Received in an Email... The Last 6 Seconds

Received in an Email... The Last 6 Seconds

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Thread: Received in an Email... The Last 6 Seconds

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Received in an Email... The Last 6 Seconds

    This is why we have the Greatest Military in the World,We will stand and fight to save others,even though our own lives may be lost during the battle.Unsung Heroes every one of them that volunteered to go in harms way.

    The Last Six Seconds"

    One can hardly conceive of the enormous grief held quietly within General Kelly as he spoke.

    On Nov 13, 2010, Lt. General John Kelly, USMC, gave a speech to the Semper Fi Society of St. Louis, MO. This was four days after his son, Lt. Robert Kelly, USMC, was killed by an IED while on his 3rd Combat tour. During his speech, General Kelly spoke about the dedication and valor of our young men and women who step forward each and every day to protect us.

    During the speech, he never mentioned the loss of his own son. He closed the speech with the moving account of the last six seconds in the lives of two young Marines who died with rifles blazing to protect their brother Marines.

    "I will leave you with a story about the kind of people they are, about the quality of the steel in their backs, about the kind of dedication they bring to our country while they serve in uniform and forever after as veterans. Two years ago when I was the Commander of all U.S. and Iraqi forces, in fact, the 22 ND of April 2008, two Marine infantry battalions, 1/9 "The Walking Dead," and 2/8 were switching out in Ramadi. One battalion in the closing days of their deployment going home very soon, the other just starting its seven-month combat tour. Two Marines, Corporal Jonathan Yale and Lance Corporal Jordan Haerter, 22 and 20 years old respectively, one from each battalion, were assuming the watch together at the entrance gate of an outpost that contained a makeshift barracks housing 50 Marines. The same broken down ramshackle building was also home to 100 Iraqi police, also my men and our allies in the fight against the terrorists in Ramadi, a city until recently the most dangerous city on earth and owned by Al Qaeda.

    Yale was a dirt poor mixed-race kid from Virginia with a wife and daughter, and a mother and sister who lived with him and whom he supported as well. He did this on a yearly salary of less than $23,000.
    Haerter, on the other hand, was a middle class white kid from Long Island. They were from two completely different worlds. Had they not joined the Marines, they would never have met each other, or understood that multiple Americans exist simultaneously depending on one's race, education level, economic status, and where you might have been born. But they were Marines, combat Marines, forged in the same crucible of Marine training, and because of this bond they were brothers as close, or closer, than if they were born of the same woman.

    The mission orders they received from the sergeant squad leader I am sure went something like, "Okay you two clowns, stand this post and let no unauthorized personnel or vehicles pass. You clear?"
    I am also sure Yale and Haerter then rolled their eyes and said in unison something like, "Yes Sergeant," with just enough attitude that made the point without saying the words, "No kidding ‘sweetheart’, we know what we're doing." They then relieved two other Marines on watch and took up their post at the entry control point of Joint Security Station Nasser, in the Sophia section of Ramadi, Al Anbar, Iraq.

    A few minutes later a large blue truck turned down the alley way - perhaps 60-70 yards in length, and sped its way through the serpentine of concrete jersey walls. The truck stopped just short of where the two were posted and detonated, killing them both catastrophically. Twenty-four brick masonry houses were damaged or destroyed. A mosque 100 yards away collapsed. The truck's engine came to rest two hundred yards away knocking most of a house down before it stopped. Our explosive experts reckoned the blast was made of 2,000 pounds of explosives. Two died, and because these two young infantrymen didn't have it in their DNA to run from danger, they saved 150 of their Iraqi and American brothers-in-arms.

    When I read the situation report about the incident a few hours after it happened I called the regimental commander for details as something about this struck me as different. Marines dying or being seriously wounded is commonplace in combat. We expect Marines regardless of rank or MOS to stand their ground and do their duty, and even die in the process, if that is what the mission takes. But this just seemed different. The regimental commander had just returned from the site and he agreed, but reported that there were no American witnesses to the event - just Iraqi police. I figured if there was any chance of finding out what actually happened and then to decorate the two Marines to acknowledge their bravery, I'd have to do it as a combat award that requires two eye-witnesses and we figured the bureaucrats back in Washington would never buy Iraqi statements. If it had any chance at all, it had to come under the signature of a general officer.

    I traveled to Ramadi the next day and spoke individually to a half-dozen Iraqi police all of whom told the same story. The blue truck turned down into the alley and immediately sped up as it made its way through the serpentine. They all said, "We knew immediately what was going on as soon as the two Marines began firing." The Iraqi police then related that some of them also fired, and then to a man, ran for safety just prior to the explosion. All survived. Many were injured, some seriously. One of the Iraqis elaborated and with tears welling up said, "They'd run like any normal man would to save his life." "What he didn't know until then," he said, "And what he learned that very instant, was that Marines are not normal." Choking past the emotion he said, "Sir, in the name of God no sane man would have stood there and done what they did." "No sane man." "They saved us all."

    What we didn't know at the time, and only learned a couple of days later after I wrote a summary and submitted both Yale and Haerter for posthumous Navy Crosses, was that one of our security cameras, damaged initially in the blast, recorded some of the suicide attack. It happened exactly as the Iraqis had described it. It took exactly six seconds from when the truck entered the alley until it detonated.

    You can watch the last six seconds of their young lives. Putting myself in their heads I supposed it took about a second for the two Marines to separately come to the same conclusion about what was going on once the truck came into their view at the far end of the alley. Exactly no time to talk it over, or call the sergeant to ask what they should do. Only enough time to take half an instant and think about what the sergeant told them to do only a few minutes before, "Let no unauthorized personnel or vehicles pass." The two Marines had about five seconds left to live.

    It took maybe another two seconds for them to present their weapons, take aim, and open up. By this time the truck was half-way through the barriers and gaining speed the whole time. Here, the recording shows a number of Iraqi police, some of whom had fired their AKs, now scattering like the normal and rational men they were - some running right past the Marines. They had three seconds left to live.

    For about two seconds more, the recording shows the Marines' weapons firing non-stop the truck's windshield exploding into shards of glass as their rounds take it apart and tore in to the body of the ( I deleted) who is trying to get past them to kill their brothers - American and Iraqi-bedded down in the barracks totally unaware of the fact that their lives at that moment depended entirely on two Marines standing their ground.

    If they had been aware, they would have known they were safe because two Marines stood between them and a crazed suicide bomber. The recording shows the truck careening to a stop immediately in front of the two Marines. In all of the instantaneous violence Yale and Haerternever hesitated. By all reports and by the recording, they never stepped back. They never even started to step aside. They never even shifted their weight. With their feet spread shoulder width apart, they leaned into the danger, firing as fast as they could work their weapons. They had only one second left to live.

    The truck explodes. The camera goes blank. Two young men go to their God. Six seconds. Not enough time to think about their families, their country, their flag, or about their lives or their deaths, but more than enough time for two very brave young men to do their duty into eternity. That is the kind of people who are on watch all over the world tonight - for you.

    We Marines believe that God gave America the greatest gift he could bestow to man while he lived on this earth - freedom. We also believe he gave us another gift nearly as precious - our soldiers, sailors, airmen, U. S. Customs and Border Patrol, Coast Guardsmen, and Marines - to safeguard that gift and guarantee no force on this earth can ever steal it away.

    It has been my distinct honor to have been with you here today. Rest assured our America, this experiment in democracy started over two centuries ago, will forever remain the "land of the free and home of the brave" so long as we never run out of tough young Americans who are willing to look beyond their own self-interest and comfortable lives, and go into the darkest and most dangerous places on earth to hunt down, and kill, those who would do us harm.

    God Bless America, and SEMPER FIDELIS!

    IT WOULD BE NICE (GREAT!) TO SEE the message spread if more would pass it on. Semper Fi, God Bless America and God Bless the United States Marine Corps.

    Often tested, Always Faithful, Brothers Forever.

    . IN GOD WE TRUST!
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .


  2. #2
    mkh
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    Dang. You made my monitor go all blurry.

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    If the following two paragraphs don't choke oneself up, then one must be a cold-hearted beast, that slithers on the ground;



    One of the Iraqis elaborated and with tears welling up said, "They'd run like any normal man would to save his life." "What he didn't know until then," he said, "And what he learned that very instant, was that Marines are not normal." Choking past the emotion he said, "Sir, in the name of God no sane man would have stood there and done what they did." "No sane man." "They saved us all."




    The truck explodes. The camera goes blank. Two young men go to their God. Six seconds. Not enough time to think about their families, their country, their flag, or about their lives or their deaths, but more than enough time for two very brave young men to do their duty into eternity. That is the kind of people who are on watch all over the world tonight - for you.

    Thanks for posting duk.
    I would rather die with good men than hide with cowards
    If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.
    Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy."

    M&Pc .357sig, 2340Sigpro .357sig

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    Distinguished Member Array Elk Hunter's Avatar
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    I read this before, knew what would happen, read it again. Pass the kleenx.

    Semper Fi

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    In heaven a shout out was heard, "attention on deck", we have heros in our presence. There is no greater love than that of laying down one's life for another.

    Gotta go wipe my eyes...

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    Member Array Olduser's Avatar
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    VIP Member Array Hiram25's Avatar
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    God bless them all!
    Hiram25
    You can educate ignorance, you can't fix stupid
    Retired DE Trooper, SA XD40 SC, S&W 2" Airweight
    dukalmighty & Pure Kustom Black Ops Pro "Trooper" Holsters, DE CCDW and LEOSA Permits, Vietnam Vet 68-69 Pleiku

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    OD*
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hiram25 View Post
    God bless them all!
    Amen!
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

    "Terrorists: They hated you yesterday, they hate you today, and they will hate you tomorrow. End the cycle of hatred, don’t give them a tomorrow."

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    VIP Member Array Old School's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Read it before and read it again.

    God Bless those Marines.

    Semper Fi.

    OS

    "Violence is seldom the answer, but when it is the answer it is the only answer".

    "A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves".

    http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/

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    As strange as it sounds, being on patrol with my squad was one of the safest and most comforting places to be.

    I knew that no matter what happened, they would do whatever was needed to take care of me, and they unconditionally had my back. I knew that as pointman, as long as I covered my sector, everyone else would cover everything else for me. There is no better place to be in a bad situation than surrounded by U.S. Marines.

    I have no idea where the country finds so many young men of such caliber. I am honored that I was able to serve alongside such men. They truly are the best of my generation, I have no idea how I ever was bestowed the honor of walking among them.
    Old School likes this.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor

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    Senior Member Array WD54241's Avatar
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    Moving story. They demonstrated in the finest fashion why the Corp proudly states "Semper-Fi" Always Faithful!

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    I am definitely going to pass this on. Stories like this are what inspired me to join the Marines and stories like this will continue to inspire future generations of warriors. Semper Fidelis.

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    Ex Member Array Doodle's Avatar
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    My monitor got a little blurry for some reason.

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    Member Array OLDSCL0311's Avatar
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    I understand what it means to have honor. I was a grunt in Vietnam. To this day I still have dreams. Young Marines are some of the finest we have. The problem is with our government. We have a corrupt fascist government. War is a racket. Always has been, always will be.

    I'm speaking because many of my friends can't. They died from cancer's which I attribute to serving in Vietnam. My health isn't so good either but I'm still alive and speak what needs to be said...

    Semper Fi
    Beans likes this.

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    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    Here's to the greatest nation in the world. It's only the greatest because of all the men and women who fought and served to make it what it is today. God bless these two young men's souls, may they rest in peace, as well as all the others that gave so much for our country.
    OD* likes this.
    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." – Luke 22:36

    "If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so." – Thomas Jefferson

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