Obama administration bigwigs are falling all over themselves to denounce, condemn, lament, and apologize for the unfortunate behavior of a few Marines in Afghanistan last year. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta condemned the action as not just deplorable but “utterly deplorable.” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed not just dismay but “total dismay.”
When Jews begin their Hanukkah celebrations this week, they will commemorate a 2,200-year old revolt led by Judah Maccabee against a Greek empire attempting to crush the Jewish faith. For some, the holiday holds an added resonance, linking their military service to one of the greatest Jewish warriors of all time.
These are the Jews of the United States Marine Corps.
The Military Times reports that President Obama will award a medal of honor to former Marine Dakota Meyer:
Dakota Meyer was contacted by President Obama on Monday, according to sources with knowledge of the award. He will be the first living Marine recipient of the nation’s highest award for valor since now-retired Sgt. Maj. Allan Kellogg received the medal for actions 41 years ago in Vietnam....
Staff Sgt. Jason Rogers, of the United States Marine Corps, was killed in combat earlier this month in Afghanistan. A heartbreaking YouTube video of the funeral procession in Brandon, Mississippi (located in Rankin County) has been posted:
An absolutely must watch video today -- Corporal William Lottering, USMC by way of South Africa, gives a tour of the schoolhouse in Garmsir, Afghanistan. The headmaster of the school fled the school and didn't come back to teach until the Marines arrived and started providing security. When the Marines arrived, their were just over a hundred students. Now they're educatiing 366 kids. Most are between eight and 12, but some trying to learn to read and write are as old as 22.
In the past four years, administrations of both parties have had to surge ground troops to war theaters in order to make success possible in missions central to the national security of the United States. Just last week, the Obama administration announced an additional 1,400 Marines would be deployed to southern Afghanistan to help secure the progress the surge has achieved there.
There’s been some hyperventilating among conservatives about the effects on the military of repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. It’s going to be amazingly difficult to implement, some say. It could well be the end of the U.S. military as a feared fighting force. It’s just another step in the decline of the West.
At today's Senate hearing, three of the four service chiefs expressed opposition to repealing the Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) policy on gays in the military. "My recommendation is that we should not implement repeal at this time," said Marine Corps commandant General James F. Amos (watch his opening statement here).
Excerpts of remarks by Marine Lt. Gen. John F. Kelly to the Semper Fi Society of St. Louis, November 13, 2010. His son, Marine 1st Lt. Robert Michael Kelly, 29, was killed in action November 9, 2010, in Sangin, in southern Afghanistan, while leading his platoon on a combat patrol.
TWS pays tribute not only to all our veterans but to those now in the midst of the fight--here, for example, is an article about the Marine battalion (mentioned yesterday here) facing a fierce fight in northern Helmand:
CAMP PENDLETON — Maj. Gen. Richard P. Mills, commander of U.S. and NATO forces in southwestern Afghanistan, said Wednesday that Camp Pendleton’s 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment drew one of the toughest assignments in Marine Corps history when it was sent in October to Sangin, a strategic crossroads town in Helmand province.