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Terah Kay: These Marines personify ‘Semper Fidelis’ 10-23-2007
Plainfield Daily Herald ^ | 10-23-07 | Terah Kay

Posted on 10/27/2007 12:24:41 PM PDT by STARWISE

Marine Brotherhood

I saw something today that taught me volumes about the brotherhood of Marines.

As I stood in line to grill my sandwich, I watched a young corporal preparing two meals to-go. There was nothing really special about the meals . . . except this.

It was obvious to me that this Marine was carefully selecting different things for each tray. One was for him, the other was for his buddy who stood guard at the gate.

He carefully selected meat and cheese, meticulously grilled and wrapped them, then chose sides. I was moved by the obvious care with which the Marine made lunch for his buddy.

But the bond between these Marines goes far beyond chow time.

The International Zone has its own Marines who stand guard to keep the area safe. There are about 50 of them, and they live in the basement of the Presidential Palace. I sat down with a few of them, a team of four, to get a taste of what it means to be one of them. And I learned this: the Marine Corps is a family.

The men I spoke with are all between ages 19 and 23, and all single, though the one from Rhode Island has a girlfriend. When the topic of girlfriends rises, the other three give him a hard time, something he’s obviously accustomed to by now.

I can tell these four guys are close. They are all part of a group of five who are on the same guard schedule. When I indicate my assumption that this must be why they are so close, one of them replies, “Ma’am, if anyone of the 50 Marines down here walked into a dark room, I could sniff and tell you who it is.”

These men don’t just share a job . . . they are brothers.

****

There was something about these four that reminded me of that bad joke that John Kerry tried to cover up a few months ago — the one about young people who don’t study hard enough ending up in Iraq.

****

Let me say this. I have never met more impressive, intelligent, respectful, honorable, funny, handsome men in my life. These young men are the best America has to offer. They are not washouts, dropouts or losers. And, while their peers are back home beer-bonging at a frat party, these young men are on the rise as leaders.

They keep their living quarters cleaner than my grandmother’s house and they bear the burden of ensuring safekeeping of the people who live in the Green Zone.

These men make me proud to be American.

And while the four I met utter not a word of complaint — aside from the fact that they need more beef jerky — they are making sacrifices. I try to get them to talk about these sacrifices, and they really won’t have it.

They talk about their fellow Marines who are fighting in more dangerous areas, under fire daily. They feel guilty because they are in a relatively safe place. But they know their time will come.

Today they protect their fellow Americans — the people who live and work at the embassy in Baghdad.

But they look forward to that day when they can take their turn protecting Iraqis from the bloodshed that has driven a stake into the heart of Iraq.

It is a timeless honor to sacrifice for our countrymen, but I wonder how many of us are so eager to live a life of sacrifice for people not our own, for people of a foreign land.

When I direct the conversation to thoughts of home, I get a reaction I’m not expecting. Talk of family is usually the one thing that gets people talking about sacrifice. Missing home and loved ones is maybe the hardest part of the tour of duty.

These four love their families, and they talk about the things they look forward to about home: barbecue on the beach, sleeping late and letting mom wait on them, the food (this came from the Italian boy, of course), and girls.

But they all agree on something that shocks me. When they go home on leave, they can’t wait to get back to their brothers. When they are home, they call back to the unit, missing their fellow Marines.

My small mind fails to comprehend how a group of young men can bond so seamlessly — more tightly than many siblings. These men would die for each other in a heartbeat.

I pray not one of them is forced to make such a noble choice. But I have no doubt each one of them would happily lay down his life for his friend.

These men are Marines. They are family.

(Terah Kay, formerly of Muleshoe, is writing periodic columns while staying in Iraq.)


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: greenzone; iraq; marines; semperfi Comment #1 Removed by Moderator

To: SE Mom; Kathy in Alaska; LUV W; SandRat; bray; shield; trooprally; Doctor Raoul; Syncro; ...

PING~!


2 posted on 10/27/2007 12:25:43 PM PDT by STARWISE (They (Dims) think of this WOT as Bush's war, not America's war-RichardMiniter, respected OBL author)
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To: STARWISE
God bless and protect our US Marines!


3 posted on 10/27/2007 12:39:28 PM PDT by Kathy in Alaska (~ RIP Brian...heaven's gain...the Coast Guard lost a good one.~)
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To: STARWISE

October 18, 2007
Camp Pendleton Marine awarded Silver Star
U.S. Marine 2nd Lt. Chad Cassady, 33, receives the Silver Star from Lt. Col. Craig Kozeniesky at Camp Pendleton.
4 posted on 10/27/2007 12:49:10 PM PDT by concentric circles
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To: STARWISE; 1stbn27; 2111USMC; 2nd Bn, 11th Mar; 68 grunt; A.A. Cunningham; ASOC; AirForceBrat23; ...

Ping, but bring your kleenex.


5 posted on 10/27/2007 12:51:22 PM PDT by freema (Proud Marine Niece, Daughter, Wife, Friend, Sister, Aunt, Cousin, Mother, and FRiend)
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To: STARWISE

Excellent story...I like this Terah Kay.


6 posted on 10/27/2007 1:02:28 PM PDT by I got the rope
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To: Impeach98
And while the four I met utter not a word of complaint — aside from the fact that they need more beef jerky —

Hay, know where they can get some?

Ping to a great story!

7 posted on 10/27/2007 1:04:12 PM PDT by Syncro
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To: freema
Freema:
I left the MARINE CORPS over 50 years ago and still feel the same as those young fellows you talked to. I have in my yard a flag pole with the National colors and the MARINE CORPS flag flying every day. I carry a money clip with a large Globe and Anchor on it. The old saying "Once a MARINE always a MARINE is surly true with this old man. I served from 1942 through 1946 and still get lumps in my throat when the MARINE CORPS hymn is played. I don't think I will ever out grow it.

Good evening and the very best to you and yours.

Semper Fi
Tommie

8 posted on 10/27/2007 1:11:34 PM PDT by Texican (This FORMER MARINE will never in his life time "Cut and Run" I dig Dagny Taggart)
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To: Texican

9 posted on 10/27/2007 1:36:05 PM PDT by STARWISE (They (Dims) think of this WOT as Bush's war, not America's war-RichardMiniter, respected OBL author)
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To: All; Admin Moderator

I’ve requested the bad picture link
be removed. Sorry for that eyesore .. ;(


10 posted on 10/27/2007 1:39:57 PM PDT by STARWISE (They (Dims) think of this WOT as Bush's war, not America's war-RichardMiniter, respected OBL author)
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To: Texican

Go Tommie..I’m with you all the way...and I was also
in So.Pac....only on a Carrier.. It is the Spirit of
you old Marines that keeps our country..proud !! JK


11 posted on 10/27/2007 1:48:29 PM PDT by sanjacjake
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To: Syncro
Hay, know where they can get some?

if you send it - don't list it on the customs form - my post master says it's on th no-no list - so gave me the above advice\, with a wink


12 posted on 10/27/2007 2:01:09 PM PDT by maine-iac7 ("...but you can't fool all of the people all of the time" LINCOLN)
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To: Texican; All

You know that you are STILL a MARINE when you hear the HYMN the hair on your arms & neck come to attn.. Mine still does even after all that I have been through since I left my BELOVED CORPS!

SEMPER FI! My brothers & sisters in arms & harms way!


13 posted on 10/27/2007 2:17:51 PM PDT by TMSuchman (American by birth, Rebel by choice, Marine by act of GOD!)
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To: STARWISE

God bless the Marines! Where would we be without ‘em?


14 posted on 10/27/2007 2:43:10 PM PDT by RoadTest ("The Lord bringeth the council of the heathen to naught" - Psalm 33, verse 10)
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To: STARWISE
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
15 posted on 10/27/2007 2:47:28 PM PDT by Dick Vomer (liberals suck....... but it depends on what your definition of the word "suck" is.,)
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To: STARWISE

BTTT

Many of my friends like to talk of thier fancy cars or big houses - others brag about vacations in distant or exotic locations.

Me? Yeah - I like to brag too.

I say “My son is a US Marine”.

He is now back home with us and doing well, now.


16 posted on 10/27/2007 4:53:35 PM PDT by ASOC (Yeah, well, maybe - but can you *prove* it?)
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To: Texican

Good evening and the best back to you and yours, Tommie.

It is a phenomenon. More than family, always, and evermore.

I learned to play that song before I was 10 years old on my first instrument. I’m always standing in the rear, bawling and wiping my eyes, when that song is played.


17 posted on 10/27/2007 6:16:14 PM PDT by freema (Proud Marine Niece, Daughter, Wife, Friend, Sister, Aunt, Cousin, Mother, and FRiend)
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To: freema

Awwwh your just a sissy wissy. Honor, Duty, Country.


18 posted on 10/27/2007 7:05:01 PM PDT by Marine_Uncle (Duncan Hunter for POTUS)
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To: Marine_Uncle

I am : ) LOL! This makes me think of a magnificent dinner I ruined and had to throw out for a houseful of Marines....and the buckets of tears I shed over “spilled milk” while they calmly went on a spaghettio run : )

Just saw a Coors commercial, and thought of you. Are you watching the game? I’m rooting for Colorado.


19 posted on 10/27/2007 7:35:40 PM PDT by freema (Proud Marine Niece, Daughter, Wife, Friend, Sister, Aunt, Cousin, Mother, and FRiend)
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To: freema

I just tuned in during the bottom of the 5th. Looks like they might shake it up : )


20 posted on 10/27/2007 7:37:40 PM PDT by freema (Proud Marine Niece, Daughter, Wife, Friend, Sister, Aunt, Cousin, Mother, and FRiend)
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To: freema
Oh, that game was a heartbreaker. I thought they might pull it out when they made it a one run game. I love the Rockies, I'm so excited for them, and I'm holding out hope they can still do it! Whatever happens it's been a great season.

I love this story. She says "they feel guilty because they are in a safe place." All three of my sons are actively trying to get to Iraq. I really hadn't put a finger on their motives until I read this sentence. From now on they will not hear one word of worry from me about where they serve.

21 posted on 10/27/2007 11:54:02 PM PDT by athelass (Proud Mom of a Sailor and two Marines! Go Rockies!)
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To: athelass

I understand it was the longest game in Series history. I haven’t followed a lick of it, until last night : ) I sure would love to see them kick Boston’s butt.

It’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it (being the MOM). I’ve been pretty good at keeping my mouth shut. Everyone would laugh at that statement until they heard everything I haven’t said ; )


22 posted on 10/28/2007 5:16:49 AM PDT by freema (Proud Marine Niece, Daughter, Wife, Friend, Sister, Aunt, Cousin, Mother, and FRiend)
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To: freema
"Just saw a Coors commercial, and thought of you. Are you watching the game? I’m rooting for Colorado."
I worked this Saturday and Sunday. I'll tip a Coors Extra Gold lager for ya tonight.
23 posted on 10/28/2007 4:19:01 PM PDT by Marine_Uncle (Duncan Hunter for POTUS)
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To: STARWISE

I am a Marine Corps Veteran of two tours in Viet Nam and intimately aware of the Marine Corps brotherhood. Each day when I think of may two tours in Viet Nam and wonder why national sentiment has changed so dramatically. God Bless all that are serving in Iraq and I pray that all will come home soon. The one concern I have is why in Ms. Kay article was John Kerry mentioned.....he has a Silver Star, Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts.....isn’t that good enough? lconry@aol.com


24 posted on 11/01/2007 3:00:36 PM PDT by lconry
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To: lconry
Bcause of his derisive statements about the intelligence of our military, and his anti- American posturing in time of war.


25 posted on 11/01/2007 3:47:43 PM PDT by STARWISE (They (Dims) think of this WOT as Bush's war, not America's war-RichardMiniter, respected OBL author)
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