Saturday, November 25, 2006

Midway May Open to Tourism

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is drafting a plan to allow regular visits to Midway Atoll on a limited basis. The visits could possibly begin in the summer of 2007. Right now the only way for the public to get to the island is to ride with a government worker, get on a cruise ship in Asia, or volunteer to do environmental work for three months. The World War II Battle of Midway is known as "the turning point of the Pacific". Marine aviator Captain Richard Fleming was posthumously awarded the medal of honor for his participation during this battle.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving, Marines!

I want to wish a Happy Thanksgiving to all Marines wherever they may be!

Stay safe, and Semper Fi!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Tornado at Camp Schwab Injures Three Marines

A tornado touched down at Camp Schwab on Okinawa last Saturday injuring three Marines. None of the Marines were seriously injured, but one had to be transported to the hospital for lacerations. The Japanese rarely have to deal with tornadoes. However, this latest incident happened only 10 days after the deadliest tornado in Japanese history when a tornado hit Hokkaido and killed 9 people.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

"Pendleton 8" Marine Sentenced After Guilty Plea

One of the "Pendleton 8" pleaded guilty to lesser charges of to charges of assault and conspiracy to obstruct justice and was sentenced to 18 months in custody. PFC John J. Jodka III is one of the seven Marines and a Navy corpsman accused of conspiracy, kidnapping, and murder of Hashim Ibrahim Awad, a 52-year old Iraqi from Hamdaniya. As a part of the plea deal Jodka will be required to testify.

Jodka apologized to Awad's family and his own family. He also apologized for failing to uphold the highest ideals of the Marine Corps.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

President Bush's Veterans Day Speech

Thank you. Thanks for coming. Secretary Nicholson, thank you for your kind words and for your leadership. Members of the Cabinet, Members of Congress, members of the United State military, all veterans, all volunteers who have sworn to uphold the security of the United States, I thank your families for being here and I thank our veterans. I am proud to join you on this day of honor.

On this day, in this month, at this hour, our nation remembers the moment when the guns of World War I went silent -- and we recognize the service and the sacrifice of our nation’s veterans. From Valley Forge to Vietnam, from Kuwait to Kandahar, from Berlin to Baghdad, our veterans have borne the costs of America’s wars --and they have stood watch over America’s peace. The American people are grateful to the veterans and all who have fought for our freedom.

Since the presidency of Abraham Lincoln, the National Cemetery has reminded our citizens of the cost of liberty. The simple white markers testify to honor fulfilled and duty served. Most of these markers stand over graves of Americans who came home to enjoy the peace they earned. Too many stand over the graves of those who gave their lives to protect that peace. This day is dedicated to all who answered the call to service -- whether they live in honor among us, or sleep in valor beneath this sacred ground.

On this Veterans Day, we give thanks for the 24 million Americans who strengthen our nation with their example of service and sacrifice. Our veterans are drawn from many generations and from many backgrounds. Some charged across great battlefields. Some fought on the high seas. Some patrolled the open skies. And all contributed to the character and to the greatness of America.

On this Veterans Day, we honor a new generation of men and women who are defending our freedom. Since September the 11th, 2001, our Armed Forces have engaged the enemy, the terrorists on many fronts. At this moment, more than 1.4 million Americans are on active duty, serving in the cause of freedom and peace around the world. They are our nation’s finest citizens. They confront grave danger to defend the safety of the American people. They’ve brought down tyrants, they’ve liberated two nations, they have helped bring freedom to more than 50 million people.

On this Veterans Day, we’re humbled by the strong hearts of those who have served. Last week, Secretary Nicholson told me about a visit he made to New York City where he met a group of veterans who lost limbs in this war. Secretary Nicholson asked them how they could keep their spirits up. One man answered, “Sir, it is because we feel the American people are so appreciative of our service.” Many of our veterans bear the scars of their service to our country and we are a nation that will keep its commitments to those who have risked their lives for our freedom. That young man was right -- we do appreciate the service of those who wear our uniform.

To help Americans show our appreciation to those who have served, Secretary Nicholson has asked all our nation’s veterans to wear their medals today. I urge our citizens to go up to those men and women and shake a hand and give a hug, and give a word of thanks. I ask you to consider volunteering at a veterans hospital or a nursing home. I encourage you to work with your local veterans group to help support our troops in the field — and their families here at home.

As we raise our flag and as the bugle sounds taps, we remember that the men and women of America’s Armed Forces serve a great cause. They follow in a great tradition, handed down to them by America’s veterans. And in public ceremonies and in private prayer, we give thanks for the freedom we enjoy because of their willingness to serve.

I thank you for honoring those who serve today, and for honoring those who have set such a sterling example -- our nation’s veterans. May God bless our veterans, may God bless all who wear the uniform, and may God continue to bless the United States of America.

The Marines' Prayer

Almighty Father, whose command is over all and whose love never fails, make me aware of Thy presence and obedient to Thy will. Keep me true to my best self, guarding me against dishonesty in purpose in deed and helping me to live so that I can face my fellow Marines, my loved ones and Thee without shame or fear. Protect my family. Give me the will to do the work of a Marine and to accept my share of responsibilities with vigor and enthusiasm. Grant me the courage to be proficient in my daily performance. Keep me loyal and faithful to my superiors and to the duties my country and the Marine Corps have entrusted to me. Make me considerate of those committed to my leadership. Help me to wear my uniform with dignity, and let it remind me daily of the traditions which I must uphold.

If I am inclined to doubt; steady my faith; if I am tempted, make me strong to resist; if I should miss the mark, give me courage to try again. Guide me with the light of truth and grant me wisdom by which I may understand the answer to my prayer. Amen.

Thank a Veteran!

If you can read this, thank a teacher.

If you are reading it in English, thank a veteran!

Friday, November 10, 2006

President Bush Names New Medal of Honor Recipient

Cpl Jason Dunham was leading a patrol in Iraq in April 2004. While they were stopping a convoy of cars, one occupant started fighting with Cpl Dunham hand-to-hand. Cpl Dunham yelled for his fellow Marines to watch out as the attacker dropped a grenade. Cpl Dunham then put his helmet over the grenade and his body over the helmet to protect his men. He died from his wounds eight days later after being evacuated to Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland.

The book, The Gift of Valor, includes Cpl Dunham's story. He is only the second person to receive the Medal of Honor during the war in Iraq.

Commandant Hagee's Marine Corps Birthday Message

On November 10th, 1775, our Corps was born as the Continental Congress raised the "First and Second Battalions of American Marines." Each year as we celebrate our birthday, we pause to reflect on the Marines of yesteryear who fought in our touchstone battles and forged the modern Marine Corps with their courage, integrity, and undying commitment to their fellow Marines. Each of our storied battles is a link in the long chain that binds all Marines together—from the Continental Marines at Bunker Hill to the Teufelhunden crossing the wheat fields at Belleau Wood. This chain binds us to the Marines on the crest of Mount Suribachi; it passes through the ice and snow of the Chosin Reservoir and the steaming jungles of Vietnam, and it anchors firmly today in the desert sands of Iraq.

This year's celebration again finds many from our ranks serving with distinction in harm's way. As we have for the past 231 years, our Corps is answering the nation's call. I can report first hand that our Marines fighting on the front lines of the long war on terror are performing brilliantly, acquitting themselves with honor, dedication, and dignity in difficult and dangerous environments. All Marines are making a difference. Regardless of where you are serving. You are adding new chapters to the legacy that was earned with sweat and blood on old battlefields. Just as previous generations of Marines shaped today's Marine Corps, your deeds are molding the Corps of tomorrow. Our Corps has never been stronger, and all Americans are extremely proud of your magnificent performance and unwavering commitment to serve our Corps and country. With high caliber Marines like you, our future has never been brighter.

Another irreplaceable element of our success as Marines is the terrific support we receive from our families. Through the long hours, the exercises, and the combat deployments, their support is unconditional and firm. They give us love and devotion, providing us with the strength to drive on when duty calls. Today we should all acknowledge our loved ones for their patient, steadfast service.

To all who have earned the title Marine, to the superb sailors who serve with us in every clime and place, and to our precious families—I wish each one of you a heartfelt happy 231st birthday.


General Lejeune's Marine Corps Birthday Message

MARINE CORPS ORDER No. 47 (Series 1921)
U.S. MARINE CORPS Washington, November 1, 1921

The following will be read to the command on the 10th of November, 1921, and hereafter on the 10th of November of every year. Should the order not be received by the 10th of November, 1921, it will be read upon receipt.

On November 10, 1775, a Corps of Marines was created by a resolution of Continental Congress. Since that date many thousand men have borne the name "Marine". In memory of them it is fitting that we who are Marines should commemorate the birthday of our corps by calling to mind the glories of its long and illustrious history.

The record of our corps is one which will bear comparison with that of the most famous military organizations in the world's history. During 90 of the 146 years of its existence the Marine Corps has been in action against the Nation's foes. From the Battle of Trenton to the Argonne, Marines have won foremost honors in war, and in the long eras of tranquility at home, generation after generation of Marines have grown gray in war in both hemispheres and in every corner of the seven seas, that our country and its citizens might enjoy peace and security.

In every battle and skirmish since the birth of our corps, Marines have acquitted themselves with the greatest distinction, winning new honors on each occasion until the term "Marine" has come to signify all that is highest in military efficiency and soldierly virtue.

This high name of distinction and soldierly repute we who are Marines today have received from those who preceded us in the corps. With it we have also received from them the eternal spirit which has animated our corps from generation to generation and has been the distinguishing mark of the Marines in every age. So long as that spirit continues to flourish Marines will be found equal to every emergency in the future as they have been in the past, and the men of our Nation will regard us as worthy successors to the long line of illustrious men who have served as "Soldiers of the Sea" since the founding of the Corps.

Major General

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

John Kerry Does Not Support the Military

Senator John Kerry, while addressing some students said that they "make an effort to be smart" they will do well, otherwise they will get "stuck in Iraq."

How can a U.S. Senator show such utter contempt and disregard for the American military?!? Kerry at first said that it was a joke aimed at President Bush however it certainly doesn't seem in any way like a joke about "W". He has now issued an apology which doesn't even seem sincere. I think that he is only sorry that his true feelings were revealed. Time to step down Mr. Kerry.

See Kerry's comments at YouTube.