Published Saturday, March 1, 2008 10:14 PM PST
Adopted Marines feel appreciated

The statistics are grim.

The danger horrifyingly real.

As of Friday, 3,973 killed in Iraq, 29,203 wounded.

A group of UCI students who have served in the wars shared their experiences last week at a university forum.

If there was anything close to a consensus, it was that there could be none. They come from many different backgrounds and experiences and subsequently offer varying opinions on the wars.

“We all wear the same uniform, but the people underneath it all have intelligent opinions and shouldn’t be characterized as the same,” student veteran Ben Mayer said.

Still, there’s one thing we can probably agree on, and that’s the importance of supporting our troops.

While we at home grumble about traffic jams, that selfish shopper in front of us who insists on plopping 15 products on the counter in the 10-items-or-fewer lane, or the co-worker who won’t make more coffee when they empty the pot, our troops are over in Iraq and Afghanistan battling terrorists.

Please try to put that in perspective now and again when life’s trivialities get you down.

Of course, Newport Beach residents don’t need too much encouragement in that department. Ever since the city adopted the 1st Battalion, 1st Marines many have gone to great lengths to seriously carry out their obligations.

When two Newport Beach Rotary Clubs held a welcome-back-from-Iraq dinner for the 1/1 last week Lt. Col. Jeff Conner, the battalion’s commanding officer, was sure to thank his boosters for all of the creature comforts they send to the front.

“For those of us who were deployed, on a consistent basis, we were inundated with packages of donated goods,” Conner said.

Good job, Newport. Keep it up!