Marine Navy Cross Hero

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    Marine Navy Cross Hero

    When Don Ethell retired he was Canada\'s most decorated officer. In the history of the
    Canadian Forces, he is the only one to rise from Private to Colonel.


    My American friends


    Maybe you\'d like to hear about something other than MPs and naked Iraqis.

    Maybe you\'d like to hear about a real American, somebody who honored the
    uniform he wears.

    Meet Brian Chontosh.

    Churchville-Chili Central School class of 1991. Proud graduate of the
    Rochester Institute of Technology. Husband and about-to-be father. First
    lieutenant (Now Captain re:\"Speed Brakes\")
    in the United States Marine Corps.

    And a genuine hero.

    The secretary of the Navy said so yesterday.

    At 29 Palms in California Brian Chontosh was presented with the Navy Cross,
    the second highest award for combat bravery the United States can bestow.

    In lthe minds of many that\'s a big deal.!

    But you won\'t see it on the network news tonight, and all you read in
    Brian\'s hometown newspaper was two paragraphs of nothing. Instead, it was
    more blather about some mental defective MPs who acted like animals.

    The odd fact about the American media in this war is that it\'s not covering
    the American military. In my opinion the most plugged-in nation in the world
    is receiving virtually no true information about what its warriors are

    Oh, sure, there\'s a body count. We know how many Americans have fallen - God
    bless them all. And we see those same casket pictures day in and day out.
    And we\'re almost on a first-name basis with the pukes who abused the Iraqi
    prisoners. And we know all about improvised explosive devices and how the
    USA supposedly lost Fallujah and what Arab public-opinion polls say about
    the USA and how the world hates Americans.

    Our American (and Canadian) friends get a non-stop feed of gloom and doom.

    But they/we don\'t hear about the heroes.

    The incredibly brave GIs who honorably do their duty. The ones the
    grandparents of US soldiers, sailors and airmen would have carried on their
    shoulders down Fifth Avenue, NY.

    The ones the world unfortunately completely ignores. Like Brian Chontosh.

    It was a year ago on the march into Baghdad. Brian Chontosh was a platoon
    leader rolling up Highway 1 in a humvee. When all hell broke loose.

    Ambush city.

    The young Marines were being cut to ribbons. Mortars, machine guns, rocket
    propelled grenades. And the kid out of Churchville was in charge. It was do
    or die and it was up to him.

    So he moved to the side of his column, looking for a way to lead his men to
    safety. As he tried to poke a hole through the Iraqi line his humvee came
    under direct enemy machine gun fire.

    It was fish in a barrel and the Marines were the fish.

    And Brian Chontosh gave the order to attack. He told his driver to floor the
    humvee directly at the machine gun emplacement that was firing at them. And
    he had the guy on top with the .50 cal unload on them.

    Within moments there were Iraqis slumped across the machine gun and Chontosh
    was still advancing, ordering his driver now to take the humvee directly
    into the Iraqi trench that was attacking his Marines. Over into the
    battlement the humvee went and out the door Brian Chontosh bailed, carrying
    an M16 and a Beretta and 228 years of Marine Corps pride.

    And he ran down the trench.

    With its mortars and riflemen, machineguns and grenadiers.

    And he killed them all.

    He fought with the M16 until he was out of ammo. Then he fought with the
    Beretta until it was out of ammo. Then he picked up a dead man\'s AK47 and
    fought with that until it was out of ammo. Then he picked up another dead
    man\'s AK47 and fought with that until it was out of ammo.

    At one point he even fired a discarded Iraqi RPG into an enemy cluster,
    sending attackers flying with its grenade explosion.

    When he was done Brian Chontosh had cleared 200 yards of entrenched Iraqis
    from his platoon\'s flank. He had killed more than 20 and wounded at least as
    many more.

    But that\'s probably not how he would tell it.

    He would probably merely say that his Marines were in trouble, and he got
    them out of trouble. Hoo-ah, and drive on.

    \"By his outstanding display of decisive leadership, unlimited courage in the
    face of heavy enemy fire, and utmost devotion to duty, 1st Lt. Chontosh
    reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the
    Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.\"

    That\'s what the citation says.

    And unfortunately that\'s what nobody will hear.

    That\'s what doesn\'t seem to be making the evening news. Accounts of American
    valor are dismissed by the press as propaganda, yet accounts of American
    difficulties are heralded as objectivity. It makes you wonder if the role of
    the world media, including the US and Canada, is to inform, or to depress -
    to report or to deride. To tell the truth, or to feed us lies.

    But I guess it doesn\'t matter.

    The USA will prevail - and it is going to turn out all right.

    As long as men like Brian Chontosh wear the uniform of the United States of


    Col (ret) Donald S. Ethell
    5708 Layzell Rd SW
    Calgary, Alta
    T3E5G9 Canada
    Tele: (403) 243-0029
    Cell (403) 606-0856
    Fax: (403) 287-1160
    Email: <>

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