Skip to comments.Return to Makin Island - Semper Fidelis
Posted on 01/21/2014 4:21:05 PM PST by DariusBane
True story of the recovery of 19 US Marines Killed in Action on Makin Island in WWII and their return home to Arlington National Cemetery 58 years later.
He isn’t really gone at all,
He’s merely been recalled.
He’s taken up the watch once more,
This time before hollowed doors.
For it is Marines you must recall
That before Heaven’s gates stand tall.
To join that Guard is where he went,
I’m sure that’s where he was sent.
And there I know he stands and waits,
To someday greet us before those gates.
Great to see.
Hollywood’s take on the raid. Full movie at 1hr, 26 minutes.
Ping For Later Viewing
RIP & Semper Fi my brothers.
Lawmaker: Grant all Marines who cover grenades the Medal of Honor
Mar. 25, 2014 - 06:00AM |
Marine 1st Sgt. Bradley Kasal is carried from a house in Fallujah, Iraq, where he used his own body to shield a fellow Marine from a grenade blast on Nov. 13, 2004. Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., has written to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel urging him to award a Medal of Honor to any service member who shields others from the effects of a grenade blast.
Marine 1st Sgt. Bradley Kasal is carried from a house in Fallujah, Iraq, where he used his own body to shield a fellow Marine from a grenade blast on Nov. 13, 2004. Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., has written to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel urging him to award a Medal of Honor to any service member who shields others from the effects of a grenade blast. (Marine Corps)
By Hope Hodge Seck
In light of the news that Marine veteran Kyle Carpenter will receive the Medal of Honor for shielding his friend from a live grenade in Afghanistan, a California congressman is petitioning Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to take a closer look at the awards for two Marines who reportedly committed similar acts of heroism.
Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter sent a letter to Hagel Tuesday asking that he reconsider the awards for Marine Sgt. Maj. Bradley Kasal and the late Sgt. Rafael Peralta, both of whom received the Navy Cross for maneuvering to absorb the brunt of a grenade blast to shield a comrade.
Hunter has waged an aggressive multiyear campaign seeking a medal upgrade for Peralta, whose family resides in his district. In February, Hagel became the third defense secretary to decline to seek the higher award in Peraltas case, citing a lack of conclusive evidence of the action to meet the medals beyond a reasonable doubt standard.
Some of the evidence, including the initial medical examiners report, led to disputes over whether Peralta, wounded in the head by a bullet fragment, could have acted consciously to cover a live grenade, and whether the blast pattern and wounds bore out that he did so.
With reports that medically retired Cpl. Kyle Carpenter will receive the medal for jumping on a grenade to save his friend a case in which there is substantial physical evidence of the act, but no eyewitnesses Hunter is broadening his efforts.
His letter referenced Peralta, Kasal, Carpenter and fallen Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham, saying the cases of these four Marines illustrate the inconsistencies in the Medal of Honor process.
According to his Navy Cross citation, then-1st Sgt. Kasal joined a squad trying to clear a house of enemy fighters and rescue wounded Marines in Fallujah in November 2004. When insurgents threw a grenade into the room, Kasal rolled on top of his fellow Marine, using his own body to shield the Marine from the blast. He sustained severe wounds from about 40 pieces of hot shrapnel.
Dunham posthumously received the Medal of Honor in 2006 for covering a grenade with his helmet to save fellow Marines during fighting in Iraq.
For each of these Marines, their actions are uniquely similar, Hunter wrote. Enemy grenades were involved and each Marine either covered the grenade blast or intentionally shielded others. All of them preserved the lives of their fellow Marines.
In both Peraltas and Carpenters cases, the evidence to support the Medal of Honor award required further examination, Hunter wrote. Hunter maintains that the grenade fuze recovered from Peraltas body armor indicates that the blast went off underneath him.
But in a letter explaining his decision not to reopen the Medal of Honor case, Hagel wrote that Peraltas wounds, coupled with photo and video evidence from the scene, indicated the grenade detonated some distance away from his left side.
In the Carpenter case, the bulk of the evidence for the act of heroism appears to hinge on the location of the blast seat of the grenade, found under Carpenters torso, as well as the catastrophic nature of his wounds.
The Defense Department has not released Carpenters medal citation or officially announced the decision to give him the award.
Also, in your response [regarding Peralta], you state that the Defense Department standard is that the MoH recommendations must include eyewitness statements, Hunter wrote. Should none exist or lines of sight differ and accounts differ, then it is necessary to fully examine all other information needed to make an appropriate judgment. And, in that regard, all cases must apply the same standards.
Other troops, too, have been clearly misrepresented by the awards process, Hunter wrote, citing Marine Maj. Brian Chontosh, who received the Navy Cross for barreling into an enemy trench in Baghdad in 2003 and dispatching at least 20 fighters killing some with their own weapons to save his platoon caught in a kill zone.
Hunter also referred to fallen Army Sgt 1st. Class Alwyn Cashe, who sacrificed his life pulling soldiers out of a Bradley Fighting Vehicle that was engulfed in flames in Iraq in 2005.
They, too, Hunter said, are examples of the subjectivity in a process that should have absolutely none.
Officials in the Office of the Secretary of Defense have said they do not comment on Hagels personal correspondence.
Hunters letter comes the week after the Defense Department announced a comprehensive review of its military decorations and awards process, which will incorporate insights from the most recent wars.
After 13 years of war, we must use lessons learned in Iraq and Afghanistan to improve our awards program and ensure that our troops are being honored appropriately, Hagel announced March 20.
Hunter said the review presents an opportunity to examine one of the great mysteries of the war in Iraq, that no living Medal of Honor recipients emerged from the conflict. The review gives military and defense officials a chance to change the record for some troops who have already received a lesser award, he said.
Throughout the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Medal of Honor process has worked as it should on 13 occasions (soon to be 14), given that there are now that many recipients of the top award, Hunter wrote. For the rest who were either denied or downgraded, there is still an opportunity to do the right thing.
I’ll never forget watching that Fox News documentary of this incredible Marine officer(all Marines are incredible) and I’ll never forget that stupid-ass insensitive Fox reporter Greg Palkot. One of the three Marines killed in Captain Chontosh’s company was a 1st. Lieutenant who exemplified all the characteristics one would expect of a Marine officer and who was looked up to as a’’father figure’’to his men as Capt. Chontosh put it. Palkot caught up with Chontosh on the roof of a building, alone and obviously trying hard to accept and digest what just happened and here’s Palkot shoving the mike and the camera in this officers face and this poor man is trying hard to be an officer and a gentleman. I wished I could have reached into the tv and choked Palkot to death.