marines, he died Sunday from an IED blast while on a foot patrol….”