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Assistant commandant pays ‘Warlords’ a visit on Christmas

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Gen. James F. Amos, the assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, visited the Marines and sailors of 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, known as the “Warlords,” on Forward Operating Base Delhi, in Garmsir, Afghanistan, Christmas day

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12/30/2009 By Lance Cpl. Dwight A. Henderson, Regimental Combat Team 7

After landing in Delhi, the assistant commandant received a quick brief from the commanding officer of 2/2, Lt. Col. John E. McDonough, about the status and progress of the battalion’s area of operation.

The assistant commandant took an opportunity to talk to the Marines of 2/2. Marines listened intently as Amos spoke on the success the battalion and the Corps has seen throughout its multiple areas of operation and wished the Marines and sailors a “Merry Christmas.”

“Marines have always found and sailors have always found a way to celebrate Christmas, no matter where they are,” said Amos.

Amos started by discussing the contributions that the battalion has made to the war effort in Afghanistan and Iraq. He talked about how the battalion has been in the middle of the action since the beginning.

He then touched on the success that the Marines have seen in Iraq. He talked about walking through the streets of Ramadi and seeing the immense amount of change in the area.

“Those of you who went to Iraq made a difference,” said Amos. ”Our job there is done. Our nation, out of the goodness of their hearts, succeeded there.”

After praising Marines for their work in Iraq, he talked about the work being done in southern Afghanistan, particularly Now Zad. He mentioned that Now Zad was a place where Marines had to run from the helicopter to an armored vehicle immediately. Now, Marines can take their time and remove their gear. He also spoke about a school which opened its doors to young Afghan girls.

“They started a school five days ago,” said Amos. “I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. An hour later I talked to (Brig. Gen. Nicholson) and said we can do this. We can help the Afghan people to succeed.”

Amos concluded with the contributions the battalion has made to the fight in Afghanistan. He talked about the sacrifice 2/2 has given, and the Marines from the battalion that he has seen at Bethesda Naval Hospital, Md.

“This is a tough area,” said Amos. “I get to visit a lot of your brothers in Bethesda. This battalion has paid just as much, if not more, of a price than any unit in this battlespace.”

Congressman Darrell E. Issa, the representative for California’s 49th District which includes Camp Pendleton, Calif., accompanied Amos on the tour of Helmand province, and also had a few words of encouragement for the Marines of 2/2.

“You are making another piece of history,” said Issa. “You’re standing on the shoulders of Marines who fought and won, or died trying.”

The assistant commandant had some final words for the Marines of 2/2 about the success of Iraq and the work that is being done in Afghanistan.

“Here is my message when I go back to America around the new year,” said Amos. “I will tell any one who will listen. We can do this. We can do this as a nation. When you get home, you have two things. I want you to go home to your churches, I want you to get together with your high school buddies and I want you to tell them we did it. Then I want you tell them about Afghanistan. I want you to tell them about the kids and I want you to tell them about the people you protected.”