Marines Enter 4th Day of Fighting in Marjah

February 16, 2010

US Flag at Half Mast to Honor the FallenAccording to Fox News Radio this morning, a US Marine was killed by an IED explosion this morning in Marjah, Afghanistan. The identity of the Marine is not released yet, pending family notification. Please join me in praying for the family of the fallen. Rest in peace, brother, your sacrifice will not be forgotten.

As Marines and Afghan Security Forces entered the fourth day of fighting, reports are coming in that the Taliban resistance is tapering off, consisting primarily of sniper attacks and a few small ambushes. Most of the fighting is done during the day, since the Taliban lack the night vision capabilities of the Marines. IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) are a constant threat. The Marines have avoided many IEDs by being inserted into the city by helicopter.

An embedded Fox News reporter described the rugged conditions the Marines are fighting in. Recent rains have left the desert sands muddy and difficult to maneuver in. The temperatures are extremely cold, and the Marines are equipped only with the gear necessary to fight. The Marines wear little or no warming layers, and no sleeping bags to keep warm at night.

I heard Shepard Smith earlier today preparing to go on a rant, leading with the statement, “There are those that would want to know WHY the Marines don’t have the sleeping bags they need to stay warm.”

Just as I was mentally firing up a retort, the embedded reporter answered for me, reminding Shepard that these are Marines, accustomed to hardship. The reporter commented on how impressed he was at how well the Marines were handling the cold. He even repeated one of our mantras that he must be hearing over and over: “Pack light, freeze at night.”

This is what it means to be a Marine, to fight in any clime and place. The Marines of 3/6 and 1/6 are making history, and honoring the memories of the Marines who came before us. Semper Fidelis, gents. Keep up the good fight, and come home safe.

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