230 YEARS NAVY BIRTHDAY (Oct 13th)
Today marks a special day for our Navy brothers, as it is their 230th Birthday. Even here in Iraq we pause and acknowledge their celebration with a short ceremony during operations. Traditions are important in the Marine Corps and are as well in the Navy and it is important to maintain them. The Navy plays a big role in the support of the Marine Corps dating back to the Marine Corps birth in 1775. Besides the Navy is always there to give us a ride to war on their boats and they play a very significant role throughout our ranks. In an infantry Battalion they provide corpsmen (Docs) who are very valued men in a unit. They are the guys who will risk their lives to get to you when the words “Corpsman Up” are heard to bandage you up and plug the new holes you received in time of need. They train and experience the same hardship as Marines and are held to Marine Corps standards while serving in Marine units. Chaplains assigned to Marine units are from the Navy ranks as well as Surgeons. Both play vital roles in saving our butts both spiritually and physically and they both seem to be busy billets. The Marine Corps actually belongs to the Navy and is a department of the service. Some will joke and say “The Men’s Department” but in all seriousness they are a vital part of the team. I have a lot of respect for the Navy especially after my last deployment to Afghanistan. I was on the USS Shreveport and as we departed the ship and headed into combat the ships Captain stopped operations and lined our exit with formations of the ships personnel. We exited to the sound of the Marine Corps hymn being played over the ships speakers. That was pretty cool of the ships Capt to do as he had a soft spot in his heart for Marines and he made a heck of an impression to all of us heading into harms way. So to all of the sailors out there, Happy Birthday.
As today ends it has been very quiet as we begin tightening the lasso around the cities providing polling stations. We have had the distant impacts and IEDs but nothing like the previous days. Beginning tomorrow no public cars will be allowed to move at all to prevent SBVIED (Suicide Born Vehicle Improvised Explosive Devices). Could you picture that in any major US city? Here it isn’t an option, as well no weapons will be allowed to be carried within the city by an Iraqi citizen. A household is entitled to one AK47 machinegun per family for use as self defense and it is not uncommon to see them on the streets. To add to the constraints they will not be allowed in public as to aid us in identifying scumbags that much quicker. Many Iraqis are eager to vote in this election and in turn we want them to vote. It really doesn’t matter how they vote in their decision but the fact that they are voting is democracy in action, which the scumbags know that this is the beginning to the end for them. SEMPER FI, Capt B