A Marine who held up his end of the bargain

Discussion in 'Politics' started by carpro, Feb 4, 2008.

  1. carpro

    carpro
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    http://www.philly.com/inquirer/opin...arine_who_held_up_his_end_of_the_bargain.html


    A Marine who held up his end of the bargain


    By Kevin Ferris


    From a State of the Union that won't be much quoted, a line for the military that can't be repeated enough:

    "In the past year, you have done everything we've asked of you, and more. Our nation is grateful for your courage. We are proud of your accomplishments."

    Take the case of one Marine, Sean A. Stokes of California. On Wednesday, his 25th birthday, he will be awarded the Silver Star for courage demonstrated during the hand-to-hand, street-fighting nightmare that was the Battle of Fallujah in November 2004.

    The honor will be presented posthumously.
     
  2. redbelt

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    Thanks for this article, Carpro. While in Iraq, we had a detachment of Marines at our FOB (Forward Operating Base) that did a fantastic job. Unfortunately, One Marine was killed from that group while in Iraq. Marines are a wonderful group of people and it was a privilege to serve with them in Iraq.
     
  3. billwald

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    Cynical, but attaboys of all kinds are a poor substitute for decent pay and benefits. The govt has 50,000 mercinaries (sp?) in Iraq being paid $50k-$100K for the same work and the same danger.

    Rich old men (and the rest of us) are happy to give hero medals for young people who fight their wars for them. How come getting himself killed turns a plain old GI (or cop or fire fighter) into a hero?
     
  4. carpro

    carpro
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    You're welcome.

    I post these article once in a while just to remind us of what is at stake and the price some pay for their sacrifice, while we have petty arguments over the net.

    They don't usually draw much comment.

    But if someone wants to shed a tear, they can shed one for the love this young man had for his country , his Corps, and his comrades in arms.

    Greater love hath no man....
     
  5. Salty

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    Exactly what are those "mercenaries" doing. Or are you talking about support services such as the mess hall, and ect. Are we really sending civilians over to engage in combat?

    By the way, do you know what a GI is being paid while he is stationed in Iraq?
     
  6. billwald

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    > Are we really sending civilians over to engage in combat?

    Wasn't/isn't that the general complaint against Blackwater? Acting as combatants?
     
  7. billwald

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    ?By the way, do you know what a GI is being paid while he is stationed in Iraq?

    About 5% of what it costs the DOD to keep him there?
     
  8. sag38

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    Bill, if you don't like what your military is doing why don't you move to another country? I'm sure Hugo Chavez would love to have you.
     
  9. targus

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    Cynical?

    Yes.

    It be a very heavy burden for you to carry to be so cynical about so much. :tear:

    A Christian should be happy.
     
  10. Dragoon68

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    The Blackwater guys - and others like them - were there primarily for protective services missions - not actual combat with the enemy - although the two can certainly get a bit blurred together from time to time especially in the chaos between the end of major combat and the full restoration of general order.
     
  11. windcatcher

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    Sorry, stupid me, but this thread is so old, that the link doesn't work. This is one very good reason why some content should be posted, even if one wishes the readers to go to the link and find more info.

    So what are we discussing here? The thread content which is lacking.... or the ones who posted?
     
  12. Trotter

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    ^^^ That's why the forum I run has a script that closes any thread that has not had any activity in 90 days. It gets confusing when an old thread is dredged up (especially since the forum in qustion is a technology/computer forum).
     
  13. carpro

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    http://newsgroups.derkeiler.com/pdf/Archive/Rec/rec.music.artists.springsteen/2008-02/msg00247.pdf


    "In the past year, you have done everything we've asked of you, and more. Our nation is grateful for your courage. We are proud of your accomplishments."


    Take the case of one Marine, Sean A. Stokes of California. On Wednesday, his 25th birthday,he will be awarded the Silver Star for courage demonstrated during the hand−to−hand,street−fighting nightmare that was the Battle of Fallujah in November 2004.


    The honor will be presented posthumously.


    Stokes was killed by an IED blast on July 30, 2007, while on security detail during his third deployment to Iraq. His longtime friend Brad Adams also was injured, but survived. Stokes died in the arms of the battalion commander whose life he had saved.



    Stokes' heroics on the battlefield were amply recorded in Patrick O'Donnell's book We Were One and the History Channel documentary Shootout: Fallujah. Equally impressive was his struggle to remain in uniform, to stay and fight beside his fellow Marines.



    Being a Marine was a longtime dream of Stokes', and he enlisted after high school, in the wake of 911. But early on, he screwed up. A family emergency arose, and he went home to help − without permission. When he returned, a drug testdetected marijuana in his system.



    He was busted from corporal to private, threatened with an early discharge, and attached to the Third Battalion, First Marine Regiment, which was headed for Iraq. It was a chance to prove himself. He did.



    During 12 days of urban combat in Fallujah, Lima Company's First Platoon fought house by house. Stokes was on point, kicking in the doors, never knowing whether an ambush awaited.
    He described the job in Shootout:
    "At each house I said a prayer, 'Please, God, get me out of this one.' When I come out of the house, I thank him, light up a cigarette and move on to the next one."



    He was wounded twice.



    The first time was in an alley when his platoon was driven back by a grenade assault. Stokes took some shrapnel − again, with Brad Adams − but he kept up return fire, allowing his buddies to pull back safely. Stokes hid his wounds, fearing a mandatory evacuation. He wouldn't abandon his platoon.



    Days later, First Platoon was entering yet another house. Lance Cpl. Philip Peterson later told O'Donnell: "There were four open doors, a stairwell, and one closed door. It was a black door on a black wall. It was the creepiest looking thing I've ever seen. Stokes and I looked at this
    door, and we both said: 'We'll save that one for last.' "



    But the door opened and an AK47 poked out, firing at knee level. The Marines returned fire, and as the door was shut, a grenade rolled out.
    The blast sent the 6−foot Stokes flying. "It was like being hit with a bowling ball," he said later. There was more enemy fire, more grenades. The Marines scrambled to get out, but another blast knocked Stokes down again. Once outside, the platoon noticed he wasn't with them.



    He was on the floor of the house, firing back at an enemy that was closing in. He ran out of ammo. The enemy was still firing, still lobbing grenades his way. Lance Cpl. Heath Kramer finally crashed through a door behind Stokes, who was woozy and disoriented from the succession of blasts, and dragged him outside.



    Earning two Purple Hearts and the admiration of his peers wasn't enough to clear Stokes' record. A second tour of Iraq brought a promotion, but the threat of discharge remained. He was offered a seven−month extension, with a third deployment, but after that he would be out.



    Gary Stokes advised his son to turn down the extension. "You done your part, buddy," he told Sean. "You don't need to do any more."



    He was taken aback by Sean's angry, vehement response. "I have to support all those guys," Sean told his dad. "We have to support them all. I have to make sure I hold up my end of the bargain as long as I can."



    Stokes didn't want his family to worry, so he misled them about the deployment. He said he would be aboard ship, probably in the Mediterranean. Gary Stokes didn't learn that Sean was actually in Iraq until the knock on the door at 6:30 a.m. on July 30.



    "Following your dreams shouldn't kill you, but it killed Sean. It's really just tragic," says O'Donnell, who befriended Stokes and helped draft the Silver Star recommendation.


    Neither a medal, nor a nation's thanks, can compensate for such a loss or fully honor such devotion and self−sacrifice. At best, we can promise to never forget, and determine to support all those guys, to hold up our end of the bargain as long as we can.
     
  14. carpro

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    BTW Fair use doctrine requires that no more than 25% of the actual article should be posted, with full attribution.

    I don't make the rules, but I try to follow them. It saves bandwith and anyone that is interested enough can read the rest of the article. If it times out and the link stops working, google is usually your friend...if you are truly interested in the first place. That's how I obtained the above copy.

    Just for you, my friend.
     
  15. billwald

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    >Bill, if you don't like what your military is doing why don't you move to another country?

    The US is still the best place in the world. It will not be perfect until Jesus returns.

    My cynicism is my entertainment. It is not a burden. I'm to old to take politic personally. The height of my personal political activity was the Goldwater fiasco and it has been down hill ever since.
     
  16. targus

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    My what an entertaining and enjoyable life you lead. :rolleyes:
     
  17. pinoybaptist

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    Between a member of the military who likely earns less than I do and me not being shot at or having to look at the corpses of people I've killed, and a mercenary who shoots back and gets killed for money and whose services belong to the highest bidder, I will take my hats off anytime for the member of the military.
     
  18. windcatcher

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    I agree with bilwald!
    We tell our soldiers how proud we are...
    We boast of our kinfolk a fighting
    We demand that more money must go for war
    All while our men are a dying
    And then we let the DOD decide
    The private supply of services
    So our debts increase as our deficits bankroll
    WallStreet for additional services.
    So we weep with the family of soldier and friend
    And say its enough for a metal
    And then we applaud the defense budget passed
    That makes a protected rich fellow.

    There is something hypocritical, even bizarre in our willingness to allow people to do jobs which our military can do and has done in the past... and to employ them with better wages and accommodations above that of the soldier who places his life btween foe and us.
     

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