Email From Marine Battalion CO

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by tomahawk6, Oct 23, 2004.

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  1. This email gives you an idea of how fed up the military is with negative comments from the press and elsewhere.

    From: Lieutenant Colonel Mark Smith
    It is with the deepest sadness and most profound grief that I must report to you the loss of Daniel Wyatt, LCpl, Fox Co, 2nd Bn, 24th Marines, USMC. Daniel was killed in the line of duty, while conducting foot patrolling operations in Yusufiyah Iraq. Daniel was killed by a command detonated improvised explosive device. He died instantly, suffered no pain and was immediately recovered by his fellow Marines.

    My command security element and I personally recovered Daniel's body and escorted him back to the forward operating base, and then onto the helicopter for the beginning of his final ride home. I cannot even begin to express to you the soul touching sight of combat hardened Marines, encrusted with weeks of sweat and dust, who have daily been engaged in combat, coming to complete and utter solemnity and respect in the handling of the body of one of their own. It puts on display a level of brotherly love you just cannot see anywhere else.

    We conducted a memorial service for Daniel in the battle space owned by his fellow Marines, as well as one the following day at the battalion forward operating base. I have spoken with his fiancée and expressed the sorrow and sympathy of the entire Battalion.

    If I might for a moment, I hear and see some of the media coverage. I hear the accusations and charges. I hear what could almost be labeled as hysteria over the situation in Iraq. Let me tell you something from ground level. The town of Yusufiyah that Daniel and his fellow Marines seized, had not seen government structure or security forces for over 8 months. FOREIGN FIGHTERS, TERRORIST AND THUGS have had free reign and have routinely murdered people in the market for no reason other than one day they MIGHT support a democratic process and speak for themselves. For nothing more than they MIGHT choose a version of religion even slightly different than the terrorists and foreign fighters. They live in squalor and fear. The Marines of Daniel's unit have not had a shower since seizing the town. They have eaten MREs day in and day out. They live a Spartan existence that few can imagine. And, on all my trips to their position for planning, coordination and command visits, I ask them if they want to be relieved. To a man, they look me in the eye and tell me NO WAY. Why? Well, I am not going to soften it for anyone, the primary reason why is to kill terrorists. Please remember, that is what they are trained and paid to do. But, they also tell me, they want to help the people of Yusufiyah. They want to show all of Iraq that they can stand on their own feet, push back against extremism, and with our help live the life of freedom that all men yearn for. Yes, from the mouths of these young and hardened warriors, this is what they tell me. And then...and then...they ask me how I am doing! Un-freaking believable! They worry about everyone else but themselves.

    So believe what you want. That is your right as Americans. But I am telling you, there are no heroes on any football fields, basketball courts or halls of government. There are honorable and decent people all over America. However, the heroes are on the battlefields of Iraq. Suffering, killing and DYING that others might live, and live in FREEDOM. Americans free from terror, Iraqis free from oppression and tyranny.

    I am an under-educated gun toter from Indiana who is just lucky there is an organization like the USMC where a half-wit like myself with some rudimentary combat skills can succeed. But I do know heroes! I am surrounded by over a thousand of them. And I am not the least bit ashamed to tell you I have wept like a baby for Daniel Wyatt. Because when one of these heroes falls, it is if an Angel of God himself has fallen from heaven! I will not profess glory of battle or any other such hype. I will profess duty and sacrifice. Daniel showed us all true duty and ultimate sacrifice. I have no doubt that the instant he died, he was whisked to heaven on the wings of Angels and placed before the unapproachable light of Jesus, who himself said: "greater love hath no man, than a man lay down his life for his friends."

    GOD BLESS AND KEEP DANIEL WYATT, HIS FAMILY AND FIANCEE AND GOD BLESS AND KEEP ALL THE FAMILIES OF 2/24.

    Yours in profound sadness,

    Mark A. Smith, LtCol TF 2/24 Cmdr Mahmudiyah, Iraq
     
  2. I stand humbled reflective before such powerful emotions.
     
  3. Very moving and far more meaningful that Tim Collins' manufactured press release.

    It's a shame that the muppets who govern us probably never get to see items like this - mainly because they can't be bothered or are too busy covering their own backs with unfathomable spin.

    :(
     
  4. A moving tribute to the brave men and women of the USMC.

    Semper Fi!
     
  5. Very touching, very meaningful.

    Like ETA said - its a pity that those who pull the strings don't see it for themselves. The most negative comments I've personally heard of - is for those people, and others who may not primarily share the gallant attitude by those on this battalion.

    My own wishes go out to them and the fiance :(
     
  6. RIP Daniel, I hope you didn't know anything about it when it came.
     
  7. Moving indeed,

    Rest In Peace Daniel

    Lest we Forget
     
  8. Semper Fi, bro.

    Go easy.
     
  9. Hey T6. Solid post. You say it was an E mail. Did it go to the media? Has it been officially released? If it has what is the bet that the left wing tree hugging media will either totally ignore it or drag soundbites out of it such as the 'We're here to kill terrorists' bit totally out of context.

    My bet is that the truth doesn't fit the media plan so it will be ignored. Such is the pity. I think he grossly overstated his poor education. In my experience you don't get to be a Lt Col in the US Marines if you are an idiot.
     
  10. chimera

    chimera LE Moderator

    Collins' statement was not a press release. It was an unscripted speech delivered face to face to the men of his battalion. No original written copy exists (look back at the photos of him delivering it - do you see him reading?).

    You may not like the bloke (and many don't) but it was a masterful piece of speaking at the time.

    What would YOU have said to 600 blokes about to cross the LD?
     
  11. If i can just play devils advocate for a second. Is this authentic?
     
  12. Did a Google search and it came up OK, from marinecorpsmoms.com

    RIP Daniel
     
  13. This email came off a milblog that I find to be a source of good info. Milblogs are the alternative source of info to the news media that like to portray one side of the war. If you watched the invasion reports it looked like we were losing. Thank god for the reporters that were assigned to the combat units because they were a source of what really was going on.
     
  14. Not as much fun as MilfBlogs! :D

    Anyway (leaving aside my smutty comment) it's definitely very poignant, however as usual the spams keep bringing religion into it. The Colonel sounds very common-sensical until he starts speaking about angels spiriting the young lad away to a lovely place etc etc. What a paradox huh - how can such deep thinkers be such shallow thinkers.
     
  15. The US forces are an easy target for our wit and humour. Yet, if any should fall in the line of duty, is there grief any less than ours?

    Are we not brothers in arms

    RIP Daniel