Marines have the scumbags on the run. Between fighting in the streets and helping Iraqi citizens they learn to adapt to their environment. As a blind man learns to hear better, Marines learn new senses that save lives both theirs and the Iraqi’s

<p><span style="color: #000000;font-size: 0.6em;"><p><span style="FONT-SIZE: 8.5pt; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Arial"></span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal" style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"></p></span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal" style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto"><span style="COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Marines from 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion kicked over the hornet’s nest during Operation Rubicon in <place w:st="on"><city w:st="on"><p>Mushin</p></city><p>, </p><country-region w:st="on"><p>Iraq</p></country-region></place>, west of Habbaniyah. What they found underneath was a lot deadlier than a stinger. <br /><br />They battled insurgents in running gunfights lasting nearly an entire day and scored hundreds of weapons finds in a several-day operation.<br /><br />Recon Marines, working in support of 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 5, uncovered hundreds of weapons, artillery and mortar rounds, improvised explosive device-making material, small arms and ammunition. <br /><br />In all, they recovered more than 500 mortars rounds, nearly 100 artillery rounds, more than 130 rocket-propelled grenades, more than 120 grenades, 22 mines, 10 mortar tubes, 20 rifles and machine guns, 18 sets of body armor and various other items including binoculars and bayonets.<br /><br />“This area was definitely an insurgent stronghold,” said Cpl. Brandon M. Stair, a 25-year-old team leader from </span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal" style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto"><place w:st="on"><city w:st="on"><p><span style="COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Utica</span></p></city><p><span style="COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">,<state w:st="on"><p>Ohio</p></state></span></p></place><span style="COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">, assigned to the battalion’s B Company. “They had stuff for the long fight and they had stuff for tomorrow. There were initiator systems ready to go.”<br /><br />Recon Marines found themselves in the thick of the hive from almost the moment they set foot into their operating zone. <br /><br />Soon after inserting, they found a lone berm, which Marines scanned, according to Stair. They got a hit indicating something was buried underneath. They didn’t dig far to find buried weapons.<br /><br />“It was big,” said Sgt. Joshua D. Cross, a 26-year-old team leader from <place w:st="on"><city w:st="on"><p>Forestville</p></city><p>, </p><state w:st="on"><p>N.Y.</p></state></place>“It was about 12-feet long and two-feet wide. It had a disgusting amount of stuff.”<br /><br />Among other weapons, Marines uncovered rocket-propelled grenades and a complete mortar system at the first cache site. It was a sign of things to come.<br /><br />Gunnery Sgt. Kenneth A. Westgate, a platoon sergeant for B Company, said all his team leaders are second-tour veterans for <country-region w:st="on"><place w:st="on"><p>Iraq</p></place></country-region> . They’ve learned to read the land and find the sites that harbor weapons caches. Their experience paid out.<br /><br />“The whole platoon can walk and pick out sites,” said Westgate, a 35-year-old from <place w:st="on"><city w:st="on"><p>East Wareham</p></city><p> , </p><state w:st="on"><p>Mass.</p></state></place></span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal" style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><span style="COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">“They’ve gotten to that level of ability where about 50 percent of the time, they’re right.”</span><span style="COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: &quot;Trebuchet MS&quot;"></span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal" style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><p><span face="Times New Roman"> </span></p></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"></p>


  1. You know where I work Capt… know the appreciation we have for those we stand for guerney-side. Each time I read a post of the boys working, I think, “thank you for clearing that”. Thank you for doing that for me (and for your brothers & sisters coming up behind you). Have read many first-hand stories, most have made my hair stand on end. So that thanks is also for doing so well the work so hard and so rough. Thanks from those of us back here sheltered and appreciative.

  2. I get chills just thinking about how dangerous this work is and how brave our Marines are.They are a wonder and always will be.

  3. What a wonderful job our boys and girls do when left to their own devices. But what the hell, is there no embedded journalist there to report on this victory. I mean come on, is not all of American media just waiting with baited breath to report on such success. I fully expect to hear a full and thorough report from Ted Koppel on a commentary for Morning Addition. Maybe even Cokie Roberts and Daniel Shcorr will back him up. And of course the capper will be veteran “Nightline” correspondent Dave Marash’s report from his new anchor job at the totally reliable Al Jazeera. Isn’t it a reasonable assumption that this would at least have passing mention on the 5 o’clock news?
    Oh…… I forgot……. The only news fit to report is that which conforms to an incessant fixation of “body counts!” Because as we all know, a total obsession with body count, even one which pales in comparison to the death which will occur on this nations freeways this year, is the only thing worth talking about in a war whose result will have the most impact on our Nation for this entire century!
    Nuff Said.

  4. The work these young Marines do day in & day out… tour in & tour out… continues to amaze me. We have an amazing generation of young VOLUNTEERS in our midst. Young men and women who run toward the danger to protect fellow human beings— instead of retreating from it. I have the good fortune of knowing just a few of them and am truely humbled by their self-sacrafice and maturity. The extrordinary lives of our Marines need to be told again and again. Thanks for doing just that. Beth Lamm

  5. A tough job our Marines are doing everyday with expertise. This story is what the American people need to see. Nice work gentlemen, you are in my prayers!

  6. That seems like an odd thing to say LoveMyMarine. Why do you feel this way? What specifically are do you find embarrassing and how do you mean that it is “a bit much”? What are your specific concerns?

Leave a Reply