Tag Archives: Marines

Marine veteran amputee reaches summit of Mount Kilimanjaro

kionte storey and jake rath

Jake Rath (l) and Marine Kionte Storey (r)/Photo courtesy of Jake Rath


Hoorah!
From Fox News: Waking up around midnight on Aug. 25, Marine Cpl. Kionte Storey began his final trek up Mount Kilimanjaro, the culmination of months of rigorous training that led him to the top of Africa’s highest peak.
With every step he took, the 29-year-old veteran climbed higher than he ever had before. At 10:45 a.m. local time, Storey made it to the summit, 19,341 feet up – a feat made more outstanding by the fact he achieved it with a prosthetic leg.
The view, he said, was simply “amazing.”
“You look down and you are above the clouds,” he told Fox News on Tuesday. “I keep saying it was the closest thing to getting to heaven, and then the sun comes out and you can see everything.”
The trip to Africa was part of a campaign by the Bob Woodruff and Steven & Alexandra Cohen foundations called #Give2Veterans.
For the journey, Storey was joined by Jake Rath, 25, of the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation, who documented the entire trip with a DSLR camera and 360-degree photo.
“The photos don’t do it justice,” he said, adding that seeing the night sky with only miles and miles of stars was breathtaking.
“To see the mountain in the starlight, thousands of stars, that was an amazing sight to see,” he added. “I was amazed by Africa.”
Storey, who joined the Marines in 2007, lost his right leg below the knee after stepping on an IED while deployed to Afghanistan in 2010. Part of his physical and mental recovery after the injury included training at Paralympic camps and hiking.
In 2013, he became the first African-American and first amputee to reach the summit of Antarctica’s Mount Vinson. “I didn’t know how my body was going to respond [in Africa],” Storey said. “My leg did well all the way up – it did a lot better than I expected.”
Both men said they had to pace themselves while on the climb, not trying to rush and give their bodies time to acclimate. Trekking through the different terrains – from jungle to savannas and finally glacier-covered stone peaks – made for a more interesting climb.
“We both trained a good amount – we were fit. The hardest was the mental challenge,” Rath said. “For each step you take, it’s the highest step you have taken.”
Through #Give2Veterans, the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation is giving away up to $500,000 to help veterans. The foundation will give the Bob Woodruff Foundation $1 every time a social media post is shared using the hashtag. The campaign ends on Sept. 30.
The California native said the final push to the top of Kilimanjaro was the make-or-break moment for them because it was the point in the journey when they started questioning everything.
“You start asking yourself ‘why’ – ‘why am I doing this when I could be doing better things?,’” he said. “And then I started to think about the whys and I remembered my friends serving overseas who aren’t alive. I started thinking about amputees and showing them through my experience that anything is possible.
He added: “For us know that we were doing it for something bigger than ourselves, [we thought], ‘we are getting to the summit and that’s it.’ That’s how big our reason was for getting to the summit.”
DCG

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Photo depicts veteran lying on the ground while waiting for care at the VA

vet-sleeping
UNACCEPTABLE. Heads need to roll for this.
From WSBTV: (DURHAM, N.C.) A couple posted photos on Facebook and said veterans waited for hours in pain inside the Durham VA Medical Center.
Stephen McMenamin, a former U.S. Marine, was there for treatment, and his wife took the pictures. “My wife found it upsetting, so she took a couple pictures,” he said.
He said a veteran on the ground was using his bag of medication for a pillow after being denied an available reclining chair.
The nurse started yelling at him, telling him he can’t do that. He’s like, ‘I can’t get up and I won’t get up. I will be here until you can see me. Can I please have a blanket?’” McMenamin said. That Facebook post was shared more than 80,000 times.
McMenamin said they started hearing from other veterans and their families. “All these people, and it was, you know, it’s been kind of heartbreaking,” he said.
The hospital’s chief executive nurse responded and told McMenamin that the matter is being investigated.
Rep. Robert Pittenger said this just reaffirms his push to hold VA employees more accountable. “It’s absolutely tragic,” he said. “It’s frankly reflective of what we’ve seen from the VA, and that’s why I sponsored last year and this year, the VA Accountability Act.”
Commander of the North Carolina VFW said things in the state have improved drastically, but he said if an investigation confirms what is depicted in these photos, then the staff responsible should be fired. “There’s no question about it, I mean, there’s no acceptable reason why this should have happened,” Commander Doug Blevins said.
Statement from the Medical Center Director DeAnne Seekins:
“We take seriously any allegation of poor service. I was made aware of a regrettable incident that occurred in our Emergency Department over the weekend and am thankful someone cared enough to share the incident with us. Our mission is to provide the highest level of health care to Veterans, so upon learning of the incident, I took swift action. The employee was immediately removed from patient care pending the results of an internal review.
h/t Twitchy
DCG

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Trump nominates “Mad Dog” Mattis for Secretary of Defense

Dr. Eowyn did a blog post on Gen. Mattis back in March 2013, as Obama was purging our military. Read the post Obama regime purges 5th senior military officer: Cmdr of CENTCOM James Mattis.” Now Trump is bringing him back!
mattis-quote2
James Mattis is a retired United States Marine Corps general who last served as the 11th commander of United States Central Command. Mattis retired from the military in 2013 so his nomination will require a waiver of the National Security Act of 1947, which requires a seven-year wait period before retired military personnel can assume the role of Secretary of Defense. Mattis would be the second Secretary of Defense to receive such a waiver, following George Marshall.
Mattis is highly decorated, an experienced veteran, and pulls no punches. Read about his extensive background at Wikpedia.
He’s known for some exceptional quotes, which no doubt will make liberals’ heads explode. Here are some of his best quotes (a few are NSFW):
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james-mattis2 james-mattis3 james-mattis4
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The money quote to surely send liberals into head spins (and you know why):
mattis-end-quotre
oorah
DCG

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9/11 Story – Marine Corps Love

On September 11, 2001, a hijacked plane knifed into the side of the Pentagon. We all know that. What very few people have heard is shortly afterwards, the director of a nursery in the building stood looking at the children in her charge, wondering how to move all of the babies and toddlers to safety.

A marine rushed into the room and asked if she was alright. She needed help and she told him that. He turned and ran out; the woman assumed that he had gone away for good. As she formulated a plan of action, she heard footsteps in the hall. The man had returned—this time, though, he was not alone. At least forty other Marines followed him.

They picked up the babies in their cribs, the toddlers, the helpless infants. They carried them through the halls and to a nearby park, where they arranged the cribs in a circle and set the toddlers in the middle. Then they stood guard outside, never allowing the children to be unattended.

When I first saw this picture, I thought that the man carrying the children was their father. Now I realize that he was not related to them by blood, but by nationality. He is an American. They are American children.

He is not their father, he is their protector. He’s a United States Marine.

H/T to Ann in Arizona

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A Hero to Remember

Staff Sergeant Austin Anderson

Marine pulled woman to safety

NY Daily News:  A Texas minister’s daughter is clinging to life in a Kansas hospital after  surviving a plane crash that killed four of her friends, including an Iraq war  veteran who dragged her to safety but later died of his injuries.
Hannah Luce, 22, and her friends were flying from Tulsa, Okla., to a  Christian youth rally in Iowa aboard an eight-seat Cessna 401 plane on Friday  afternoon when it crashed into a field in southeast Kansas, slammed into  some trees and burst into flames, The Associated Press reported.
The pilot, Luke Sheets, 23, and two others Garrett Coble, 29, and  22-year-old Stephen Luth, died at the scene.
Austin Anderson, a 27-year-old former Marine who had served two tours in  Iraq, suffered burns over 90% of his body in the crash but managed to pull Luce  from the wreckage, authorities said. The pair then walked to a nearby road for  help.  Anderson ultimately died at a hospital in Wichita.
Ron Luce, a minister in Garden Valley, Tex., and the founder of the  organization sponsoring the Iowa rally, said he first heard about the crash when  a woman called him on Friday to say his daughter was alive.
“I asked [the woman], ‘Where’s the plane?’ She said it’s off in the  distance, and there are flames, there’s smoke,” Luce said Sunday at a news  conference at University of Kansas Hospital, where his daughter was in serious  condition with burns over 28% of her body.
The group was headed to an Acquire the Fire rally in Council Bluffs, a youth  rally run by Teen Mania Ministries, which Ron Luce founded 25 years ago to reach  out to troubled youths.
Hannah Luce and Anderson had just graduated from Oral Roberts University  together on May 5, while Sheets, from Wisconsin, and Luth, of Iowa, were also  recent graduates, the school said.
Ron Luce said he wasn’t surprised by Anderson’s bravery.  “I know Austin, he’s that kind of guy,” Luce said. “He served two tours in  Iraq, and he was willing to give his life for his country. He was willing to  give his life for a friend. He was always willing to go that extra mile.
Luce said Hannah “just began to tear up” but didn’t respond when he asked  her about the former staff sergeant’s final act of heroism.
Once a Marine, always a Marine.  RIP Anderson.
DCG

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Obama finds taking pictures with U.S. soldiers annoying

He'd much rather be golfing....


There is a new book out, titled The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan. The book’s author is journalist Michael Hastings, whose article for Rolling Stone magazine on Gen. Stanley McChrystal precipitated the latter’s resignation.
The book is also generating buzz for another reason.
In it, Hastings describes a visit by Obama to our troops in Baghdad, Iraq. Here’s a quote from the book on BuzzFeed, Jan. 13, 2012:

After the talk, out of earshot from the soldiers and diplomats, he [Obama] starts to complain, …according to a U.S. embassy official who helped organize the trip in Baghdad.
He’s [Obama] asked to go out to take a few more pictures with soldiers and embassy staffers. He’s asked to sign copies of his book. “He didn’t want to take pictures with any more soldiers; he was complaining about it,” a State Department official tells me. “Look, I was excited to meet him. I wanted to like him. Let’s just say the scales fell from my eyes after I did. These are people over here who’ve been fighting the war, or working every day for the war effort, and he didn’t want to take fucking pictures with them?”

There you have it.
Our soldiers risk their lives every day in the hell holes of Iraq and Afghanistan, but their Commander In Chief finds it just too darn onerous to take pictures with them. But when four Marines pee on the insentient corpse of a Taliban insurgent, then all hell breaks loose with every Tom, Dick, and Harry crawling out of the woodwork demanding the Marines be court martialed.
That’s Amerika for you!
~Eowyn

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Americans cheered Gen. Patton when he urinated on the enemy

When Patton urinated on the enemy they cheered him

By Robert K. Wilcox
(Wilcox is my friend and the author of Target: Patton: The Plot to Assassinate General George S. Patton. He served in the U.S. Air Force for 6 years as an information officer during the Vietnam War from 1968 to 1974. ~Eowyn)
The last soldier I heard of urinating on the enemy was Gen. George S. Patton. Should the general, who, as much as any other, was responsible for defeating the Nazis, have been driven from the military for such and act? You’d think so from the hysteric response building in the mainstream and Left-leaning press to a video allegedly showing marines urinating on dead Taliban fighters. Presuming it’s authentic, such reaction is absurd.
We send these young men out to kill and maim their enemy. That means snuffing out their life, with all the heartbreak and tragedy involved. They usually do this with bullets that rip and tear; or larger projectiles like grenades, artillery shells, or air-dropped bombs which can shred or disintegrate a body. Often fire is involved. Is urinating on a dead body worse?
Yet as I write I can feel the hope and purpose in a headline like AOL-Huffington Post’s, “Outrage over Purported Marine Video: A shocking video that allegedly shows American soldiers performing a ‘disgusting’ act sparks a US Marine Corps investigation.”  It’s already tagged under “atrocities” and “war crimes.” What the headline writers are really saying is, “Oh please, please, another Mai Lai Massacre type scandal like in Vietnam. Well, we know it’s not going to be that big, but we can again throw bad light on the US military, which we basically hate and fear and are mad at for doing all the bad things they do.”
Of course they’ve gone to the Council on American-Islamic Relations for comment. As if they didn’t know they’d get a condemnation. But did they balance it with someone at war with the Taliban? Not a chance. And the statement says, “The video shows behavior…totally unbecoming of American military personnel and that would ultimately endanger other soldiers and civilians.”
It’s so predictable, petty, and blown out of proportion by a media that largely knows nothing of the battlefield and why a crude but ultimately innocuous act like this might happen. What do they expect in war? Tea and crumpets and the Marquess of Queensbury rules? War is hell. Most of those fighting it are young, usually 18 to 22. They are inexperienced. They are sent to deserts and other uninhabitable places with stinging insects, maddening heat and sanitary conditions the Left would be screaming was child abuse. They forge a bond with each other few peacetime friendships can ever hope to equal. They have to. It’s the only way to get through. And some of them, if not more, see that bonded friend killed or mutilated as only war can do it.
No one who has not gone through it will understand the depth of a combat relationship. There are no phonies in a firefight; no pretense of who one is. You can’t cover up. Combat soldiers get to know each other very well. That breeds the bond – that and the dire situation combatants share. And when that bond is ended in the most brutal way, by the death or maiming of a buddy in the bond, pissing on the bastard who represents that end is small payback for the tragic loss and what else has been commonly endured.
Is that what happened in the video in question? We don’t know at this point. It’s possible. But even if not, what’s on the video isn’t an atrocity or war crime. It’s a logical rarity by young men in harms way against what they know to be the threat that can snuff any one of them or their buddies if the tables were turned. How quick we forget the blood curdling screams of Nick Berg and Daniel Pearl. Are urinations on lifeless bodies anything near that?

Patton urinating into the Rhine


Gen. Patton did his public urinating not on a dead body but into the enemy’s most famous river, The Rhine. His Third Army was the first Allied army to cross it and take the war on the ground past that last German barrier. A photographer caught the act as Patton stood in the middle of a pontoon bridge and directed his stream defiantly into the enemy’s larger one – like a dog marking its territory. War is a dirty business, with minimum rules for the living, notably the Geneva Convention, prisoner of war dictates the Taliban, by the way, does not recognize. But as repugnant as they may be to some, there are no rules for the dead, for that is the point of war.
Pile them up, let them rot, piss on them. Like it or not, it’s what happens in such a nasty business. Don’t make more of it than what can be expected when young men are sent to kill others.
Source of pic of Patton urinating into the Rhine:
https://www.scrapbookpages.com/EasternGermany/Buchenwald/GeneralPatton.html

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Merry Christmas Spectacle from the Semper Fi Fund!


Since 1775, over 1.3 million American troops have made the ultimate sacrifice. Thank you and please visit SemperFiFund.org to help give back to those who protect our freedom.
A Big Thank you to everyone who voted and helped us win the Good Morning America Contest.
Now on iTunes! All Profits go to the Semper Fi Fund.
The America Patriots- God Bless The Usa and Armed Forces Medley
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/god-bless-the-usa-armed-forces/id489731812?i…
H/T Kelleigh
~LTG

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Marine Cpl. Dakota Meyer is a Hero

Well-deserving…

Marine Cpl. Receives Medal of Honor

 
A former Kentucky farm boy, Dakota Meyer, received the military’s highest award, the Medal of Honor on Thursday.  He was lauded for charging through heavy gunfire on five death-defying trips to rescue comrades ambushed by insurgents in Afghanistan in September 2009.
 
All told, Meyer saved 36 lives — those of 13 Marines and Army soldiers along with 23 Afghan soldiers — all while providing cover for the troops to fight their way out of a withering, six-hour firefight with the Taliban that killed five other U.S. soldiers. And Meyer personally killed at least eight insurgents despite being wounded himself, according to the military.

President Barack Obama bestowed the medal on Meyer at a White House ceremony Thursday, making the soft-spoken 23-year-old former Marine (AP quote, I know you are never a “former” Marine) the first from his branch who is living to receive the honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Meyer, who left the military after tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, is now back to pouring concrete at his construction job in a far more bucolic setting — the tiny community of Greensburg in central Kentucky. He acknowledges that he struggles with the honor, the national attention. Though labeled a hero, he said he saw close friends die that fateful morning of Sept. 8, 2009, as they were unexpectedly pinned down in Kunar Province, a hotbed of clashes with the Taliban.

“It’s hard, it’s … you know … getting recognized for the worst day of your life, so it’s… it’s a really tough thing,” Meyer said, struggling for words. Meyer insisted his fallen comrades also be remembered, so memorial services are being held in the hometowns of the slain soldiers that coincided with the White House ceremony Thursday.

The day those men died began like many others as Meyer took part in a security team supporting a patrol moving into a village in Afghanistan’s Ganjgal Valley. Meyer and the other Americans had gone to the area to train Afghan military members when, suddenly, the lights in the village went dark, and gunfire erupted. About 50 Taliban insurgents perched on mountainsides and taking cover in the village had ambushed the patrol.

As the forward team took fire and called for air support that wasn’t coming, Meyer begged his command to let him venture into combat to help extricate the team. Four times he was denied his request before Meyer and another Marine, Staff Sgt. Juan Rodriguez-Chavez, jumped into an armored Humvee and headed into battle. For his valor, Rodriguez-Chavez, a 34-year-old who hailed originally from Acuna, Mexico, would be awarded the Navy Cross.

“They told him he couldn’t go in,” said Dwight Meyer, Dakota Meyer’s 81-year-old grandfather, a former Marine who served in the 1950s. “He told them, ‘The hell I’m not,’ and he went in. It’s a one-in-a-million thing” that he survived.

With Meyer manning the Humvee’s gun turret, the two drew heavy fire. But they began evacuating wounded Marines and American and Afghan soldiers to a safe point. On one of the trips, shrapnel opened a gash in one of Meyer’s arms.

Meyer made a total of five trips into the kill zone, each time searching for the forward patrol with his Marine friends — including 1st Lt. Michael Johnson — whom Meyer had heard yelling on the radio for air support.

With Meyer and Rodriguez-Chavez ready to test fate a fifth time in the kill zone, a UH-60 helicopter arrived at last to provide overhead support. Troops aboard the chopper told Meyer they had spotted what appeared to be four bodies. Meyer knew those were his friends, and he didn’t want to leave them there.

“It might sound crazy, but it was just, you don’t really think about it, you don’t comprehend it, you don’t really comprehend what you did until looking back on it,” Meyer said.  Wounded and tired, Meyer left the safety of the Humvee and ran out on foot.  “He just really took a chance,” Dwight Meyer said.

Moving under cover of nearby buildings to avoid heavy gunfire, he reached the bodies of Johnson, a 25-year-old from Virginia Beach; Staff Sgt. Aaron Kenefick, 30, of Roswell, Ga.; Corpsman James Layton, 22, of Riverbank, Calif.; and Edwin Wayne Johnson Jr., a 31-year-old gunnery sergeant from Columbus, Ga. Meyer and two other soldiers dodged bullets and rocket-propelled grenades to pull the bodies out of a ditch where the men had taken cover but were killed.

Meyer said he’ll be humbled by the memory of his fallen comrades who will be honored as he received the award Thursday. And we are humbled to have had such a brave man serve our country.

DCG

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Lt Col George Goodson, USMC (Ret) Lays It on the Line

BURIAL AT SEA

Burial at Sea

by Lt Col George Goodson, USMC (Ret)

In my 76th year, the events of my life appear to me, from time to time, as a series of vignettes. Some were significant; most were trivial.

War is the seminal event in the life of everyone that has endured it. Though I fought in Korea and the Dominican Republic and was wounded there,Vietnam was my war.

Now 42 years have passed and, thankfully, I rarely think of those days in Cambodia, Laos, and the panhandle of North Vietnam where small teams of Americans and Montangards fought much larger elements of the North Vietnamese Army. Instead I see vignettes: some exotic, some mundane:

*The smell of Nuc Mam.
*The heat, dust, and humidity.
*The blue exhaust of cycles clogging the streets.
*Elephants moving silently through the tall grass.
*Hard eyes behind the servile smiles of the villagers.
*Standing on a mountain in Laos and hearing a tiger roar.
*A young girl squeezing my hand as my medic delivered her baby.
*The flowing Ao Dais of the young women biking down Tran Hung Dao.
*My two years as Casualty Notification Officer in North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland.

It was late 1967. I had just returned after 18 months in Vietnam. Casualties were increasing. I moved my family from Indianapolis to Norfolk, rented a house, enrolled my children in their fifth or sixth new school, and bought a second car.

A week later, I put on my uniform and drove 10 miles to Little Creek, Virginia. I hesitated before entering my new office. Appearance is important to career Marines. I was no longer, if ever, a poster Marine. I had returned from my third tour in Vietnam only 30 days before. At 5’9″, I now weighed 128 pounds – 37 pounds below my normal weight. My uniforms fit ludicrously, my skin was yellow from malaria medication, and I think I had a twitch or two.

I straightened my shoulders, walked into the office, looked at the nameplate on a Staff Sergeant’s desk and said, “Sergeant Jolly, I’m Lieutenant Colonel Goodson. Here are my orders and my Qualification Jacket.”

Sergeant Jolly stood, looked carefully at me, took my orders, stuck out his hand; we shook and he asked, “How long were you there, Colonel?” I replied “18 months this time.” Jolly breathed, you must be a slow learner Colonel.” I smiled.

Jolly said, “Colonel, I’ll show you to your office and bring in the Sergeant Major. I said, “No, let’s just go straight to his office.” Jolly nodded, hesitated, and lowered his voice, “Colonel, the Sergeant Major. He’s been in this  job two years. He’s packed pretty tight. I’m worried about him.” I nodded.

Jolly escorted me into the Sergeant Major’s office. “Sergeant Major, this is Colonel Goodson, the new Commanding Office. The Sergeant Major stood, extended his hand and said, “Good to see you again, Colonel.” I responded, “Hello Walt, how are you?” Jolly looked at me, raised an eyebrow, walked out, and closed the door.   Continue reading

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