Browsing: History and heritage

The U.S. Marine Band is celebrating its 215th anniversary this month with a series of free public outdoor concerts in Washington, D.C.–and a special fanfare by one of the best-loved composers of all time, John Williams. Williams’ legacy of music includes iconic scores for films including the Star Wars saga; the Indiana Jones adventure Raiders of the Lost Ark; Jurassic Park; and Jaws, to name just a few. This year, in honor of the 215th anniversary of “The President’s Own,” the 81-year-old composer composed a distinctive fanfare just for the band (appropriately titled “For the President’s Own”) and directed the…

Daran Wankum of Merriam Kansas has always wanted to be a U.S. Marine and follow the footsteps of his grandfather, reported KBMC 9 of Kansas City. Unfortunately, at age 18 and before he could get the chance to ship to boot camp, Wankum was diagnosed with a massive tumor located in the center of his brain. “I didn’t think at all. I just stopped the car and started crying, that’s what I did for 5 minutes,” Wankum told KMBC. His future seemed shattered because he knew this was a disqualifying factor for entering the Marine Corps. However, the Marine recruiters…

A Marine veteran who helped to make the Wounded Warrior Regiment a reality is championing a new cause: a tangy steak sauce made for Marines. Former Lt. Col. Tim Maxwell, who suffered a severe traumatic brain injury in Iraq and became a spokesman for wounded Marines with similar injuries, recently announced that he was now distributing “Gung Ho” sauce through his website, SemperMax.com, in honor of the Marine who invented it. Seamus Garrahy, a former Marine corporal from Gettysburg, Pa., became a beloved figure in his region for the “Steaks and Beers” meal events he would hold at his farm,…

Our 2011 Marine of the year is making headlines again–this time, for an ambitious project to honor all the fallen troops hailing from his home state. We caught up with Maj. David Cote, a Pentagon budget analyst, earlier this year about his work in support of homeless veterans, centering on the development of an analytical tool to determine risk factors that caught the attention of San Diego mayor Bob Filner and a number of members of Congress. The tool, the the Service Member Attrition Risk Tool (SMART) is now being used by Veteran’s Village in San Diego to serve its homeless and…

Our story about the group installing a gravestone for Maj. Samuel Nicholas, first commandant of the Marine Corps, got tons of great attention online, much of it from people who know their Marine Corps history forward and backward and love it. I hope some of those history-lovers will be able to make it to Philadelphia June 1 for the headstone’s installation ceremony, which organizers say will draw a crowd of “between 50 and 10,000.” That said, the history buffs did raise a few issues that could not go unaddressed in order to keep the historical record intact. The first note is…

Late last year, a sleek monument was quietly added to the Semper Fidelis Memorial Park outside the National Museum of the Marine Corps. Called “Always Faithful,” it’s a memorial to Marine Corps military working dogs, inscribed with the names of each of the 25 Marine “War Dogs” killed during the 1944 liberation of Guam: Skipper. Tubby. Max. “To the Corps they served so devotedly, and to the Marines who accompanied them in combat, many of whom owe their lives to the bravery and sacrifice of these gallant animals, they were truly always faithful,” it reads. The statue is the bronze…

Registration for the 2013 Marine Corps Marathon opened today, but if you don’t have your confirmation sheet by now, you’re probably going to have to wait until next year. The extremely popular and elite race sold out at 2:27p.m., according to organizers–just two-and-a-half hours after it opened. That beats last year’s rush, when registration stayed open for 2 hours, 41 minutes. The race is capped at 30,000 participants, including those lucky enough to jockey for a spot during the narrow online registration window, and those who completed the 17.75K (distance an homage to the year the Corps was founded) qualifier…

If you follow sports on the Internet, you’ve likely heard of Matt Ufford. The Marine veteran has turned his quick wit into a writing career on sites like Kissing Suzy Kolber, With Leather and SB Nation, churning out both analysis and off-color humor from his lair in Brooklyn, N.Y. Ufford has touched on his military service on occasion in the past. Still, his new piece on GQ.com will probably resonate with the many readers here who were involved in the initial invasion of Iraq 10 years ago this week. Ufford was a platoon commander with 1st Tank Battalion, out of…

Like no other officer in a generation, Gen. James Mattis has inspired those around him with his wisdom, candor and appreciation for rank-and-file U.S. service members. Now, he’s planning to retire, wrapping up a 41-year career in which he led Task Force 58 during the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan and 1st Marine Division during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. I examine Mattis’ place in history in Marine Corps Times’ cover story this week. The story is currently available online on Marine Corps Times Prime. Since 2010, the general known by the call sign “Chaos” has run U.S. Central Command, overseeing…

Marine veterans from the first major battle of Operation Iraqi Freedom will meet up later this month to mark its tenth anniversary. Up to 1,000 of the original 7,100 Marines and sailors who fought in the battle of  Nasiriyah are expected to meet up in Quantico, Va. March 23 to reminisce and remember fallen brothers-in-arms. Nasiriyah, fought from March 23-29, 2003, was a costly engagement between Ba’athist Iraqi forces and Marines as U.S. forces forged northward to depose the dictator Saddam Hussein in Baghdad. Casualties included 17 Marines and 11 U.S. soldiers, but American forces, led by the 2nd Marine…

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