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Thank You, Vets.

11/11/2011 11:49 AM

The closeset I ever got to the military was Army ROTC for two years in college.

I'd like to thank all the men and women who have given their time, and lives, in service to our counrty, regardless of their personal thoughts on the correctness of the war, or battle at hand.

Lyn

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#1

Re: Thank You, Vets.

11/11/2011 11:53 AM

Beautifully put, lyn.

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#2

Re: Thank You, Vets.

11/11/2011 12:21 PM

Well, Lyn

I thank you for your thoughts, and thank you on behalf of my sons, too.

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#3

Re: Thank You, Vets.

11/11/2011 2:48 PM

While my sons (both in uniform) are secretly thrilled but moderately embarrassed by such thanks in public, they have a routine when together in private that mixes proper military cynicism and self-deprecation - imagine Laurel and Hardy doing a hand over hand shake repeatedly while repeating "Thank YOU for your service", "No, No - thank YOU for YOUR service"

Repeat endlessly

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#4

Re: Thank You, Vets.

11/11/2011 3:39 PM

Hope you don't mind if I share this email I got yesterday.



Subject: Fwd: FW: The Last Six Seconds..



Subj: FW: The Last Six Seconds..

The last six seconds.....
I remember when the incident described by Lt. Gen. Kelly happened. The video was available and the incredible strength of the explosion as it took the lives of these two Marines and all the destruction. They never gave an inch, styed in place and manned their post! Indeed, an excellent reminder of how blessed we are for young men like these.....


Semper Fi ~ The Last Six Seconds


On Nov 13, 2010, Lt General John Kelly, USMC, gave a speech to the Semper Fi Society of St. Louis, MO. This was four days after his son, Lt Robert Kelly, USMC, was killed by an IED while on his 3rd Combat tour. During his speech, General Kelly spoke about the dedication and valor of our young men and women who step forward each and every day to protect us.


During the speech, he never mentioned the loss of his own son. He closed the speech with the moving account of the last six seconds in the lives of two young Marines who died with rifles blazing to protect their brother Marines.

"I will leave you with a story about the kind of people they are,
about the quality of the steel in their backs, about the kind of dedication they bring to our country while they serve in uniform and forever after as veterans. Two years ago when I was the Commander of all U.S. and Iraqi forces, in fact, the 22nd of April 2008, two Marine infantry battalions, 1/9 "The Walking Dead," and 2/8 were switching out in Ramadi. One battalion in the closing days of their deployment going home very soon, the other just starting its seven-month combat tour. Two Marines, Corporal Jonathan Yale and Lance Corporal Jordan Haerter, 22 and 20 years old respectively, one from each battalion, were assuming the watch together at the entrance gate of an outpost that contained a makeshift barracks housing 50 Marines. The same broken down ramshackle building was also home to 100 Iraqi police, also my men and our allies in the fight against the terrorists in Ramadi, a city until recently the most dangerous city on earth and owned by Al Qaeda.

Yale was a dirt poor mixed-race kid from Virginia with a wife and
daughter, and a mother and sister who lived with him and whom he supported as well. He did this on a yearly salary of less than $23,000. Haerter, on the other hand, was a middle class white kid from Long Island. They were from two completely different worlds. Had they not joined the Marines they would never have met each other, or understood that multiple America's exist simultaneously depending on one's race, education level, economic status, and where you might have been born. But they were Marines, combat Marines, forged in the same crucible of Marine training, and because of this bond they were brothers as close, or closer, than if they were born of the same woman.

The mission orders they received from the sergeant squad leader I am sure went something like, "Okay you two clowns, stand this postand let no unauthorized personnel or vehicles pass. You clear?" I am also sure Yale and Haerter then rolled their eyes and said in unison something like, "Yes Sergeant," with just enough attitude that made the point without saying the words, "No kidding
'sweetheart', we know what we're doing." They then relieved two
other Marines on watch and took up their post at the entry control
point of Joint Security Station Nasser, in the Sophia section of
Ramadi, Al Anbar, Iraq.

A few minutes later a large blue truck turned down the alley way - perhaps 60-70 yards in length, and sped its way through the serpentine of concrete jersey walls. The truck stopped just short of where the two were posted and detonated, killing them both catastrophically. Twenty-four brick masonry houses were damaged
or destroyed. A mosque 100 yards away collapsed. The truck's engine came to rest two hundred yards away knocking most of a
house down before it stopped. Our explosive experts reckoned the blast was made of 2,000 pounds of explosives. Two died, and
because these two young infantrymen didn't have it in their DNA to run from danger, they saved 150 of their Iraqi and American brothers-in-arms.


When I read the situation report about the incident a few hours after it happened I called the regimental commander for details as
something about this struck me as different. Marines dying or being seriously wounded is commonplace in combat. We expect Marines regardless of rank or MOS to stand their ground and do their duty, and even die in the process, if that is what
the mission takes. But this just seemed different. The regimental commander had just returned from the site and he agreed, but reported that there were no American witnesses to the event - just Iraqi police. I figured if there was any chance of finding out what actually happened and then to decorate the two Marines to acknowledge their bravery, I'd have to do it as a combat award that requires two eye-witnesses and we figured the bureaucrats back in Washington would never buy Iraqi statements. If it had any chance at all, it had to come under the signature of a general officer.

I traveled to Ramadi the next day and spoke individually to a half-dozen Iraqi police all of whom told the same story. The blue truck turned down into the alley and immediately sped up as it made its way through the serpentine. They all said, "We knew immediately what was going on as soon as the two Marines began firing." The
Iraqi police then related that some of them also fired, and then to a man, ran for safety just prior to the explosion. All survived. Many were injured, some seriously. One of the Iraqis elaborated and with tears welling up said, "They'd run like any normal man would to save his life." "What he didn't know until then," he said, "And what he learned that very instant, was that Marines are not normal." Choking past the emotion he said, "Sir, in the name of
God no sane man would have stood there and done what they did." "No sane man." "They saved us all."

What we didn't know at the time, and only learned a couple of days later after I wrote a summary and submitted both Yale and Haerter for posthumous Navy Crosses, was that one of our security cameras, damaged initially in the blast, recorded some of the suicide attack. It happened exactly as the Iraqis had described it. It took exactly six seconds from when the truck entered the alley until it detonated.

You can watch the last six seconds of their young lives. Putting myself in their heads I supposed it took about a second for the two Marines to separately come to the same conclusion about what was going on once the truck came into their view at the far end of the alley. Exactly no time to talk it over, or call the sergeant to ask what they should do. Only enough time to take half an instant and think about what the sergeant told them to do only a few minutes before, "Let no unauthorized personnel or vehicles pass."

The two Marines had about five seconds left to live.

It took maybe another two seconds for them to present their weapons, take aim, and open up. By this time the truck was half-way through the barriers and gaining speed the whole time. Here, the recording shows a number of Iraqi police, some of whom had fired their AKs, now scattering like the normal and rational men they were - some running right past the Marines.

They had three seconds left to live.

For about two seconds more, the recording shows the Marines' weapons firing non-stop the truck's windshield exploding into shards of glass as their rounds take it apart and tore in to the body of the (I deleted) who is trying to get past them to kill their brothers - American and Iraqi-bedded down in the barracks totally unaware of the fact that their lives at that moment depended entirely on two Marines standing their ground.

If they had been aware, they would have known they were safe because two Marines stood between them and a crazed suicide bomber. The recording shows the truck careening to a stop immediately in front of the two Marines. In all of the instantaneous violence Yale and Haerter never hesitated. By all reports and by the recording, they never stepped back. They never even
started to step aside. They never even shifted their weight. With
their feet spread shoulder width apart, they leaned into the danger, firing as fast as they could work their weapons.

They had only one second left to live. The truck explodes. The camera goes blank. Two young men go to their God.

Six seconds. Not enough time to think about their families, their country, their flag, or about their lives or their deaths, but more than enough time for two very brave young men to do their duty into eternity.

That is the kind of people who are on watch all over the world tonight - for you.

We Marines believe that God gave America the greatest gift he could bestow to man while he lived on this earth - freedom. We also believe he gave us another gift nearly as precious - our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Coast Guardsmen, and Marines - to safeguard that gift and guarantee no force on this earth can ever steal it away.

It has been my distinct honor to have been with you here today. Rest assured our America , this experiment in democracy started over two centuries ago, will forever remain the "land of the free and home of the brave" so long as we never run out of tough young Americans who are willing to lookbeyond their own self-interest and comfortable lives, and go into the darkest and most dangerous places on earth to hunt down, and kill, those who would do us harm.

God Bless America , and
SEMPER FIDELIS !"

----------------------------------------------------------------


IT WOULD BE NICE (GREAT!) TO SEE the message spread if more would pass it> on.

Semper Fi, God Bless America
and God Bless the United States Marine Corps.


Often Tested, Always
Faithful, Brothers Forever
.


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#7
In reply to #4

Re: Thank You, Vets.

11/11/2011 5:30 PM

"What he didn't know until then," he said, "And what he learned that very instant, was that Marines are not normal."

Thank you for that quote.

And thank you Lyn for the thread.

Semper Fi

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#8
In reply to #4

Re: Thank You, Vets.

11/11/2011 6:23 PM

As I recall, the New York Times didn't find this news "fit to print". They also failed to report a CMoH on LI.

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Re: Thank You, Vets.

11/11/2011 7:06 PM

The deaths of our brave young men and women in uniform was only newsworthy when Bush was President.

We don't need the New York Times or the nightly news. The people that have sacrificed their lives for this country will never be forgotten.

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#5

Re: Thank You, Vets.

11/11/2011 4:12 PM

Thank you for this thread. God Bless our men and women in uniform.

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#6

Re: Thank You, Vets.

11/11/2011 4:50 PM

It's an important (and often overlooked) day. I'm married to a veteran, our grandparents are/were veterans, and a godson is in the Army.

Thanks for the reminder and thank you to all of our veterans!

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#10

Re: Thank You, Vets.

11/11/2011 7:16 PM

11/11 is a day of great sadness and introspection for all. A day for us all to think about the horror of war. Let us not forget that people in other countries find themselves in situations beyond their control. We acknowledge our own heroic troops, but must show consideration to others who's lives have been lost. War is the ultimate inhumanity. Most of those on the front line are not to blame. Our destiny is to repeat the mistakes.

I'm sounding pompous, but warfare is terrible. Acknowledge the brave, yet temper it with trying to understand whatever 'enemy' is seen at the time. We are all somebody's child, and the world shapes us. Let us shape our children better.

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#11

Re: Thank You, Vets.

11/11/2011 8:00 PM

Thank you, Lyn.

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#12

Re: Thank You, Vets.

11/11/2011 8:08 PM

War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing! Say it again!

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#20
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Re: Thank You, Vets.

11/12/2011 4:42 PM

This thread isn't about war, it's about warriors.

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#21
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Re: Thank You, Vets.

11/12/2011 6:08 PM

No, It's about dead and injured people.

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#22
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Re: Thank You, Vets.

11/12/2011 6:47 PM

No, it's about somebody that's willing to take a bullet and die so we can lounge around and play and argue on CR4. As well as do every other thing that we take for granted on a daily basis.

Veterans day has nothing to do with death and injury.....................it has everything to do with honoring the true heroes, past and present, alive and dead, that have, and will continue to, make the sacrifices necessary to insure that the biggest thing you have to worry about, is smashing a tub.

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#13

Re: Thank You, Vets.

11/11/2011 8:13 PM

I miss my friends that were killed in the Falklands, Gulf War 1 and Gulf War 2. I am preparing to return to Libya and I've been told that Libyan friends have been killed, fighting oppression.

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#14

Re: Thank You, Vets.

11/11/2011 8:20 PM

Lyn, the closest I ever got to the military was a year in Viet Nam.

I didn't care about the war one way or the other; my father was an officer in WW II and stayed in the reserves for his full 20, ditto other relatives. Serve was what we did.

War teaches. It teaches us what is still true at gunpoint.

Recognition? Fine. No recognition? Fine.

Flaming emails on CR4? You'll get no anger from me. Anyone who's been there would never, ever get so riled over so little. For anyone who hasn't, er, ah, actively participated, no amount of common sense or explanations of simple, human decency -- in weh-wee widd-oo words -- will knock a lick of sense into a clueless head.

Let it be.

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#15

Re: Thank You, Vets.

11/12/2011 1:01 PM

CR4 ADMIN: Deleted Post

Politics/Religion: This post was deleted because it was overly religious or political. While each user is entitled to his or her own opinion on these topics, CR4 is not the place for discussion about them. Please review Section 14 of the CR4 Site FAQ and the CR4 Rules of Conduct.

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Re: Thank You, Vets.

11/12/2011 1:34 PM

CR4 Admin: Deleted Post

Irrelevant This post was deleted because it is related to a deleted post and would otherwise be taken out of context.

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Re: Thank You, Vets.

11/12/2011 1:57 PM

CR4 Admin: Deleted Post

Irrelevant This post was deleted because it is related to a deleted post and would otherwise be taken out of context.

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#18
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Re: Thank You, Vets.

11/12/2011 2:40 PM

protest against the politicians, not those who served

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#19
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Re: Thank You, Vets.

11/12/2011 2:54 PM

Now I'm glad I missed it.

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#24
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Re: Thank You, Vets.

11/13/2011 1:22 AM

That's exactly I did and it was treated (correctly) that it is political. What I meant was we are all treated as pawns to the supreme commanders and it is not He (or in todays sexless society It), and that goes on in every country.

We as Engineers/ scientists should keep away from it and not try to glorify either the unfortunate pawns nor their string masters.

I don't know how many of us (I hope most) have read the Feynman's books Surely .. and others. We should be more like him.

Admin- before deleting this post too consider the fact that the total thread itself is political. Glorification of a tool used by political masters for their gain is what?

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#25
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Re: Thank You, Vets.

11/13/2011 1:44 AM

And I should have added "and do it elsewhere"

And no, the thread is not "political", or a "Glorification of a tool used by political masters for their gain ..."

The thread is about Respect.

Now why don't you go find a funeral service, jump on your soapbox (with anonymous mask) and see how welcome you are.

I recommend Texas.

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#26
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Re: Thank You, Vets.

11/13/2011 1:45 AM

Your enemy is human nature. Good luck changing it.

Soldiers are soldiers, all are brave. If sins have been committed, they lie on the souls of those that give the orders, not those that follow them.

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#23

Re: Thank You, Vets.

11/12/2011 7:20 PM

Thanks lyn.

I enlisted straight off the farm with no prospects, but had a military (Navy) family lineage. I know how much non-Vets appreciate our service, but it's hard to put in words what "Military Pride" means to those of us who served.

Thank you for your kind words.

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#27

Re: Thank You, Vets.

11/13/2011 6:58 PM

Thank you for thinking of us, Lyn.

6 years, USN, 1971-1977, so a VietNam ERROR veteran. Don't consider myself a hero, but I did do MY part in supporting the government we enjoy (that while not perfect I would still prefer over any other) and while I performed no amazing feats of heroism, I, like the rest of us, still did tons more than many who would criticize us and our government.

I wish the censored comments (I never saw them) were left posted, only because censorship (or lack thereof) is one of the things our time in the military defended. That said, I do realize (and appreciate) that freedom of the press (and this forum "is" the press) belongs to the owner of the press to publish as HE desires, and not what his readers want ... they can acquire their OWN press to distribute their views. Besides, most times the types of comments made in these types of discussions that get deleted seldom further the posters' views.

I really don't care whether the media dos or doesn't mention Veterans' Day. It's the commercial use of OUR day to have "Sales" that galls me. Were the sales available only to veterans, that would be a little different, but just having a general public sale on this day is like them advertising "Giant Sale Celebrating Joe Schmoe's Funeral" (Darn.. I'm probably gonna get this one censored too!)

Thanks again for remembering us, Lyn.

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#28
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Re: Thank You, Vets.

11/13/2011 7:37 PM

Thanks for serving - my respect for that. Particularly in such a 'thankless war'.

Also respect for posting as yourself, which I'm sure you will find both the members and admin respect more than AP.

As for the rest, on the bright side; at least they've stopped spitting on returning Vets.

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#30
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Re: Thank You, Vets.

11/14/2011 1:28 PM

Kudos to you for your service and a well worded post.

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#29

Re: Thank You, Vets.

11/14/2011 11:53 AM

Thank you to all the veterans and their families who have been committed to this great country of ours here in the U.S.A. I add the families because they also pay a price in not having their loved ones around for a period of time and maybe not again here on this earth. I greatly appreciate those who have served, especially in times of war. Freedom is worth fighting for and if we ever lose sight of it's value we are finished as a great country.

Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have. Ronald Reagan

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same. Ronald Reagan

War is a terrible thing and if human nature was perfect it wouldn't be needed, but it's not so good people need to stand up for those who are not capable themselves. At the Battle of Fredricksburg in Dec. of 1862 Gen. Robert E. Lee made the following statement: "It is a good thing that war is so terrible or we might grow fond of it." In war we see the best of mankind (heroism, honor, loyalty, duty, esprit de corps, etc.) and also the worst of mankind (abuse, blind obedience in matters of moral failures [Holocaust, etc.], torture, etc.).

Many times we are too hasty to go to war, but once we have our troops need our full support without being used as pawns in a political battle here at home or abroad. Our young men and women are too valuable for that. This OP addressed this sentiment. Thanks lyn for reminding us all.

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#31

Re: Thank You, Vets.

11/15/2011 7:56 PM

Veterans outnumber the civilians in both my mom's and dad's large families. However it is the present day veterans I think about often, not only on remembrance day. We need to do more to support our veterans of the war in Afghanistan.

Thank you to any veterans who are part of our CR4 community! Keep us real.

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#32

Re: Thank You, Vets.

01/10/2012 9:27 AM

Kinda says it all for me:

If You're Reading This

If you're reading this
My Mommas sittin there
Looks like I only got a one way ticket over here
Sure wish I
Could give you one more kiss
And war was just a game we played when we were kids

I'm laying down my gun
I'm hanging up boots
I'm up here with God and we're both watching over you

So lay me down
In that open field out on the edge of town
And know my soul
Is where my momma always prayed
That it would go
And if you're reading this
I'm already home

If you're reading this
Half way around the world
I won't be there
To see the birth of our little girl
I hope she looks like you
I hope she fights like me
Stand up for the innocent and weak

I'm laying down my gun
I'm hanging up boots
Tell dad I don't regret that I followed in his shoes

If you're reading this
There's going to come a day
When you'll move on
And find some one else
And that's OK
Just remember this
I'm in a better place
Where soldiers live in peace
And angels sing amazing grace

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