In Unit Stalked by Suicide, Veterans Try to Save One Another. The Second Battalion, Seventh Marine Regiment (2/7) was deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan in 2008. During eight months of combat, the unit killed hundreds of enemy fighters and suffered more casualties than any other Marine battalion that year. When its members returned, most left the military. Seven years later, at least 13 of the 1200 members of that battalion have killed themselves in the interim: two while on active duty, the rest after they left the military. That is nearly four times the rate for young male veterans as a whole and 14 times that for all Americans. (This story discusses self-harm, suicide and suicidal ideation. Some readers may find the content disturbing.) [more inside]
Marine's One Finger Salute becomes an iconic image in the Iraqi War. Analysis and politics aside, this guy is one tough mother.
President Bush pledged in 2003 that "A free Iraq will not be a training ground for terrorists... A free Iraq will not destabilize the Middle East." This past January, the CIA's National Intelligence Council observed that Iraq had become "a training ground, a recruitment ground" for jihadists. Now the senior Marine commander in Iraq, Lt. Gen. James Conway -- in a statement that has not yet been picked up by the media -- acknowledges that the war is furnishing a new "a training ground" for foreign fighters trained in urban warfare who will export terror all over the world, saying, "But there's not much we can do about it at this point in time."
Above and Beyond the Call of Duty The St. Petersburg Times reported this week that Army Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith, killed in action in Iraq on April 4, 2003, will be posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Sgt. Smith had always said he would give "all that I am to make sure all my boys make it home." The Medal of Honor is awarded "for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty." Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham, killed in Iraq in April 2004 after he threw himself on top of a grenade to protect his fellow Marines, has been nominated for the Medal of Honor.
The first conscientious objector of the war? Marine Lance Cpl. Stephen Funk said he had had a lapse in judgment when he signed up as a 19-year-old, swayed by his recruiter's pitch of new skills, camaraderie and a naive belief that it would be "like the Boy Scouts."
A Letter From The Frontlines In Afghanistan - This letter was read on the Sully and Scooter Show on KOGO News Radio in San Diego. Supposedly written by a U.S. Marine. Don't know if it is real or not.