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 18 Americans were killed in Afghanistan in the last four days of August, 2010

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LeftyMike
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PostSubject: 18 Americans were killed in Afghanistan in the last four days of August, 2010   9/2/2010, 21:47

KABUL, Afghanistan, Aug. 31 (UPI) -- Two roadside bombings in eastern Afghanistan killed four U.S. service members. Since Saturday, 18 Americans have been killed in Afghanistan.

Every time I read such a headline, the clinical way it's written, the matter of fact presentation, it makes me think of what is unsaid: What really happened in that battle, the fear, the bravery, the inevitability. Whatever your experiences have been so far in life, whatever you may like to talk to a buddy about, but feel you can't or would find it uncomfortable to tell him about...dismiss that. What is important is that you don't "settle." Don't try and find meaning in things that have no meaning. I've been alone most of my life, my dad ran out when I was three. however, I've never been lonely. I didn't know who I was, but I knew I was "somebody." I knew I had a purpose. The door wasn't open, but I kept looking for a crack and the doorstop I needed to hold it open so I could pass through to the other side. On the bus to Le Jeune that hot summer day, the man who was to be my best friend from then on, sat next to me and extended his hand. For the first time I looked a man square in the eye. 30 years later I remember those two scared 19 year olds and where we've been and what we've done in those ensuing years. No regrets. I'm not sure I found my place, but I have two sons and a handful of buddies who share this place . I'm happy, if not content.
We all think about what and who we've lost or what might or should have been, but, as every operative knows, there's plenty of time to think about all that after the mission is over. You know what your mission is. Once that's complete if you need my help in finding your place, you don't even have to ask. No Marine ever said "no" to a buddy in need. No man left behind. I found my place. Wherever you are, i know you will find yours too.
Peace at Last
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PostSubject: Re: 18 Americans were killed in Afghanistan in the last four days of August, 2010   9/3/2010, 10:56

well put. I think about lost friends everyday and of course it gets me in the dumps. Have to try and stay positive and know that more good times are ahead.
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Victor Quinn
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PostSubject: Re: 18 Americans were killed in Afghanistan in the last four days of August, 2010   9/4/2010, 01:41

Michael that was beautifully put. Admin, a simple but meaningful response. What a thing.
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PostSubject: Tank Marines Work Hard, Stay on Track    9/17/2010, 20:22

By Cpl. Sean P. Cummins, Regimental Combat Team 5
Heaving heavy tanks over miles and miles of rough terrain means that the tankers and tank mechanics in western al-Anbar province, Iraq, have their work cut out for them when it comes to keeping their vehicles running.
The Marines of 3rd Platoon, Alpha Co., 2nd Logistical Battalion have been operating out of Combat Outpost Ubaydi, supporting combined anti-armor teams from Weapons Co., Task Force 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 5 as they patrol near the Syrian border.
"Mainly we do over watch and security for the infantry as they go out to the border forts. A lot of times we support each other, but now since there is no armor threat, we're trying to find different ways to employ tanks while we're out here," said Gunnery Sgt. Richard T. Peeler, 30, from Phoenix, Arizona, a platoon sergeant with 3rd Plt. . "We provide that security for them to make sure they're safe while they do their job."
To make sure everything is running right, the Marines of Alpha Co., 2nd Logistical Battalion work around the clock, inspecting every piece of track and greasing every lube point whenever they have the chance.
"The primary focus is to keep these tanks up. That way they can go out and operate, make sure they get the job done," said Sgt. John L. Green, 21, from Denver, Colo., maintenance chief with 3rd Plt. "Every day there's something going on with these tanks. My guys are always working weird hours; the tanks go down at random times."
Every morning the Marines head out to their M-1 Abrams main battle tanks to begin daily maintenance: checking fluids, looking for loose bolts and cleaning off censors. Mechanics and tankers work together to ensure everything is running smoothly inside and outside the tank.
"We work on the tanks every day. Every hour of operation is about eight hours worth of maintenance, so daily they're out here running the engines, hitting all the grease points, lubing up every hole point, and making sure our weapons are good to go," said Peeler.
While on missions the tankers themselves must be prepared for anything. Anything from hydraulic systems and hub seals to tracks and transmissions can break at any time. "One tank threw track and we had to break it and put it back on," said Cpl. William P. Quinn, 20, from Plainfield, N.J., an NROTC trainee with 2nd Logistical Bn.
The missions don't end when the tankers return to base either. The tank crew must perform after-operations maintenance when they return from a mission so they are ready for the next day.
"(After-operations maintenance) consists of walking the track and making sure none of the track is lose or coming apart and then checking all the suspension components, drive components, final drive components, checking for leaks, stuff like that," said Lt. William Silvera, 31, from Round Rock, New Mexico, a senior logistics commander with Alpha Co.
The dry, dusty terrain is a far cry from what many of these Quantico- and Camp Lejeune-based Marines are used to. This deployment has been a learning experience for many of the young Marines and NROTC trainees, all of whom volunteered for this assignment as part of their ROTC training.
"The guys that haven't been out here before aren't used to troubleshooting different problems with the suspension because that stuff doesn't go down in Camp Lejeune," said Capt. Gerald Cummings, of Woodbridge, Virginia, Field Commander for 2nd Logistical Bn. "It's a more rocky climate [in Iraq]; the heat changes the performance of the hydraulics and you just have to learn to adapt. They're just trying to get used to different conditions, so there is always something new that they're learning."
Finally, all the Marines of 3rd Platoon, Alpha Co., 2nd Logistical Battalion supporting combined anti-armor teams from Weapons Co., Task Force 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 5 understand patrolling near the Syrian border is dangerous business. Logistic operations have been fired upon and serious injuries have been sustained.
"This is still a war zone and we are always on red alert," said Lt. Frederick Casey, 32, from West Chester, Penn., of Alpha Co., a decorated MCCS, who has served in both Iraq wars. "Our men are the best in the world, both as exceptional soldiers and as extraordinary engineers and technicians. The ultra computer savvy NROTC trainees are the future of the Marines and ensure we'll always leave a lasting impression."
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