SIX MIDDLE EAST COUNTRIES CAN GET ALONG……IF 5 ARE NUKED.
Red is a color often characterized by violence and bloodshed, shock and awe in real life as well as in art and literature. It often suggests the meaning of courage and sacrifice. Traditionally, officers and noncommissioned officers of the Marine Corps wear a scarlet red stripe on their dress blue trousers to commemorate the courage and tenacious fighting of the men who battled in places like Chapultapec in the Mexican War. In the Corps, this stripe is more commonly known as the “Blood Stripe.” Along with many other items on the Marine Corps uniform the blood strip on the trousers has a significant meaning.
The significance of the Blood Stripe carries on through from previous campaigns to the Marines who have been fighting here in Iraq. Many have been hit by IEDs, shot at and in some cases wounded and killed. They don’t sit on the sidelines, they don’t ponder of “what they should have done” they act and they make things happen. Many people may wonder what of if they made a difference to somebody. But the young Marines out and about don’t have to worry about that because they know they have made a difference. Not on paper, but in person and sometimes in blood. The Marines ”out there” “your Marines”, are “git n” some!
Last Sunday it was a quiet day, weather was nice and then friendly counter artillery began to pound Haji into submission. (this time I wasn’t in the head) Then four enemy mortars impacted just off base with no injuries to anyone. We delivered another barrage of artillery fire to the points of origin of the mortars. Almost simultaneously a small arms attack began off base between a check point and insurgents. It only lasted about 45 seconds but to those fighting it seems like a lifetime. After a lull in the small arms, our counter battery radar identified incoming rounds to our position. The recorded “Incoming” “Incoming”, ”Incoming” voice began to sound off on the loud speaker and those of us outside didn’t hang around to see if it was accurate or not (usually its on the money) and made a sprint for a hardened structure. The familiar sound of “Crump”, “Crump,” “Crump,” “Crump,” increased again off base. Haji is getting brave again and even though the elections were a success the threat is ever present.
Like those in the past who have earned their “Blood Stripes”, Marines out in Al Qaim, Haditha and HIT continue to stay on the attack and in Haji’s face. I recently traveled to these areas and saw the Marines who are taking the fight to the enemy our west. They are defiantly putting a pile driver into Haji’s vacation plans and continue to really ruin their day. Continuous and permanents presence by Marines in villages continues to reassure the Iraqi people we are here for them and are making a difference, and they see it. I shot the shit with a few young Marines who had rotated back from an out post back to a major camp. They were your basic 17-19 year old American kids (man Im getting old) and they were pumped up, motivated and professional. I asked how they were doing and they said they had a lot of care packages and were good to go, had a good Christmas and really liked the Hooters calendars I left them (errrah!). Typical, find a really crappy place put up some plywood and put the Marines there. Yea, we like it too, I know we are sick!
I want to thank everyone out there who voted for all of the Blogs, especially mine during the Milblogs of the year awards. One Marine’s View won the Marine Corps section of best Marine Blog. All the recognition goes to you all. The blog is for you and actually about you and me. I am humbled and very appreciative, Thank everyone out there who voted and Milblogging.com for the competition.
Time for a Cigar!
Semper Fi, Capt B
To give these cache finds some perspective; the weight of these caches is approximately equivalent to five full-size Ford Explorer sports utility vehicles.
A separate operation, Red Bull which took place in the Haditha Triad (Haditha, Haqlaniyah and Barwana) discovered 82 caches. U.S. Marines discovered more than ten metric tons of munitions hidden at 72 cache sites 39 km south of Fallujah during the weeklong Operation Green Trident. First Reconnaissance Battalion, Regimental Combat Team 8 began the operation last week near the village of Al Latifiyah to search suspected locations for hidden weapon caches. More than 1,000 artillery and mortar rounds were unearthed along with scores of rocket propelled grenades and hand grenades. Most of the caches were hallowly buried along the banks of the Euphrates River and surrounding area. The weight of the explosives contained within these munitions is approximately one metric ton (2,200 lbs). The artillery and mortar rounds are commonly used by insurgents to make improvised explosive devices.