By SpeyRights
Im writing this reply in outside of kandahar AFG right now. I have seen the US doing a lot of awesome things over here. my platoon went into a village that was completely controlled by taliban, im talking they werent allowed to play music, the tali's would come in andbeat the women,they had a curfew of 5pm, shops werent allowed to be open. but when my platoon whent in there, we fought for three straight weeks, hours of fire fights daily, constant ieds on patrols, my friends getting killed or maimed....but we got them out and kept them out. the first night we were there, all the locals had an afghani block party so to speak, they played music and danced and stayed out til 2am. after a few weeks of fighting us, the tali's said fuck it, we wont mess with that village or villagers anymore. kids were allowed to go to school with out getting beaten by the talis and their books stolen, woman were allowed outside and only had to worry about being beaten by their husbands, and shops opened up. they were so greatful and happy to have us live among them for the nine months. they still bring us chickens and veggies and every once in a while theyll give us a goat and come and eat with us.

sad thing is tho, as soon as we leave here, the taliban are going to take over again, Afghan security forces are not anywhere close enough to being able to control this wild country.

but i have seen some great things here, and im proud to have been a part of it.
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By BaggerMcGuirk
Marine Helicopter company pays tribute to NYC Fire Department By Sgt. John Jackson, Regional Command Southwest

CAMP BASTION, Afghanistan (Dec. 17, 2011) — In an effort to ensure Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron-169 Marines remember why they are deployed, the squadron has adopted one of New York City's most decorated Fire Department ladder companies that was heavily involved during rescue attempts at the World Trade Center, Sept. 11, 2001.

The squadron, which is comprised of AH-1W Super Cobras and UH-1Y Hueys and tasked with providing air support to Marines and their Coalition and Afghan partners, began its current deployment in southern Afghanistan in November.

During this deployment, in addition to communicating with the "Green Berets" of Engine 60, Ladder 17, a company that has been awarded 18 Department Medals for Valor and more than 20 unit citations since 1970, at the conclusion of the squadron's shift-change briefs, Lt. Col. Garrett Hoffman, commanding officer, HMLA-169, announces the name and shows the photograph of a fallen firefighter who lost his life on 9/11. He then ends the brief by saying two simple words: "Never forget."

The squadron also has one additional tribute to the ladder company and to all New York City Fire Department (NYCFD) members, as Marines with the Corrosion Control Section (CCS) developed and painted a mural on the side on a Super Cobra to honor the NYCFD and to help ensure the squadron's Marines and anyone who sees the aircraft patrol the Afghan sky remembers why they are deployed.

"We took an actual picture of the New York skyline prior to 9/11, and then scaled the photo," said Sgt. Micheal Morgan, the CCS noncommissioned officer in charge. "Then we built a model to see how it would look on the (aircraft) and eventually hand painted the image on the actual (helicopter)."

The process took the CCS approximately one week to complete. While the Marines in the section are proud of their work, they understand the importance and bigger picture of the message behind it.

"It serves as a reminder to everyone in the squadron and anyone who sees the aircraft," said Lance Cpl. Jacob Estrada, a CCS Marine with the squadron. "Not only is it a reminder of why we are here, but it is also definitely a morale booster and motivator for everyone."

"Sometimes when you are (working on the flightline), you forget exactly where you are," said Lance Cpl. Philip Shands, a CCS Marine. "Now, every time you see that aircraft, you remember where you are and why you are here."

The mural painted on the aircraft is also intended to serve as a reminder to all Marines throughout Helmand Province of the important role each of them plays.

"Not only does the aircraft represent the New York City emergency responders, it also reminds Marines of what we are fighting for here in Afghanistan," said Capt. Gregory Butler, the CCS officer in charge and a Super Cobra pilot. "Regardless what a Marine does while deployed, whether he is working on the flightline, is an administrator or patrolling the streets, everyone plays a vital role."

The squadron has approximately four months remaining in Afghanistan and will continue to support and pay tribute to Engine 60, Ladder 17 and the NYCFD throughout their deployment as the Super Cobra continues to patrol the Afghan sky reminding Marines of why they are here. ... .html#more
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User avatar
By blumpkin
And that Bagger... Is quite literally... Why I joined the Marine Corp.

Firefighters helped people get out of the first tower before it collapsed,
then were killed after they ran into the second tower.
User avatar
sorry i am late (as usual ) Semper Fi MF'S and thank you
User avatar
By blumpkin
I never want to hear a crazy MoFo that served in fucking Panama apapologize again.

Seriously... How many Panama vets have you met.

Rock the fuck on Flybug.
User avatar
By West Chester
Just finished reading Outlaw Platoon by Sean Parnell. I highly recommend everyone to pick this book up and give it a read to see what our soldiers go through on a daily basis.
In combat, men measure up. Or don't. There are no second chances.

In this vivid account of the U.S. Army's legendary 10th Mountain Division's heroic stand in the mountains of Afghanistan, Captain Sean Parnell shares an action-packed and highly emotional true story of triumph, tragedy, and the extraordinary bonds forged in battle.

At twenty-four years of age, U.S. Army Ranger Sean Parnell was named commander of a forty-man elite infantry platoon—a unit that came to be known as the Outlaws—and was tasked with rooting out Pakistan-based insurgents from a mountain valley along Afghanistan's eastern frontier. Parnell and his men assumed they would be facing a ragtag bunch of civilians, but in May 2006 what started out as a routine patrol through the lower mountains of the Hindu Kush became a brutal ambush. Barely surviving the attack, Parnell's men now realized that they faced the most professional and seasoned force of light infantry the U.S. Army had encountered since the end of World War II.

What followed was sixteen months of close combat, over the course of which the platoon became Parnell's family: from Staff Sergeant Greg Greeson, the wise, chain-smoking veteran who never lost his cool; to Specialist Robert Pinholt, a buttoned-down conservative with the heart of a warrior and the mind of an economist; to Staff Sergeant Phil Baldwin, the platoon's voice of calm and reason, a man who sacrificed everything following the events of 9/11—career, home, financial stability—to serve his country. But the cost of battle was high for these men: Over 80 percent were wounded in action, putting their casualty rate among the highest since Gettysburg, and not all of them made it home.

A searing and unforgettable story of friendship in battle, Outlaw Platoon brings to life the intensity and raw emotion of those sixteen months, showing how the fight reshaped the lives of Parnell and his men and how the love and faith they found in one another ultimately kept them alive. ... an+Parnell
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By BaggerMcGuirk
Another living M.O.H. recipient.

Staff Sergeant Clinton L. Romesha


At 6 a.m., Oct. 3, 2009, Combat Outpost Keating in Kamdesh District, Nuristan Province, Afghanistan, came under complex attack by an enemy force estimated at 400 fighters. The fighters occupied the high ground on all four sides of the combat outpost and initiated the attack with concentrated fire from B10 recoilless rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, known as RPGs, DSHKA heavy machine gun fire, mortars, and small-arms fire.

Staff Sgt. Clinton L. Romesha displayed extraordinary heroism through a day-long engagement in which he killed multiple enemy fighters, recovered fallen Soldiers, and led multiple recovery, resupply, and counterattack operations.

At initial contact, Romesha pushed to the Long Range Advanced Scout Surveillance vehicle battle position 1, or LRAS 1, under heavy enemy fire to ensure that the MK-19 automatic grenade launcher and Spc. Zachary S. Koppes were in the proper sector of fire and engaging enemy targets. After ensuring that Koppes was suppressing enemy activity in his sector, Romesha moved to the barracks and grabbed an MK-48 machine gun and an assistant gunner, Spc. Justin J. Gregory.

Moving through an open and uncovered avenue that was suppressed with a barrage of RPGs and small-arms fire, Romesha grabbed a limited amount of cover behind a generator and engaged a machine gun team that was on the high ground to the west. After destroying this team, he acquired an additional machine gun team that was firing an overwhelming amount of fire into the LRAS 2 from the switchbacks. As he was engaging, an RPG struck the generator and knocked him onto his assistant gunner. He quickly assessed Gregory and determined that he was fine. Not noticing his own wounds, Romesha re-engaged the enemy with his weapon system until an additional Soldier arrived to man the machine gun, at which point Romesha moved back through the open avenue to the barracks to assemble an additional team. Once at the barracks, Spc. Thomas C. Rasmussen noticed Romesha’s wounds and provided first aid.

Romesha assembled a five-man team and instructed them to load up on ammunition and crew-served weapons. While they were preparing, he again moved out to check on Koppes, grabbing the only accessible sniper rifle along the way, a Dragunov belonging to the Afghan National Army. Despite having only a basic knowledge with the foreign weapon, Romesha engaged multiple enemy positions on the north face, including a machine gun nest and sniper position. While continuing to expose himself to heavy enemy fire, Romesha engaged the enemy positions until they were no longer effective.

After engaging those targets, he moved back to the link up with his team. Enroute to that location, he saw three Taliban fighters who had breached the combat outpost’s outer perimeter and were moving toward the laundry trailer. With a sense of calmness that inspired his Soldiers, Romesha engaged and destroyed the three targets with the Dragunov rifle and moved to the tactical operations center to give 1st Lt. Andrew L. Bunderman a report confirming that enemy forces were indeed moving inside the wire.

Identifying the essential need for ammunition, Romesha planned and led a mission to secure the ammunition supply point. Under withering fire and multiple RPG strikes, Romesha pushed his team to secure the ammunition supply point. In an attempt to provide covering fire for his maneuvering forces, Romesha used an M-240B machine gun team to secure a stronghold at a sandbagged position. He then led the team to clear the area support group commander’s quarters, and once the building was clear, he solidified his position to provide multiple sectors of fire to suppress the high ground to the west and the south.

While an enemy fighter attempted to breach the wire near Romesha’s location, a member of his team was shot in the arm, so Romesha returned accurate M-4 fire and threw multiple hand grenades to destroy the enemy fighter. Romesha evacuated the casualty and returned to improve his position. In doing so, Romesha engaged targets and suppressed enemy forces to allow the remaining Soldiers at LRAS 2 and Truck 1 battle positions an opportunity to break contact back to friendly forces. Romesha coordinated and led his men to clear the ammunition supply point and then set up positions to secure it. Once the ammunition supply point was secure, Romesha determined that the entry control point was the next obstacle that needed to be reinforced, because it was the only remaining enemy avenue of approach to the tactical operations center and aid station from the northwest.

As 3rd Platoon provided a base of fire to cover the assault on the entry control point building, Romesha led his team to secure and reinforce the entry control point building using an M-203 and a squad automatic weapon. After the entry control point was secured, enemy fighters engaged with a new intensity, sending a barrage of RPGs and B10 rounds into the building. Romesha informed the tactical operations center that the rounds were originating from the village of Urmul and the Afghan National Police checkpoint directly to the front of the entry control point. Calling grid coordinates to the enemy locations, Romesha enabled the critical 120mm mortars and air support to drop in Urmul and the checkpoint. As a result, more than 30 enemy forces were destroyed and Romesha and his men were able to hold the entry control point. Romesha’s reporting and ability to direct air and indirect fire assets allowed friendly forces to gain and maintain this critical objective.

After receiving reports that there were still friendly forces at LRAS 2, Romesha provided an overwhelming amount of covering fire to allow Sgt. Bradley D. Larson, Spc. Ty Carter, and Pfc. Stephan L. Mace, who was seriously injured, to withdraw from a previously pinned down location. Once the three Soldiers arrived at the aid station, 3rd Platoon was instructed to maneuver and support Romesha’s next objective: to recover personnel killed in action at the LRAS 2 vehicle battle position. Due to heavy fire, 3rd Platoon was unable to maneuver, but Romesha decided to push anyway without the necessary suppressive and covering fire. Under overwhelming enemy small-arms fire and RPG fire, with little support or covering fire, Romesha’s team pushed through 100 meters of enemy fire with few covered positions along the way. Upon arriving at the objective, they evacuated the bodies of two American heroes, Sgt. Justin T. Gallegos and Sgt. Vernon W. Martin. This maneuver, with great risk to himself and his Soldiers, prevented the enemy fighters from taking the American bodies off the combat outpost.

Throughout the day, Romesha understood the risks he was taking, and he knowingly put his life in danger to save the lives of his Soldiers and repel a numerically superior enemy force. Romesha was personally responsible for killing more than 10 enemy fighters with either a Dragunov, an M-4 or an MK-48, and an estimated 30 anti-Afghanistan forces with indirect fire and air support. He also led his men in killing a minimum of five others beyond that. Romesha recovered his fallen Soldiers and preserved the lives of several more. His heroic actions allowed B Troop to reconsolidate on the combat outpost and enabled him to lead the counterattack that secured Combat Outpost Keating.
If you don't have any of the books written about the battle you can go and read about it here.... ... le-begins/

Blump, he lives and works in the fields in and around Minot.
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