Posts Tagged ‘Marine’
Thank you for your service Rex, Take a Break K9, Job Well Done ♥
“Unfortunately today at 10:56am Rex passed away. I was faced with the decision that no pet owner wants to hear, but I know I made the right choice. This is all very sudden and thankfully he did not suffer for long, this all came about late last night. I am so grateful for the last 8 months I got to spend with my partner & my best friend. Rex got to swim in a pool and play with my other dogs. He got to roam the yard & bark at deer, play with as many toys as he wanted all day everyday, sleep in a cozy bed next to me every night, chase and eventually make friends with my 2 cats, enjoy & play in his first snowfall…and so much other great stuff that he would have never had the chance to do if he was never retired. He knew I was with him the whole time and I laid next to him & held him & spoke to him & he was at peace in the end. He is now my guardian angel…even though he already was. So thank you to everyone who supported me & made it possible for me to spend those precious 8 months with my best friend. He was one hell of a dog, one tough ass Marine, and one very special soul. He will no doubt be greatly missed & never forgotten.”
If you haven’t heard of Megan Levy and Sgt Rex, read this:
Megan went to Paris Island for basic training, signed up for the military police and was accepted into the K-9 unit, where she was paired with Rex, who had been trained both to sniff out bombs and attack. They were deployed to Iraq, in Fallujah, for seven months in 2005, and deployed again to Ramadi in May, 2006. Bill Leavey, a Bronx-born Teamster in the theatrical business and longtime Daily News reader, wrote a letter to Bill Gallo about his daughter the Marine, sending along a photo of Megan and Rex.
Gallo was so touched he drew a cartoon of them and sent the original to the Leaveys in the Rockland town of Valley Cottage, where it now hangs in the Leavey living room.
Rex’s training taught him to lie down whenever he sniffed any of the ingredients of an explosive. Megan and Rex went on hundreds of missions, tethered to each other with a cord. Each time Rex lay down, Leavey would call the bomb squad. On Sept. 4, 2006, Leavey and Rex set out from the base, ahead of five Humvees, clearing an area that had been unoccupied. Rex found four bombs along the road in short order. Four hours into the mission, Leavey, armed with an M16 rifle and a 9-mm pistol, approached an intersection. Leavey and Rex kept walking, but before Rex could sniff anything out, the enemy set off a bomb via a remote blasting box, Leavey and Rex taking a direct hit, getting thrown 10 feet and winding up in a roadside ditch, still tethered, somehow alive.
A Marines explosives expert told Leavey, “You are lucky. They buried it too deep. The ground took the majority of the shrapnel and blast that was meant for you.”
Leavey was airlifted to a hospital in Baghdad. She had suffered a traumatic brain injury and hearing loss from an exploded eardrum. Rex suffered a shoulder injury and his own hearing loss. They flew back to Camp Pendleton. Leavey was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and began treatment. She received her Purple Heart in a plastic case and put it by her bedside in her Camp Pendleton, Calif. barracks. She went out one day and came back to find the Purple Heart stolen.
She never got it back.
“I can’t believe somebody would do that,” Bill Leavey said.
With under a year left in her hitch, Megan Leavey submitted paperwork to adopt Rex as her own pet. Her commanding officer said it wasn’t possible yet, as Rex was still working, not ready to be retired. At the end of her tour in 2007, Megan packed up her belongings and went to see Rex in the kennel. She wished she could convey all she felt to him. She started to cry.
“I hope I see you again,” Megan told Rex.
So sad just before Christmas, but if God lets dogs in Heaven, Rex is helping guard the gates.
The USS San Diego is the fourth US Navy ship to be named after the Navy town of San Diego, California. LPD-22 is capable of hauling two LCACs, plus a fully equipped Marine battalion and has a crew of 361 officers and enlisted personnel.
From Channel 10 in San Diego:
The amphibious transport dock USS San Diego was the first with the moniker of “America’s Finest City” to be stationed here. The ship bears Navy number LPD-22.
“With today’s ceremony, the Navy will commission the fourth ship to bear the name USS San Diego. From what I’ve been told, the ship being commissioned today is the most advanced amphibious ship in the world,” Mayor Jerry Sanders said. He said the city’s relationship with the Navy stretched back to 1921, when a Navy repair base was established.
Sanders presented the ship’s officers and the crew with the key to the city, “in honor of welcoming America’s finest ship to America’s Finest City.”
The commissioning ceremony is a naval tradition and historic event for a ship, marking the moment a new craft is placed in active service in the fleet.
Adm. Mark Ferguson, the vice chief of naval operations, said San Diego had been a great home to the United States Navy. He said expectations for the ship were high.
“The USS San Diego joins a Navy that has never been more in demand, never more needed and essential to ensure that our nation retains command of the seas,” Ferguson said.
The 684-foot long San Diego, the sixth ship in the San Antonio class, had its keel laid on May 23, 2007, at the Huntington Ingalls Shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss. It was christened June 12, 2010, and delivered to the Navy Dec. 19, 2011.
The ship’s sponsor is Linda Winter, wife of former Secretary of the Navy Donald Winter. She gave the command to “Man our ship and bring her to life.”
The San Antonio class ship is designed to carry landing craft, fighting vehicles, helicopters and personnel. The ships have more capacity than their predecessors and use “stealth” technology that includes the shape of the hull and its superstructure. It is being called the most advanced amphibious ship in the world.
“Look at the size of it!” said veteran George Horton. “How would you like to paint it? My God.”
Horton, 88, has seen the ships grow over the years. Horton joined the Navy in 1942 and served on an older USS San Diego during World War II, just after his 17th birthday.
“Oh, this ship is so magnificent,” Horton said through tears. “[I] waited 60 years for this.”
Horton’s heart seemed to swell with pride as he looked up at the new USS San Diego.
“I just want to see this go to sea and let them know that whenever they release the anchor or let the lines go that my shipmates and I are going with them,” Horton said. “They treat me like a member of the ship and it’s really touching.”
The San Diego’s Facebook page is here, and if you live there, you can cheer them on personally.
From the US Marines Facebook page:
Last year, more than 30,000 young Americans became U.S. Marines. They did it through the efforts of their drill instructors. Watch what it takes to make a Marine.
Like their Facebook page. Don’t want these guys mad at ya.
Oh, and check out these teachers and counselors from Wisconsin who flew to California to experience Marine boot camp first hand:
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — When high school counselors tour colleges, they step into the shoes of a student. However, college isn’t the only option for graduates. Many are called to join the military. FOX6 News traveled with a group of educators as they stepped into the boots of Marines-in-training to get a glimpse of what boot camp is like.
While it takes years to become a teacher, it takes just 13 weeks to become a U.S. Marine. For three days, educators were able to experience first hand the extreme difference between the two sets of training.
Two teachers from Wilmot, one from Waterford, counselors from Racine and Cudahy, plus one Menomonee Falls principal went on the trip of a lifetime. They traveled into the field of Marine Corps boot camp. The mission was to experience first hand what it takes to earn the title ofU.S. Marine.
“The process essentially hasn’t changed in over 200 years, but there’s a lot of fallacies and misconceptions out there on how Marines are made, and what we do here on the dept. We need to educate the educators. They need to see what we’re really like. We’re not the stereotypical Marines that you might see in the movies,” Marine Sgt. Major Peter Siaw said.
Marines may be the country’s first line of defense, but teachers are on the front lines, helping the nation’s youth decide their future. “I’ve talked to every single student about what they’re looking for, and military is always an option,” Horlick High School counselor Kate Kulinski said. “It’s kind of hard to talk to them when you really don’t know exactly what it is they’re going to be doing,” Cudahy High School counselor Amy Oost said.
- Upstate youth, future Marines, preview ‘Boot Camp’ (dvidshub.net)
- Wisconsin educators travel to CA for Marine Corps boot camp (fox6now.com)
UPDATE: The GySgt is Brian Walgren, and the backstory is here:
Times were tense before the initial February assault on Marjah, Afghanistan. A narcotics hub and Taliban stronghold, it was expected to be booby-trapped with improvised explosive devices and filled with insurgents waiting for a fight.
Obviously, the Corps took control of Marjah within days. It’s still a dangerous place, but one where Marine officials say they see hope, at least.
Before the assault, Gunnery Sgt. Brian Walgren, the company gunny for Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 6th Marines, fired up his troops with a gritty, heartfelt speech.
In many ways, it shows the best of the Corps. Occasionally profane but filled with bravado and pride, it it was delivered to ready 1/6′s Marines for a battle in which not everyone would come home alive.
Seeking a good way to mark today’s 235th Marine Corps Birthday, I sought out those involved in the video above. It was created by Cpl. Charles Mabry, a Marine who was attached to 1/6 to record history for Combat Camera. Gunny Walgren didn’t know it at the time, but Mabry recorded the speech, and posted it in March against video of a small, white puppy that wandered up to 1/6 Marines in Afghanistan in January.
Reached for comment last week, Walgren said the speech was “never supposed to be caught on camera.” He acknowledged their may be some benefit to the Corps from the video being seen so many times, but deflected attention to his 1/6 Marines, praising them for their professionalism and bravery.
“The fact that it’s on YouTube, there’s nothing I can do about that,” he said. “That speech was for them. That was our moment.”
Corpsmen attached to the Marines from Regimental Combat Team (RCT) 8 from Camp Lejeune N.C. getting their ANA counterparts spun up with the Combat Lifesaver skills they’ll need when they’re on their own.
- Navy corpsmen aid Afghan police in medical training (waronterrornews.typepad.com)
- Corpsmen teach Afghan soldiers skills to save lives in combat (waronterrornews.typepad.com)
- Looking back on USMC thanksgivings, reminding us of things for which we should be grateful (fabiusmaximus.wordpress.com)