2 More USMC KIA in Afghanistan

#1
The Department of Defense announced today the death of two Marines who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Lance Cpl. Alfonso Ochoa Jr., 20, of Armona, Calif., died Oct. 10 while supporting combat operations in Farah province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, , Kaneohe Bay.

Staff Sgt. Aaron J. Taylor, 27, of Bovey, Minn., died Oct. 9 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to Marine Wing Support Squadron 372, Marine Wing Support Group 37, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.
 
#6
RIP
 
#7
RIP fellas, thoughts are with family, mates and units.
 
#10
RIP
 

mercurydancer

LE
Book Reviewer
#11
jumpinjarhead

Many thanks for telling us the names and home states of the deceased.

I would like to tell you why it is important that you do so, if I may.

A casualty list is just a number, MIA, KIA, it is pretty much the same anonymous statistics. If we can know who these casualties are, then it its not a statistic but a person who we can relate to. Its not just CNN or Fox news, its a person. In recent years on my frequent visits to the Normandy, Somme and Belgian cemeteries there has been an increase in the notes left and most pleasingly, the photographs of the deceased, laminated and left for all to see. Its all very well to look at casualty numbers for 1 July 1916, but if I can stand at the grave of a fallen solider who died many years before my birth and know his address and know the neighbourhood and the street in which he lived and even more to see his image then he is truly not forgotten.

It is a duty to both remember and honour the soliders who have fallen. As I have said before, if the families of the deceased marines can understand that there are many ex-military from the UK who feel genuine sorrow for the loss of fine soliders then in a small way we are maintaining our duty.
 
#12
mercurydancer said:
jumpinjarhead

Many thanks for telling us the names and home states of the deceased.

I would like to tell you why it is important that you do so, if I may.

A casualty list is just a number, MIA, KIA, it is pretty much the same anonymous statistics. If we can know who these casualties are, then it its not a statistic but a person who we can relate to. Its not just CNN or Fox news, its a person. In recent years on my frequent visits to the Normandy, Somme and Belgian cemeteries there has been an increase in the notes left and most pleasingly, the photographs of the deceased, laminated and left for all to see. Its all very well to look at casualty numbers for 1 July 1916, but if I can stand at the grave of a fallen solider who died many years before my birth and know his address and know the neighbourhood and the street in which he lived and even more to see his image then he is truly not forgotten.

It is a duty to both remember and honour the soliders who have fallen. As I have said before, if the families of the deceased marines can understand that there are many ex-military from the UK who feel genuine sorrow for the loss of fine soliders then in a small way we are maintaining our duty.
I concur wholeheartedly. The UK does a much better job at memorializing the fallen in that the initial reports usually feature personal statements from the deceased's comrades and commanders about the dead that help those of us who did not know the person better understand the magnitude of the loss. While it may be a bit too much for some posters on these forums to believe, I feel I have in some way offset, even if abstractly, some of the tragedy of the death by at least thinking of the dead man or woman as a person--not a mere lump of meat and bones, a number or a rank--who had life in all its fullness taken violently away.

All the hopes, dreams, relationships, potential--everything is at an end for those of us who remain except the memory we have. That is why I want to know about the fallen as it is the very least I can do to honor the sacrifice on my behalf, as I firmly believe all honorable combat deaths of anyone on the "side" of my country or consistent with my beliefs are.
 

mercurydancer

LE
Book Reviewer
#14
jumpinjarhead

May I add a positive note?

I am ex-RAMC and I have had the privelege of speaking to veterans of Arnhem, Normandy and Falklands. Prior to the Gulf War, we visited Arnhem and talked with the veterans there. They expected us to do at least as well as they did. That is at the essence of tradition. Another old-fashioned word that should mean more than it does at the moment. I never got within several hundred miles of combat during Op Granby but it definately influenced me.

L Cpl Ochoa and S Sgt Taylor have contributed to the tradition of the US Marines.
 
#16
mercurydancer said:
jumpinjarhead

May I add a positive note?

I am ex-RAMC and I have had the privelege of speaking to veterans of Arnhem, Normandy and Falklands. Prior to the Gulf War, we visited Arnhem and talked with the veterans there. They expected us to do at least as well as they did. That is at the essence of tradition. Another old-fashioned word that should mean more than it does at the moment. I never got within several hundred miles of combat during Op Granby but it definately influenced me.

L Cpl Ochoa and S Sgt Taylor have contributed to the tradition of the US Marines.
Thanks for that-I neglected to close the loop of my comment as it relates to we in the military. Several years ago, consistent with the USMC's penchant for things traditional (I realize we don't hold a candle to you Brits in this regard but we do stand out a bit in the US for that and some other reasons), our Commandant issued an order that now requires all USMC functions (mess nights, dining ins, etc.) to include specifically an appropriate acknowledgment (toast, moment of silence etc.) to those "who have gone before."

At the mess night we have annually of Marine veterans in my area, and in similar functions by other groups or units I have attended, a separate table is set with black cloth and a USMC dress cover (hat) and sword (officer or NCO as appropriate) displayed in silent testimony to comrades in arms who are no longer able to join in such traditions. The second toast immediately after that always given first, to the Commander in Chief, is to "those who have gone before."
 

mercurydancer

LE
Book Reviewer
#17
Jumpinjarhead

A very sensible and respectful action.

As a measure, it takes 300 years to make a tradition (thanks to our Navy friends)
 
#19
mercurydancer said:
Jumpinjarhead

A very sensible and respectful action.

As a measure, it takes 300 years to make a tradition (thanks to our Navy friends)
I know-we are rank upstarts at such things but we do try.
 
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