04-18-06, 12:50 PM
April 24, 2006 <br />
Marine News breaks <br />
Moussaoui mocks officer’s testimony <br />
Confessed al-Qaida conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui took the witness stand for the second time in his death-penalty trial...
04-18-06, 12:51 PM
April 24, 2006
Watch list delays reservist
A reservist returning home after eight months in Iraq was told he couldn’t board a plane to Minneapolis because his name appeared on a watch list as a possible terrorist.
Staff Sgt. Daniel Brown, who was in uniform and returning from Iraq on April 11 with 26 other members of Military Police Company, Headquarters Battalion, in Twin Cities, Minn., was delayed briefly in Los Angeles until the issue was cleared up.
The other reservists arrived at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport as scheduled, but instead of immediately meeting their families, they waited on a bus for Brown.
“We don’t leave anybody behind,” said 1st Sgt. Drew Benson, the unit’s inspector-instructor first sergeant. “We start together, and we finish together.”
Brown, 32, arrived more than an hour later. He also had airport trouble when he was traveling to Iraq; he missed his plane then, as well.
“A guy goes over and serves his country fighting for eight or nine months, and then we come home and put up with this?” he asked.
Nico Melendez, a spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration, said April 12 he could not confirm or deny whether someone was on a watch list.
He said Brown’s case should have been easy for the airline to clear up in Los Angeles.
“It should have taken 10 minutes,” he said. “We do regret that an American hero was inconvenienced.”
Marines to appear on CSI
Leathernecks in the Big Apple had their chance for fame during the taping of an episode of “CSI: New York.”
About 50 Marines from 6th Communications Battalion in Brooklyn, N.Y., and 1st Marine Corps District in Garden City volunteered as extras on the show, which was taped at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, a decommissioned aircraft carrier.
Japan’s realignment offer
Japan offered to supply $3 billion in fiscal funds, in addition to $3 billion in loans to be paid back by the U.S., in a bid to iron out differences over its share of the cost of relocating 8,000 Marines to Guam, Kyodo News reported April 13.
The Japanese proposal was discussed during senior working-level talks in Tokyo on realigning the U.S. military presence in Japan, the sources said.
However, the two countries failed to reach agreement on the total of such spending by Japan and decided to discuss the matter the next day, the sources said.
The previous round of talks — held April 4-5 in Washington — ended without agreement on the plan to realign the U.S. troops or on how to split the $10 billion cost of redeploying the Marines to Guam.
Running for charity
Lt. Cmdr. Rick Ryan is on a quest to run 24 marathons, two 50-milers and a 100-mile race within a year.
He’s doing it to raise at least $12,000 for four charities: The Semper Fi Fund, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, Royal British Legion and Childhood First.
“The goal is to do something that most people think is outrageous … to coax them into helping my charities,” said Ryan, who set up www.marathonsforhope.com to collect donations and document his progress.
The 16-year Navy veteran is undertaking the journey in Arlington, Va., while learning Arabic full time in preparation for an Iraq deployment. He’s completed eight marathons since October and estimates that he’s raised roughly $7,000 in cash, as well as close to $2,000 worth of supplies for the four charities.
But as hard as recovering from repeated marathons has been, nothing has been more difficult than getting people actually to donate, Ryan said.
“Eight times as many people have wished me well as have dropped a few bucks in the pot or helped spread the word,” Ryan said.
Corpsman earns bronze star
Despite being critically wounded — including a leg injury that would require amputation below the knee — Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Nathaniel R. Leoncio managed to tend to a wounded Marine when their convoy was struck by multiple roadside bombs last year in Ramadi, Iraq.
For his actions, Leoncio was awarded the Bronze Star with combat “V” on April 6 at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, Calif.
While Leoncio was serving with Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, last October, the Humvee he was riding in was the first vehicle to be hit in a roadside attack, according to the award citation. In addition to suffering an injury below his right knee, Leoncio also had a shattered femur and internal bleeding.
The driver was killed, and three others in the vehicle suffered severe injuries.
After being freed from the wreckage, Leoncio told Marines how to put a tourniquet on his wounded leg. He then insisted on helping his platoon commander — 2nd Lt. Matt Hendricks, also seriously injured in the attack — before receiving more treatment himself.
To access the field dressing in his pocket, Leoncio was forced to roll onto his injured right leg.
“Hospitalman Leoncio, despite great pain to himself, insisted on treating the lieutenant’s wound and succeeded in stopping his bleeding with a field dressing,” the citation states.
“Only after he was satisfied that his platoon commander’s injuries were attended to” did Leoncio continue to give instructions on treating his own wound, the citation states.
04-18-06, 12:52 PM
April 24, 2006
Around the Corps
Compiled from military and other public sources.
Lejeune grunts home after deployment
More than 900 Marines and sailors returned to Camp Lejeune, N.C., from Iraq, where they helped Iraqi security forces’ to stabilize Anbar province, according to an April 13 Associated Press report.
The leathernecks of 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines, spent seven months in Iraq.
Eleven battalion Marines were killed in action, and two died from nonhostile causes. About 100 received the Purple Heart for wounds sustained due to enemy action, according to the report.
While in Iraq, the battalion participated in numerous operations against the insurgency, including Operation Jaws V, in which the battalion launched an offensive against the insurgents’ ability to conduct mortar attacks and plant roadside bombs, according to a March 4 Marine Corps press release.
Second Lt. Shawn Mercer, a 2nd Marine Division spokesman, said the battalion played an integral role in security for the October and December elections in Iraq. He said the battalion also maintained tactical control of most of Fallujah for the last half of its deployment.
Yearlong activation ends for Reservists
The Reserve artillerymen of Charlie Battery, 1st Battalion, 14th Marines, returned to Waterloo, Iowa, on April 13 from Iraq, according to an Associated Press report.
The battery’s 121 Marines spent much of that time guarding prisoners and performing military police work in Iraq’s Anbar province.
For some of the Marines, their deployment to Iraq was their last. The unit will disband in September to comply with a federal base closure and realignment recommendation, according to the report.
Depending on whether they have served long enough, the Marines will have the choice of leaving the military or transferring to other Reserve units.
Lance Cpl. Dustin Wiebold, 19, will probably stay in the Corps, said his mother, Beverly Belzer, who drove from Conroy, Iowa, to meet her son at the airport.
Wiebold’s two years of service aren’t enough to leave the military, Belzer said, adding he probably wouldn’t get out even if he could.
Wingers return from Iraq tour
About 260 leathernecks assigned to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 466 returned to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., April 12 after a seven-month deployment to Iraq, according to a North County Times report.
The leathernecks served with 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing at Al Asad Air Baseduring the deployment.
The squadron participated in Operations River Gate and Steel Curtain, moving supplies and personnel throughout Iraq’s Anbar province, according to the squadron’s commander, Lt. Col. John Celigoy.
Family and friends greeted the Marines upon their return. For those with no loved ones on hand, Marine Corps Community Services provided “official huggers” to welcome them home, according to the report.
Combat engineers build schoolhouse
Nine combat engineers from Marine Wing Support Squadron 472 have begun building a schoolhouse near the Gonzalo Rivera in La Ceiba, Honduras, according to an April 13 Marine Corps news release.
“It’s a difficult location, and we had to improve the road leading to the site, deal with the 45-degree incline and build a 30-foot retaining wall before we could begin construction on the school,” said Capt. Eric Adams, Exercise New Horizons 2006-Honduras deputy commander.
Just getting the materials to the site proved a challenge in itself, said Staff Sgt. Kenneth Cumper, a 472 Marine and the Gonzalo Rivera project manager.
“The biggest problem was pouring the concrete. The local vendor would not drive up the hill,” he said.
The team is about halfway through the project and will continue until the last brick is placed. The two-room schoolhouse is expected to be complete sometime in April, according to the release.
The Gonzalo Rivera project is one of four schools and a medical clinic being built in the La Ceiba area as part of the exercise.