Posts Tagged ‘USMC’

While New York slept the Patriot Guard Riders were out in cold driving rain on a mission to escort Gold Star Families from our area to JFK Airport for the Snowball Express excursion to Texas!

The mission started with a 4:00 am arrival at the airport hotel where many of the families were staying.

As the families began coming downstairs we had a chance to fraternize while we loaded their luggage into the bus.

It was wonderful for all involved to be able to spend a few minutes talking with these who have sacrificed so much for our nation.

Here is the video of the meetup, escort and arrival at the airport:

American Airline and the Snowball Express folks did a fabulous job of making the families welcome and easing their way through the normal airport mayhem!  The Marines, Santa and a Snowman even turned out to assist!

Here’s video from the breakfast:

And the Familes Board the Aircraft!

More Pictures Here and Here and Here!

Report on Snowball Express from the Dallas Business Journal!

Ride Captain Jim McElroy did a flawless job!  Special thanks to Alice for the link to her pictures!

Lurch was a hit handing out the PGR pins to the kids…  One Question though… Were those TEXAS PGR Pins!?!?!

Here’s a video for the Snowball Express:

USMC Sgt Arechaga Place Sign

A number of groups participated today in honoring a fallen hero.

Sgt, Julian M. Arechaga, USMC, 1st Batt., 6th Marines, Charlie Company, 2nd Marine Division, was killed in action in Al Anbar province, Iraq, on October 9, 2006.

A large crowd gathering in Baldwin, Long Island, to pay tribute to his memory and rename the street where he grew up in his honor.


Sgt Arechaga was a hero.  He volunteered to serve a third deployment to Iraq because he was worried about the inexperience of the Marines that were replacing his unit.  His experience and bravery under fire is credited with saving scores of Marines and Iraq civilians during engagements in Ramadhi and across Al Anbar province.


Members of his family gave tearful remembrances of Julian, particularly his niece, whose recollections of her uncle Julian brought tears even to the eyes of hard bitten veterans.

It was an honor to stand a flag line for this Marine, whose service and sacrifice was remembered by so many.






Among the many groups present were:  Baldwin and South Hempstead Fire Departments, American Legion, Boy Scouts, Patriot Guard Riders, Gathering of Eagles, Nassau Tea Party, Local Politicians and clergy.

More pictures here, and here.

I was in Sag Harbor on Saturday and paid a special visit.


The low overcast and light rain were a reminder of the November day the Patriot Guard Riders  helped commemorate the naming of the LCpl Jordan C. Haerter Bridge.  When the rain let up I took the opportunity to walk to the memorial marker.


In February, LCpl Haerter was awarded the Navy Cross for extraordinary heroism, and that award has been duly noted.

It was a quiet moment, without the crowds and ceremony that attended the bridge renaming.  It offered a chance to reflect on the strength of character, love of country, fortitude, and, yes, bravery, that LCpl Haerter and all our fighting men and women display every day on our behalf and for our protection.

Those characteristics abound in the America of old and the America of today.  As I walked back from my visit I passed another memorial, this time to the men of Sag Harbor who fought in the Civil War.


The similarity of purpose, fighting for freedom, of both causes, makes all of these men members of a great fraternity.  A brotherhood of those who suffer so that others may live their lives without chains, both literal and ideological, binding them.

God Bless You LCpl Haerter, and God Bless the nation that gives us men and women like you.

Samek Hat

For years George Samek, a decorated Vietnam Veteran, and a great friend, has been an advocate for our Wounded Warriors.

Recently he started a new project “Warrior Connection” to get laptops with video cams into the hands of our wounded warriors in medical centers around the country so they could stay in touch with their families during their recovery.  George understands the morale boost having that contact gives our wounded warriors.  He started out with a goal of donating a single laptop equipped with a webcam.  In four weeks, as more people became aware of his mission, the number grew to twenty.

WECT6 the local TV station in Wilmington, NC, did a story on the project here.  Be sure to watch the video on the upper right!

George has plenty good to say about Best Buy, the national electronics chain, whose local store pitched in to supply the laptops and webcams at cost and configured them to function seamlessly.

On September 11, 2009, the laptops were presented to Wounded Warriors at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC.

Walter Reed 028

Now George is working on making presentations at Camp Lejeune to our wounded Marines.

If you want to donate to this worthy cause please send a check to:

Gathering of Eagles/George Samek
1105 Copas Road
Shallotte, NC 28470

The troops will thank you for it!

CJ reports that the project has gone global!

Our friend Jonn met the Canada Free Press reporter at Walter Reed!

More here on the Walter Reed Troop Rally.

The USS Jason Dunham, DDG 109, was christened yesterday at the Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine.

Jason was a native of Scio, NY.

His Medal of Honor Citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Rifle Squad Leader, 4th Platoon, Company K, Third Battalion, Seventh Marines (Reinforced), Regimental Combat Team 7, First Marine Division (Reinforced), on 14 April 2004. Corporal Dunham’s squad was conducting a reconnaissance mission in the town of Karabilah, Iraq, when they heard rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire erupt approximately two kilometers to the west. Corporal Dunham led his Combined Anti-Armor Team towards the engagement to provide fire support to their Battalion Commander’s convoy, which had been ambushed as it was traveling to Camp Husaybah. As Corporal Dunham and his Marines advanced, they quickly began to receive enemy fire. Corporal Dunham ordered his squad to dismount their vehicles and led one of his fire teams on foot several blocks south of the ambushed convoy. Discovering seven Iraqi vehicles in a column attempting to depart, Corporal Dunham and his team stopped the vehicles to search them for weapons. As they approached the vehicles, an insurgent leaped out and attacked Corporal Dunham. Corporal Dunham wrestled the insurgent to the ground and in the ensuing struggle saw the insurgent release a grenade. Corporal Dunham immediately alerted his fellow Marines to the threat. Aware of the imminent danger and without hesitation, Corporal Dunham covered the grenade with his helmet and body, bearing the brunt of the explosion and shielding his Marines from the blast. In an ultimate and selfless act of bravery in which he was mortally wounded, he saved the lives of at least two fellow Marines. By his undaunted courage, intrepid fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty, Corporal Dunham gallantly gave his life for his country, thereby reflecting great credit upon himself and upholding the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

The Medal of Honor Presentation:

The Man behind the Marine:

God Bless Cpl. Jason Dunham, USMC

God Bless the Fighting Vessel that bears his name

APTOPIX War Hero Christening

USS Cpl Jason Dunham Patch

God Bless the United States Marine Corps!

On Saturday July 25th, the Adirondacks Lake George Chapter of Leathernecks MC held a poker run to benefit USMC Sgt. Eddie Ryan in Hudson Falls, NY.

The Marine Tribute Bike made an appearance.

Marine Tribute Bike

The run started at the Marine Corps League building in Hudson Falls and, at the end, returned to the American Legion Post 574 also in Hudson Falls.

For a slideshow of pictures go here.

Sgt. Eddie Ryan was wounded in Iraq on April 15, 2005.

For more on Marine Sniper Sgt Eddie Ryan go here.

The Marine Sgt who saved Sgt Ryan’s life was honored in April

A report on Sgt Ryan’s family’s battle with the VA over his recuperation is here.


A large happy crowd turned out in Rockville Centre today for the 4th Annual Walk of Honor in memory of 1st Lt. Ron Winchester, USMC, a resident of this town who was killed in action in Al Anbar Province, Iraq, in 2004.  The fund raiser which benefits the Semper Fi Fund for wounded Marines and the 1st Marine Division Scholarship Fund for the children of Marines who have lost a parent in Iraq or Afghanistan.

The crowd proceeded to march from pub to pub in Rockville Centre enjoying half price drinks, food buffets and excellent comaraderie from 2pm until after 9pm.

Pictures from today are here.