With the fast approaching Veterans day on Nov 11, it’s only fitting that the Marine Corps Birthday is on Nov 10th. However, there is more to the story and just these two dates approaching. You should have read about the “Fallen Six” here on One Marine’s View and the Red Lion Project. On Oct 24th the Fallen Six were laid to rest in Arlington.
The below is from Mr Logan,the father of Cpl. Joey D. Logan
This is a day I will never forget. October 24th 2013 was the day that a ceremony took place in a very sacred place. Our Fallen Six, HMH 363 RED LIONS were laid to rest for the final time. Capt. Daniel Bartle, Capt. Nathan McHone, Msgt. Travis Riddick, Cpl. Kevin Reinhard, Cpl. Jesse Stites and Cpl. Joey D. Logan were interned together forever. They fought and died together for this country and it is only right and a fitting place for them to spend eternity guarding the Gates of Heaven. For those who have been to Arlington Nation Cemetery you know the feeling that comes over you. It is humbling to look down the rows and rows of markers. The sacrifice made by all who lay here can only be express when one of your loved ones, a hero, has joined his fellow Warriors. As I approached the front gate tears ran down my face. For all who have served the grief and pain cannot be held back. The walk from the chapel down the roads as we followed the horse drawn coffin brought visions of the first soldier placed here. It has not changed in the last 150 years. I can only hope that our nation remembers all those souls and it was not in vain. Semper Fi to all our Marines and God Bless our military. Our men are finally home.
I was stationed at 8th & I Marine Barracks located in Washing DC while not serving in an infantry Battalion. One of the many tasks of officers there is the duty of detachment Commander of burials at Arlington. I felt great honor being the last Marine to salute many WWII and other Marines laid to rest during my tenure then. Arlington has a unique presence to it. Quiet, perfect solitude while being surrounded by those that have given their all filled with honor that no medal could represent.
We finished up one burial detail during a winter month in DC. It was cold, there was snow on the ground and standing in one spot for a couple hours takes focus. However there is nothing that will focus you more during a burial is you standing there facing the heroes family members as the flag draped coffin is displayed regardless if your feet are numb from the snow. We began to depart the area and we noticed a young wife visiting the tombstone of another fallen warrior. She laid a blanket down in the snow and was quietly visiting with her hero off in the distance. Not asking for anyone to keep the cold away, her thoughts and emotions were more important than and temperature on a thermometer. These are the ones, the family members that get forgotten by America. Their heroes also fade into history but at least they have recognition as those being located in Arlington. The family members have to continue through life with their loss. How is that fair? It’s not, not even close. It plain sucks to be candid.
In my “short” career as an infantry Marine I lost (1) Marine in 2003 in Afg, then from 2004-2005 our division lost (223) Marines in Ramadi Iraq, when I went back to Iraq in 2008, we lost (11) from my Battalion, when I went back to Afg in 2010, we lost (12). In many of these occasions, I drafted the condolence letter myself or in the later deployments, I drafted and signed the letters as the Commander to their parents and family members. I hand wrote or typed them to insure their legibility. These were Marines I knew, joked with, sweat with and sometimes even bled with. It never got easier, never. Every one of those heroes was just as important as the next. With that said, think about all of the moms, dads, spouses, wives to be and children that go through day to day without their hero. Veterans Day is important as those recognized on this day, however, remember, for every hero seen either above or below ground, there is a slew of family members carrying around the burden of their loss.
I think Mr Logan captures this above “The walk from the chapel down the roads as we followed the horse drawn coffin brought visions of the first soldier placed here. It has not changed in the last 150 years. I can only hope that our nation remembers all those souls and it was not in vain.”
I can assure you Mr Logan, the loss of your son, your hero was not in vain. Because just as they brought each hero down those same roads over the past 150 years , every living warrior that has served knows that those laying in that special grounds are the reason America is what it is today and for that we can never repay them or their families for their sacrifice.
This Veterans Day, despite what you do with your time off, pat a Vet on the back and remember those family members that have also sacrificed, trust me, they could use a pat on the back as well.
Time for a C-Gar