(Taking Care of Business)
Got back from Norfolk, hid some Easter eggs, smoked some Easter Maduro Cigars and washed the car to only have it downpour on it. (Note to all third world country’s, if you have a shortage of rain and need an invasion, call the Marines and ask for me because it is a guarantee to have it rain shortly after I wash my car!)
Easter was great with a sunrise service with Marine Corps Band, and to the point message. Followed up with a Cracker barrel breakfast the holiday was a hit. Not to fully enjoy Monday off we departed again on the road to Washington, DC. We got there late afternoon and decided to go for a run to the monuments downtown. Not have seen the WWII memorial, that was our target (3 mi each way). Great run and a lot of scenery so my fat butt was happy as the run went quick) We got to the memorial and although somewhat crowded we checked it out and must of stood out as a few people asked if we were Marines and then about the memorial. Running back we blew through the Lincoln memorial (very cool) and then back to the key bridge area. Staying at the Key Bridge area (nice area) there was plenty of restaurants to enjoy. Before we went to eat we stopped by the Iowa Memorial. Regardless of how many times I see it it is pretty cool. I picked a nice place called Orleans steak house to eat at (kick butt prime rib & recommended by Taco so how could I go wrong?).
We began the day at the Pentagon taking care of business (Note: Pentagon is the biggest building in the US by square footage). We began our trek through DC dressed in our “Service Charlie” uniforms (tan shirt & green trousers) and got some stares although there are a lot of “joes” (Army Soldiers in their uniforms/camies in the area. I couldn’t help but to remember Sept 11th and what must have been going on here in this building during the terrorist’s attacks. The picture at the top of this post is of the entry point of the aircraft into the pentagon and where a Marine flag still stands.
I swore I heard the Darth Vader sound track playing as three of us motored through the Air Force section of the Pentagon. Completing our business there I happen to look upon the walls of the section we were in and low and behold there were some of my Marines from 1st Bn 6th Marines which I commanded in Afghani. They had some great shots of them on display with other forces on that wings wall. I started naming the knuckleheads in the pictures to my buddy there and could remember the exact day, temp, and smell they were taken.
Now back in Lejeune, we went and visited the wounded Marines Barracks here on base. There are a couple dozen warriors that are here with the gauntlet of injuries. These guys are studs though and don’t complain. Many nag the Commanders there to get back to their units. One needed his jaw re-broke to begin his recuperation. He told the docs and his Commanders, I can chew, and breathe and can wait on the “re-braking” process. As the docs agreed he was sent back with his Marines in Iraq. This actually is one of the biggest mental contributors to wounded service members. They just want to be with their men and feel guilty sitting on their butts. Just like these studs I met many Marines that were amputees and returned to active duty in country. Its part of the healing process in a way.
Some of the best news though ….. ….the events that were requiring my attendance during the MilBlog conference were moved and NOW I will be attending the event. I plan to be in the area Friday night, hit the Key Bridge Marriot then head over to la la land. So stand by you nasty twelve sandwich eating, pinto driving, pot smoking, flower child, Kerry lovin PINKO’s. Ima on my way to your neighborhood and Im bringing hell with me!!! I’ll be the one with the “See me, if you have a compliant” sign, cigar and in a kilt!!! Swords are optional! Buhahaha!
CAMP AL ASAD, Iraq (April 16, 2006) — Half a world away from families and friends back in the United States, thousands of U.S. Marines, sailors and other service members spent Easter Sunday in a combat zone here. At this airbase in Iraq’s western Al Anbar Province, church services on the holiday which celebrates Christ’s resurrection served as a small break from daily operations and seven-day work weeks for U.S. servicemembers here. Easter Sunday is a chance for Christians to “renew baptismal promises,” said Lt. Cmdr. John T. Hannigan, a Catholic Priest and military chaplain for Regimental Combat Team 7 here. Though liturgy is celebrated the same here as it is back in the States, worship in Iraq for America’s military men and women allows for a more “focused” experience, said Hannigan.“Since many times we don’t have the religious supplies here that we are used to having for religious services back in the States, we make do with what we have and the symbolism seems to come out ,” said Hannigan, a native of Chicago. “It all seems holier because I am a couple hundred miles away from where Jesus walked the earth,” said Cpl. David M. Jeske, a 21-year-old from Auburndale, Wis. Jeske, an ammunition chief for 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, RCT-7, attended Easter Sunday services at his unit’s remote base in the middle of Al Anbar’s barren desert – Camp Korean Village. While some forward operating bases offered Easter Sunday services for U.S. servicemembers today, those stationed in more remote locations in western Al Anbar Province will have full Easter services throughout the week, said Hannigan. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Christopher M. Jack, a medical officer for the Forward Resuscitative Surgical Suite at the Marines’ base in Al Qa’im near the Syrian border, is missing out on two special days with his family back in California – Easter Sunday, and his son’s fourth birthday, which is tomorrow. “I’ve been thinking about my wife and son the entire time,” said Jack, a 34-year-old from Joplin, Mo. “My thoughts are with them now.”More than 23,000 Marines, sailors and soldiers of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force are currently deployed in Al Anbar Province. RCT-7 – a Marine infantry regiment based out of Twentynine Palms, Calif. – is responsible for providing security to and mentoring Iraqi Security Forces in the roughly 30,000 square miles of western Al Anbar, stretching from just west of the Euphrates River to the Jordanian and Syrian borders.