Saturday, March 17, 2012


I joined the "Fighting Fifth" Marine Regiment back in late 1999 as the Embarkation Chief and was immediately impressed by their illustrious history as indicated by the Honors and Lineage that adorned the Command Post's hallways.  The unit was activated just in time for WWI and have fought in every major conflict since then.  They were (and still are) the most decorated Regiment in the Marine Corps and I was now part of that tradition.

Because I was with the smaller Regimental Staff, we attached to our subordinate unit's Marine Corps Ball celebration in November 2000 held at the California/Las Vegas state line.  The unit was 3rd Battalion 5th Marines (3/5).  This was Jillian's first ever Marine Corps Ball and looked ever so beautiful in her gold gown regardless of the chicken juice splattered on it by a young 3/5 Marine at the buffet line - We joke about to this very day.  I remember the "Dark Horse" Marines being a wild bunch who knew how to really party, but they also trained very hard.  This was pre-OIF/OEF, so the blood, sweat and tears they shed during garrison training will pay off  dividends and carry on their legacy in just a few short years.

Fast forward ten years.  I was the Detachment Staff Noncommissioned Officer-in-Charge of the MASS-2 Detachment (R2) and were collocated with 1st Marine Division headquarters, so we received their all-hands e-mail traffic being on the same intranet domain.  On two occasions during that deployment, I received the e-mail ensured all my available Marines attended the evening colors ceremony held by 1st MarDiv honoring the fallen Marines.

Standing there in formation and listening to all the names of those 3/5 Marines was surreal.  They were mostly young enlisted and junior Marine Officers.  All I could think of was how brave those Marines were and how they fought so gallantly for our Country.  Then my thoughts jumped to the families and loved ones now left behind.  At the end of the ceremony, you could hear a pin drop as all attendees quietly dispersed toward their respective work spaces.

This is a recent e-mail from Suzanne Roach:

"Prayer Request

We are asking everyone to say a prayer for "Darkhorse" 3rd Battalion 5th Marines and their families.  They are fighting it out in Afghanistan & they have lost 9 marines in 4 days. IT WOULD BE NICE TO SEE the message spread if more could pass it on. Nothing in the media about these guys because no one seems to care:

Justin Allen, 23
Brett Linley, 29
Matthew Weikert, 29
Justus Bartett, 27
Dave Santos, 21
Chase Stanley, 21
Jesse Reed, 26
Matthew Johnson, 21
Zachary Fisher, 24
Brandon King, 23
Christopher Goeke, 23
Sheldon Tate, 27

 All are Marines that gave their lives for YOU this week. Please Honor THEM by forwarding this week."