Browsing: Iraq

A new comic book, set for release Wednesday, will cover Marine heroism from Tripoli to Afghanistan. Titled “American Defenders: The Marines,” it is part of a series published by Bluewater Productions that highlights the history of each branch of the U.S. armed forces. In it, “we find out how the few, the proud and the brave not only fight for freedom, but continue to defend America in their greatest times in need whether it be in the Halls of Montezuma or on the shores of Tripoli…,” reads a company press release. The comic will be available in digital format from…

[brightcove video=”2789177497001″ /] One of the great privileges I’ve had as Marine Corps Times’ managing editor was attending the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation’s 2011 awards ceremony along with our former senior writer Dan Lamothe, whose work a year prior while on assignment in Afghanistan was recognized with the foundation’s first ever Major Megan McClung Award for dispatch reporting. McClung was working as a public affairs officer in 2006 when she was killed by a roadside bomb blast near Ramadi, Iraq. The night of the ceremony, Dan and I sat with Megan’s parents, Mike and Re. It’s with that context that…

Former Army Capt. Will Swenson will receive the Medal of Honor on Oct. 15, more than four years after he and other U.S. forces tried desperately to find and save three Marines and a Navy corpsman who were trapped under heavy fire in the infamous Battle of Ganjgal in Afghanistan. Those troops didn’t make it out of the Sept. 8, 2009, ambush alive, but Swenson has not forgotten them. He invited the families of Marine 1st Lt. Michael Johnson, Gunnery Sgt. Edwin Johnson, Staff Sgt. Aaron Kenefick and Navy Hospitalman 3rd Class James Layton to his White House ceremony, said…

In recent weeks, Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer has forcefully advocated for the U.S. to allow his former Afghan interpreter into the U.S., saying the man feared for his life after getting death threats from the Taliban. Fayez, shown at right with Meyer, is now in the U.S. The Marine posted the photograph on Twitter on Friday, adding a note that showed relief. “Back together finally,” Meyer said. “Fazel is in America.” Fazel — known in a lot of previous media coverage as Hafez to protect his identify — was in the Ganjgal Valley in eastern Afghanistan on Sept.…

A group of Marine reservists are leading a three-day, 81 mile hike in Florida this weekend to honor those who died in the Battle of Fallujah in 2004. Maj. Charleston Malkemus, an infantry officer who fought in the infamous Battle of Fallujah in Iraq in 2004, carries a flag he received from a Marine who was killed in action. He said he now displays it in his company office to remind other Marines of their commitment to uphold the expectations of their brothers-in-arms. And this weekend, he will carry the flag 81 miles as he helps lead a hike from…

Army Staff Sgt. Ty Carter received the Medal of Honor this afternoon, a fitting tribute to a man who repeatedly braved enemy fire in Afghanistan while defending Combat Outpost Keating from a fierce Taliban attack in 2009. Before serving in the Army, however, Carter served as a Marine — and overcame a significant family tragedy. According to Carter’s hometown newspaper in Spokane, Wash., the newest Medal of Honor recipient’s brother was killed by a drunken friend playing with a shotgun at a party in 2000. Carter was a 20-year-old Marine serving in Okinawa, Japan, at the time: The brothers grew…

With a deadly firefight raging, five men hopped into a Humvee and rode toward a small mountainside village in Afghanistan looking for a four-man team of U.S. forces that had gone missing in combat. The possibility that all five men wouldn’t make it out of the village of Ganjgal, in Kunar province, was high. Already, multiple Afghan troops the Americans were training had been cut down by machine-gun fire in a fierce ambush that was launched about dawn on Sept. 8, 2009. U.S. Army officers at nearby Forward Operating Base Joyce had declined to send air support in a timely…

The storied “Nightmares” are set to deactivate this summer after 69 years of service during which the unit’s Marines saw combat in the Pacific, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. Formally designated Marine Attack Squadron 513, the unit which flies AV-8B Harriers out of Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., will be deactivated July 12, 2013 after their most recent deployment to Asia which concluded with their participation in Exercise Foal Eagle. The annual exercise is among the largest in the world and aims to strengthen interoperability between South Korean and U.S. forces in the region. The unit deployed to Asia…

An Iraqi who fled the country over security concerns after working with Marines as a translator for five years took the Oath of Citizenship this weekend and officially became an American. Maher Ibrahim worked as an interpreter from 2004 to 2009 in Iraq’s al-Anbar province. He spent some of that time working with soldiers, but the majority of those years were spent working with Marines. He also worked with the transition teams, which trained, mentored and advised Iraqi national forces and police officers, he said. But Iraq was a dangerous place for translators, Ibrahim said. So he headed to the…

Commandant Gen. Jim Amos and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Mike Barrett visited Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore last week, intent on seeing Army Sgt. Brendan Marrocco, the first American serving in Iraq or Afghanistan to survive a quadruple amputation. As I outlined in this feature story, the trip renewed a friendship between the commandant and the soldier, a wise-cracking infantryman with an (unfortunate) love of the New York Yankees. In December, he became the first veteran of this generation’s wars to receive a double-arm transplant, and he has pushed hard with his physical therapy since. Marrocco doesn’t yet…

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