This Memorial weekend I got it, you have things to do,
people to see. Families will travel, rest will be taken. But for all that is
holy, please take if it’s only a few minutes and think of your warriors who
will and have in the past walked through fire for you and this great

It has been my humble pleasure to serve with some of the
greatest citizens that routinely make the ultimate sacrifice to America and its
people. For you they go into the usually worse conditions, at the worse time
and make the biggest difference. Politics aside throughout the years, your
warriors have gone and did the unpopular, the impossible and the unachievable
and returned with stellar results and then got ready to do it again.

On the flip side of that coin, there is unseen group of
family members that wait, worry, cry, and cheer when they return one way or
another. They are the pillars of strength behind your warriors that lend that
special hand when times are tough, they too must not be forgotten.

Especially after returning after this deployment, I can tell
you with Afghanistan chow still in my gut, your Marines, Sailors, Airmen and
Soldiers are doing fantastic things in that country as I have seen great
improvements since my first deployment there and the best thing, the people there
want us to make  a difference.  Do you get the “stink eye” from some when you
patrol through villages? Sure but in counter insurgency operations, sometimes
its difficult to see who is friend or foe. However, when a local farmer of the
ripe age of early 70s musters all he has to raise his AK47 against an
intimidating scumbag that wants to take his crops and  because he knows if things go bad there is a
US Marine patrol with in ears shot, at that point he himself makes a difference
that has a positive domino effect and there is no mistake who is your “friend “

These types of “game changers” have happened throughout America’s
history in all wars (and don’t forget, we are at war)because of your warriors
being there to make the difference. Through hell and high water, they are
there, throughout the ages. Missing children’s birthdays and holidays, and sometimes
paying the ultimate sacrifice we are there, there for you and this country. For
all that is holy we will continue to serve and “volunteer” as we believe like
all others that have come before us that we wanted to be a part of a mechanism
that will and has made a difference to a greater cause than our selves.
Unfortunately sometimes those circumstances, although horrible and terrifying
and we hope you never have to experience these situations as they cost and
claim America’s most precious resource, your warriors life, we will continue
and will succeed. There is no other option.

Enjoy this time approaching that you will be able to relax.
Do so and simply remember, even if you don’t even know a service member, that
all of us, past present and future are out there for you and this country. The
best part is we thrive off of our successes, are getting pretty damn good at
counter insurgency and guerrilla warfare and quite frankly simply enjoy the hell out of it,
so the enemy is really screwed.

Time for a cigar……for the warriors past.

Semper Fidelis


  1. Maj – it’s been humbling and inspiring to watch through the years as our courageous military brothers and sisters adapt to the changing Middle East enemies and their tactics, not to mention suffering the “guidance of fools” as our politicians put their own career agendas ahead of the safety and support of so many in harm’s way.
    Having just watched the series The Pacific on HBO, my gratefulness for all you endure has increased tenfold. Imagining my Dad and Uncles on those islands was heartbreaking, and I don’t know how they found the will to re-up for the Korean War. Telling my Dad about the show was enough to allow him to share more of his experience with me, and I wish you’d been part of his conversation.
    Gratefully, humbly, and always honoring – we will be thinking of you and your fellow Marines on Monday at Fort Logan Cemetary.

  2. I’ve followed you through your AnyMarine updates, and your blog. You have such a way with words. Your respect for all Warriors and pride in our country shows through in everything you write. Thank you, Major Pain!

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