09 November 2010

Mothers that make Marines

November 10, 1775 is a date that many Americans do not recognize as an important date in our history. On this date, a committee of the Continental Congress met at Tun Tavern, in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, to draft a resolution calling for two battalions of Marines able to fight for independence at sea and on shore. Without this branch of our military, our history would be significantly different. The Marine Corps has fought in every corner of the world and in every major war since its inception. It is an organization steeped in heritage and the traditions of those Marines that have fought and died throughout the decades.

From the age of 17 to the age of 22, I was lucky enough to be an active part of this excellent organization. It was only a wonder that I ended up in the Marine Corps. I grew up in the home of a wonderful woman who openly displayed her patriotism for all to see. My mother loved America so much that her favorite colors were Red, White, and Blue. She had Americana throughout our entire house, and strongly cherished the freedoms that we enjoy in America.

Although I was lucky enough to be a “peacetime” Marine, I had the same training as “wartime” Marines. All Marines undergo the same 13 week boot camp where they are trained in weapons, drill, regulations, martial arts, PT, Marine Corps History, and Marine Corps values.

The Marines boil down all of their history and tradition into their core values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment. These are the foundation of a life spent protecting those that are too weak to defend themselves. As the Ned Dolan quote states, “Freedom is not free, but the U.S. Marine Corps will pay most of your share.”

Honor describes the levels of personal integrity a Marine must adhere to.

Courage is at the core of a Marines’ willingness to do the right thing, even though it isn’t the easy thing, and of course, their courage in battle.

Commitment to country and Corps drives Marines to achieve their best.

Almost 4 weeks before the Marine Corps 235th Birthday, on October 14th, my Mom passed away. On that day, the person who helped shape the direction of my life more than anyone else was taken from those she loved.

Honor, Courage, and Commitment are values that I learned to define in boot camp, but after the loss of my Mom this year, I realize that these are values that she has lived by my entire life.

My Mom set the example for me where honor is concerned. She took responsibility for everything that happened in her life and expected others to do the same. She always strived to do the right thing, and there were consequences if I didn’t choose to do the same.

Courage was something she was known for. It didn’t matter if you were the president of the United States, if you did something wrong in front of my Mom, you were going to hear about it. She faced uncountable difficult times, and persevered, which set an example for me to live by.

Commitment is a trait of my Mom’s that I am very proud of. She was completely dedicated to making me a successful person. She worked whenever she needed to, and as many jobs as she needed to, in order to make ends meet. She ensured that I took on many responsibilities at a young age, that I always knew the difference between right and wrong, and what was expected of me.

On November 10th of this year, I would not only like to thank my fellow Marines, but also my Mother, and all of those parents like her, who make young men that are strong enough to earn the title of Marine. Without them, the Marine Corps would be a very different organization, just as America would be different without the Corps.

Happy Birthday Marines

Thank you,

Rob Gibson, Sgt USMC

10 February 2010

Achmed the Dead Terrorist Joins the Marines

Just found this and thought it would be a good follow up to my first Achmed post. Enjoy

18 January 2010

The Gift of Valor

It has been a long time since I posted anything, so I thought now would be a good time.

I just finished reading, The Gift of Valor by Michael M. Phillips. It is such a powerful book about the life and death of a true American hero, Jason Dunham.

I was told of this book by a friend of mine. He was a close friend of Jason's, and after reading the book, I can see why. Jason was an extraordinary person who cared deeply for the Marines around him. Jason's final selfless act was to jump on a grenade during an altercation with an Iraqi insurgent. The book covers many aspects of Jason's life in great detail, including the journey he took after the grenade attack.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone, even if they never served in the military. It is not only the story of Jason's life, but also of the lives he touched. Michael M. Phillips expands the circle of lives that Jason touched with this book.

26 November 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Just ran across this at Blackfive.net (haven't been there or updated my milblog in a looooong time).
I thoroughly enjoyed this post and wanted to share it with you all.
Happy Thanksgiving
Posted By Laughing_Wolf
Given that I may be offline for a few days, I wanted to take this chance to say, and to wish to you and yours a, Happy Thanksgiving.

There is much to be thankful for in my life, and in the world. For all that is bad, there is so much more good. Jenny and I have a roof over our head, a warm place to lay those heads, good friends, a huge number of people we know and enjoy, and we live in a country that is probably the most free -- and in my not so humble opinion -- the best in the world. Perfect, no. Best, yes.

We've just had a major regime change without violence or permanent consequences for the loser. Think on that a few minutes, and reflect on how rare that is in the world. Think on the freedoms we enjoy, and, yes, the price of freedom is eternal vigilance and the blood of patriots. For now, I simply give thanks for the freedoms we have, and that we have people who are vigilant and who are willing to pay the price for us all.

Think of the blessings and bounty we have Thanksgiving Day, and give thanks. There will be time enough later to naysay and worry about the future. For the day, live in the present and give thanks for all that is good and right in our lives.

May you and yours enjoy the bounty and blessings of the day, and have a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving.
Happy Thanksgiving

18 August 2008

Marines Prosecuted in Civilian Court

Browsing Foxnews this morning I came across this article about a Marine (Jose Luis Nazario Jr.) being tried in civilian court for a war crime. Sgt. Gibby has a real issue with this. This can not continue. Most civilians have no idea what it is like in a war zone situation. We have an entire department in the military to prosecute this type of thing. If this is allowed, it will explode into many other cases being thrown into civilian court for political purposes; not to prosecute this in civilian court, but to further political gain.

As it was stated in the parent story:

"This boils down to one thing in my mind: Are we going to allow civilian juries to Monday-morning-quarterback military decisions?" said Nazario's attorney, Kevin McDermott.

This is the history of the law:

The Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act law was written in 2000 and amended in 2004 primarily to prosecute civilian contractors who commit crimes while working for the U.S. overseas. One of the authors contends prosecuting former military personnel was "not the motivation."

Nazario is the first military service member who has completed his duty to be brought to trial under a law that allows the government to prosecute defense contractors, military dependents and those no longer in the military who commit crimes outside the United States.

I understand amending laws if we need to bridge a gap, but put the war crimes trials where they belong which is back into Military courts.
Check out the Full story here.

*****Update, there is a much more detailed account of what happened with this case at WSJ.com. *****

*****Update 2, Yet another update about the acquittal of Jose Nazario from the WSJ:

Ex-Marine Acquitted of Manslaughter Charges
By Nicholas Casey

A former Marine accused of killing unarmed Iraqis was acquitted Thursday of voluntary manslaughter charges in a closely watched test of recent law that broadened the powers of federal courts.
Jose Luis Nazario, 28 years old, had been charged under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act, a law passed in 2000 that extended the jurisdiction of federal courts ...