View Full Version : Cpl. re-enlists right after bomb shatters leg

07-03-07, 07:20 PM
Cpl. re-enlists right after bomb shatters leg
By John Hoellwarth - Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday Jul 3, 2007 16:28:29 EDT


Sgt. Andy Hurt / Marine Corps
Cpl. Gareth Hawkins, 23, takes his oath of enlistment from a casuatly litter. Hawkins' leg was shattered when a roadside bomb hit his vehicle. He is a member of 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, currently conducting counter-insurgency operations in Iraq's Anbar province with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

A corporal refused to be medically evacuated before he re-enlisted in the surgical station after a massive roadside bomb hit his vehicle near Karmah, Iraq, shattering his right leg.

Lying on a stretcher with his right hand raised, Cpl. Gareth Hawkins, with 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, took the oath of enlistment with the backdrop of fellow leathernecks whispering “[expletive] motivating, man…,” and “that’s crazy,” according to a June 29 Marine Corps news story.

Hawkins, in the news story, was quoted as saying he re-enlisted at that moment “cause it’s motivating. I was going to re-enlist anyway, this is what I wanted to do.”

He was conducting counter-insurgency operations the morning of June 29 with Battalion Landing Team 3/1’s Lima Company, when the bomb hit the vehicle, wounding Hawkins and two other Marines. Hawkins was ready to be flown out for medical care when he demanded to be re-enlisted by battalion staff, more than eight miles away.

“Hawkins just got hit in a major blast that could’ve killed him,” 1st Sgt. Gary Moran was quoted as saying. “And, he said, ‘First sergeant, I don’t want to fly out … I want to go to [the Combat Post] first.’ “

Hawkins’ platoon commander, 1st Lt. Warren Frank, read the oath to the corporal in the packed surgical area. After the abbreviated ceremony, Hawkins was immediately carried out and evacuated.

“This Marine’s decision to re-enlist [under these circumstances] embodies our core values of honor, courage and commitment,” Sgt. Maj. Carlton Kent, sergeant major of the Marine Corps, said in a written statement. “This Marine is truly the backbone of our Corps. It’s because of Marines like Cpl. Hawkins that [the Corps’] war fighting legacy will continue well into the future.”

Hawkins is one of 12 leathernecks with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit who have re-enlisted since the unit deployed from San Diego aboard the ships of the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group on April 10.

The unit’s career retention specialists are quick to add that “many more re-enlistments are pending,” so there’s no telling what the final tally will be by the time the unit returns home to Camp Pendleton, Calif., MEU spokeswoman Capt. Pamela Marshall said.

No further updates on Hawkins’ status were available as of Tuesday afternoon.


07-03-07, 08:42 PM
:flag: SEMPER FI. MARINE!!!!

THAT one brought the mist to my eyes. My God, what great young Marines we are blessed to have to watch over us!

Bless you Cpl. Hoellwarth, and have a speedy recovery. You are truely an inspiration to those past, present, and future!! :marine:

Sgt Leprechaun
07-03-07, 08:42 PM
THAT is highly motivating!!!! Semper Fi, Devil!

07-04-07, 08:41 PM
Ooh-raw Marine ! Our Prayers Are Withyou !

07-07-07, 02:14 AM
talk about motivating!!