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December 31, 2011

U-T Person of the Year: The U.S. Marine

Written by
U-T Editorial Board
9 p.m., Dec. 31, 2011

Today, the U-T launches a new tradition. Each Jan. 1, we will honor the Person of the Year, an individual or category of individuals with San Diego ties.

To continue reading:

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/dec/31/u-ts-person-year-marine/

Afghan policy about to shift

Iraq playbook used as U.S. transitions to advisory role

Written by
Michelle Tan, Dan Lamothe and Jeff Schogol | Military Times
2:00 AM, Dec. 31, 2011

Defense Department leaders continue to apply the Iraq playbook to operations in Afghanistan as more U.S. fighting forces transition from combat missions to advisory roles.

To continue reading:

http://www.tennessean.com/article/20111231/NEWS08/312310024/Afghan-policy-about-to-shift

UAV delivers cargo in first warzone run

By James K. Sanborn - Staff writer
Posted : Saturday Dec 31, 2011 9:22:05 EST

Resupply missions just got safer for Marines in Afghanistan with the first delivery of goods by unmanned helicopter.

For more about the VMU-1:

http://marinecorpstimes.com/news/2011/12/marine-uav-delivers-cargo-in-first-warzone-run-123111/

Afghan soldiers, Marines join forces to patrol southern Garmsir district

Photos by Cpl. Reece Lodder | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 12.30.2011
Date Posted:12.31.2011 07:34

. 'America's Battalion' is aiding the Afghan National Security Forces in assuming security responsibilities over Helmand province's Garmsir district. This interoperability is designed to further the expansion of stability, development and legitimate governance of Afghanistan by defeating insurgent forces and helping secure the Afghan people.

To view photos:

http://www.dvidshub.net/image/504968/afghan-soldiers-marines-join-forces-patrol-southern-garmsir-district#.TwBonFZ8uSo

From insurgent hotbed to commercial hub: Afghans, Marines clear Safar Bazaar of remnants of illegal activity during Operation Sandman

Story by Cpl. Reece Lodder | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 12.28.2011
Date Posted:12.31.2011 07:20

SAFAR BAZAAR, Helmand province, Afghanistan — Safar Bazaar was once a hotbed for insurgents, its shops teeming with illegal drugs and streets laden with improvised explosive devices.

For more on the 3/3:

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/81938/insurgent-hotbed-commercial-hub-afghans-marines-clear-safar-bazaar-remnants-illegal-activity-during-operation-sandman#.TwCCYoGAqsq

December 30, 2011

Shot Marine used fingers to plug bullet holes

By Curt Anderson - The Associated Press
Posted : Friday Dec 30, 2011 13:09:06 EST

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. — A Marine Corps officer said Friday he reacted as he was trained to do by chasing two men who stole a gold necklace he thought they were buying, and then using his fingers to plug bullet holes in his body when one of them opened fire.

To continue reading:

http://marinecorpstimes.com/news/2011/12/ap-shot-marine-used-fingers-to-plug-bullet-holes-123011/

Welcome Home

Photo Essay: The Story of Scott Ostrom
Friday, December 30th, 2011

After serving four years as a reconnaissance man and deploying twice to Iraq, Brian Scott Ostrom, now 27, returned home to the U.S. with a severe case of post-traumatic stress disorder. “The most important part of my life already happened. The most devastating. The chance to come home in a box. Nothing is ever going to compare to what I’ve done, so I’m struggling to be at peace with that,” Scott said. He attributes his PTSD to his second deployment to Iraq, where he served seven months in Fallujah with the 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion. “It was the most brutal time of my life,” he said. “I didn’t realize it because I was living it. It was a part of me.” Since his discharge, Scott has struggled with daily life, from finding and keeping employment to maintaining healthy relationships. But most of all, he’s struggled to overcome his brutal and haunting memories of Iraq. Nearly five years later, Scott remains conflicted by the war. Though he is proud of his service and cares greatly for his fellow Marines, he still carries guilt for things he did — and didn’t do — fighting a war he no longer believes in.

To view the Photo Essay:

http://photos.denverpost.com/mediacenter/2011/12/special-project-welcome-home/26786/

Injured Marine ready to live his life

Posted: Friday, December 30, 2011 7:10 pm
By HILARY MATHESON/The Daily Inter Lake

One misstep on a path containing improvised explosive devices destroyed Lance Cpl. Thomas “Tomy” Parker’s legs and four fingers of his left hand.

To continue reading:

http://www.dailyinterlake.com/news/local_montana/article_d2df7774-3364-11e1-9135-001871e3ce6c.html

December 29, 2011

Coventry Marine earns Bronze Star Medal

12/29/2011 - South Side Leader
By Maria Lindsay

COVENTRY — Responding to enemy fire May 27 at the Afghan National Civil Order Police Station in Pan Kaleh, Afghanistan, was what Coventry resident and U.S. Marine Cpl. Kevin Dobson was trained to do.

To continue reading:

http://www.akron.com/akron-ohio-community-news.asp?aID=14842

Mississippi native kicks, punches his way to Corps

Story by Cpl. Marco Mancha | 2nd Marine Division | Date: 12.29.2011

COMBAT OUTPOST CASTLE, Afghanistan - His childhood was spent moving all over the Unites States. Time and again the boy had to learn to start over in a new city with his mother. Fortunately the Meridian, Miss., native didn’t let the constant relocating deter him from his love of flying kicks and fast strikes.

To continue reading:

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/81850/mississippi-native-kicks-punches-his-way-corps#.TvxvxVaAqso

Alabama Marine uses gift of encouragement in Helmand

Story by Sgt. Earnest J. Barnes | 2nd Marine Division | Date: 12.29.2011

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Helmand province, Afghanistan – Those who work with Mario T. Handley on a daily basis clearly see there is something different about him. Being a Marine is not about doing a job for this Birmingham, Ala., native, but rather an opportunity to fulfill his purpose in life.

To continue reading:

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/81846/alabama-marine-uses-gift-encouragement-helmand#.TvxufFaAqso

December 28, 2011

Afghan War veteran Kyle Mogonye: don’t take little things for granted

Posted: Wednesday, December 28, 2011 4:02 pm
By Charles Wood

America is still at war. The U.S. has withdrawn its soldiers from Iraq, but in Afghanistan, the fight to secure territory once held by the Taliban continues. It’s a tough job, but American soldiers continue to put their lives at risk.

To continue reading:

http://www.elgincourier.com/news/article_4ed7adb8-31a0-11e1-a93a-0019bb2963f4.html

Female Engagement Team 8, Afghan members host children’s shura

Courtesy Story | 2nd Marine Division | Date: 12.28.2011

FORWARD OPERATING BASE JACKSON, Afghanistan – With 53 little, smiling faces in attendance, members of Female Engagement Team 8 joined Afghan National Security Force troops recently to host a children’s shura aboard the base in Sangin district, Helmand province.

To continue reading:

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/81808/female-engagement-team-8-afghan-members-host-childrens-shura#.Tvuj1VaAqso

Norwich, Conn., native accepts new challenge with Female Engagement Team

Story by Cpl. Meredith Brown | 2nd Marine Division | Date: 12.28.2011

FORWARD OPERATING BASE JACKSON, Afghanistan - When Kimberly Ryan stepped into the Navy recruiter’s office at age 18, she had no idea what she wanted to do. All she knew was she wanted to get out of Connecticut and broaden her horizon.

To continue reading:

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/81806/norwich-conn-native-accepts-new-challenge-with-female-engagement-team#.TvuiPlaAqso

December 27, 2011

Families of troops in Afghanistan want Americans to remember 'there is still a war going on'

By Ted Roelofs | The Grand Rapids Press
Published: Tuesday, December 27, 2011, 6:07 AM

As the last U.S. troops trickle home from Iraq, military families throughout West Michigan might like to send a reminder to America: There is still another war.

To continue reading:

http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2011/12/families_of_afghan_troops_want.html

Operation Eagle Hunt Gets off the Ground

December 27, 2011
Marine Corps News|by Cpl. Marco Mancha

Helmand province, Afghanistan -- United States Marines and Afghan National Security Forces filled the air with dust recently as dozens of their vehicles rolled into the desert. Afghan camouflage-painted humvees and small, green trucks with gun turrets led the way into the lower region of the province in search of insurgents.

To continue reading:

http://www.military.com/news/article/marine-corps-news/operation-eagle-hunt-gets-off-the-ground.html

Catching up with: Billy McIntyre, U.S. Marine wounded in Afghanistan

By Staff reports
Lombard Spectator
Posted Dec 27, 2011

Lombard, IL —

On a warm summer night, throngs of people gathered at O’Hare Airport, at the Yorktown Shopping Center then outside a single-family home on Lewis Avenue. They were in a festive spirit to welcome home Marine Sgt. Billy McIntyre, a Lombard resident returning home after being wounded in Afghanistan.

To continue reading:

http://www.mysuburbanlife.com/villapark/topstories/x545135539/Catching-up-with-Billy-McIntyre-U-S-Marine-wounded-in-Afghanistan

Long live the King: Marine returns to Corps after 21 years, shares wisdom with juniors

Story by Cpl. James Clark | Regimental Combat Team 8, 2nd Marine Division | Date: 12.27.2011

KAJAKI SOFLA, Afghanistan - He can be found in the early mornings, rousing exhausted twenty year-olds from the rack with a mug of steaming coffee in hand, or come evening, shrouded in a veil of cigar smoke, reclining in a leather armchair within a plank and plywood shack of his own construction.

To continue reading:

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/81780/long-live-king-marine-returns-corps-after-21-years-shares-wisdom-with-juniors#.TvnLf1aAqso

December 26, 2011

Two Rivers schools collect items for Marines in Afghanistan

Written by
Cindy Hodgson
Herald Times Reporter
12:02 AM, Dec. 26, 2011

TWO RIVERS — Marines from Camp Pendleton in southern California who are stationed in Afghanistan soon will have a stash of Ramen Noodles, tuna packets, toothpaste and more, thanks to students and staff in the Two Rivers Public Schools.

To continue reading:

http://www.htrnews.com/article/20111226/MAN0101/112260424/Two-Rivers-schools-collect-items-Marines-Afghanistan?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

December 25, 2011

... And another day on the job in Afghanistan

By O’Ryan Johnson
Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas will be another work day for local U.S. Marines deployed in Afghanistan — driving supplies, standing watch or patrolling the deadly Helmund province that has been their home since May.

For more on the 1/25:

http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view.bg?articleid=1391038&srvc=rss

Operation Noel: Marine helicopters spread Christmas spirit in Afghanistan

Story by Staff Sgt. Christopher Flurry | 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) | Date: 12.25.2011

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan - Capt. Jeff Barnes isn’t really Santa Claus, but don’t tell that to the Marines in Afghanistan.

For more on the HMLA-369:

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/81749/operation-noel-marine-helicopters-spread-christmas-spirit-afghanistan#.Tvd0A1aAqso

Marines, sailors of ‘America’s Battalion’ celebrate Christmas in Afghanistan

Story by Cpl. Reece Lodder | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 12.25.2011

FORWARD OPERATING BASE DELHI, Helmand province, Afghanistan — At work a world away from home, the Marines and sailors of 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment celebrated Christmas in Afghanistan, Dec. 25.

For more on the 3/3:

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/81755/marines-sailors-americas-battalion-celebrate-christmas-afghanistan#.TvdxkVaAqso

December 24, 2011

Amputee needs will continue long after wars

Written by
Gretel C. Kovach
8 p.m., Dec. 24, 2011

The current generation of young war-wounded amputees like Sgt. Collin Raaz, a 25-year-old Marine scout sniper, will likely live 50 to 60 more years.

To continue reading:

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/dec/24/the-long-walk-home-future/

Facing the future with hope

With his surgeries in the past, Marine sergeant sees a clear path forward

Written by
Gretel C. Kovach
8 p.m., Dec. 24, 2011

Sgt. Collin Raaz has a few things to give the guys after they return from Afghanistan.

To continue reading:

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/dec/24/facing-the-future-with-hope/

Killing Time: Channeling boredom into board games

Story by Cpl. Reece Lodder | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 12.21.2011
Date Posted:12.24.2011 02:31

COMBAT OUTPOST KOSHTAY, Helmand province, Afghanistan — A group of infantry Marines huddle around a Scrabble board, barely visible beneath filthy camouflage utilities and a mishmash of warming layers. Sheltered in the meager warmth of an unheated concrete room, they fill their down time by channeling boredom into a board game.

For more on the 3/3:

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/81736/killing-time-channeling-boredom-into-board-games#.TvalXFaAqsq

Officials look to update Enhanced Mojave Viper

By Gidget Fuentes - Staff writer
Posted : Saturday Dec 24, 2011 9:26:28 EST

With the drawdown of U.S. troops in Afghanistan set to accelerate in 2012, officials at the Corps’ desert combat training center are preparing to revamp the workups Marines undertake before their units deploy overseas.

To continue reading:

http://marinecorpstimes.com/news/2011/12/marine-officials-look-to-update-enhanced-mojave-viper-122411/

December 23, 2011

A reunion of Marine brothers

Sgt. Collin Raaz wears tall prosthetic legs to the ball

Written by
Gretel C. Kovach
8 p.m., Dec. 23, 2011

Sgt. Collin Raaz stops in the lobby of Caesars Palace hotel, leaning on two canes. The 25-year-old Marine is dressed casually in shorts that reveal his new prosthetic legs. He spray-painted them in red, white and blue stripes to match the motorcycle he used to ride before he was wounded.

To continue reading:

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/dec/23/the-long-walk-home-chapter-7/

Wounded Marine inspires AP photographer's search

Associated Press
By ANJA NIEDRINGHAUS
AP – Fri, Dec 23, 2011

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Inside the medevac helicopter in Afghanistan, U.S. Marine Cpl. Burness Britt bleeds profusely from his neck. He and two other Marines have just been hit by shrapnel, with Britt's injuries the most serious. The medevac crew chief clutches one of Britt's blood-covered hands as he is given oxygen. I take hold of the other.

To continue reading:

http://news.yahoo.com/wounded-marine-inspires-ap-photographers-search-160517834.html

‘You always wish you could do more:’ Chaplain brings cheer to Marines in Helmand province during holiday season

Story by Cpl. Katherine M. Solano | 2nd Marine Logistics Group | Date: 12.23.2011

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan - For many Marines, missing holidays due to deployments is often a fact of life. It can be prepared and planned for, but when these festive occasions arrive, and the Marine is continents away, there is not much that makes the separation any easier.

To continue reading:

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/81741/you-always-wish-you-could-do-more-chaplain-brings-cheer-marines-helmand-province-during-holiday-season#.TvXvwFaAqso

What is Task Force Belleau Wood

Story by Cpl. Timothy Solano | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 12.23.2011

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – Maintaining an area of operations comparable to the size of New York City and neighboring boroughs is a full time job for the service members of Task Force Belleau Wood, who have held down Camp Leatherneck and its surrounding area since the unit arrived in early 2011.

To continue reading:

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/81718/task-force-belleau-wood#.TvU6z1aAqso

Combat engineers provide support for Operation Eagle Hunt

Story by Cpl. Marco Mancha | 2nd Marine Division | Date: 12.23.2011

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan - These Marines are trained to lead patrols as point men and sweep for any improvised explosive devices, the enemy’s favored weapon. They are also trained in construction and demolitions, making them a versatile force multiplier on the battlefield.

For more on the 3rd CEB:

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/81719/combat-engineers-provide-support-operation-eagle-hunt#.TvU5lVaAqso

Unmanned helicopter makes first delivery for Marines in Afghanistan

Story by Cpl. Justin Boling | 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) | Date: 12.23.2011

CAMP DWYER, Afghanistan -- Unmanned systems have revolutionized combat aviation, providing a colossal advantage in the fight against terror with surveillance and close-air support.

For more on the VMU-1:

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/81698/unmanned-helicopter-makes-first-delivery-marines-afghanistan#.TvU39FaAqso

December 22, 2011

Walking tall on prosthetic legs

Marine is poised at nexus of man and machine

Written by
Gretel C. Kovach
8 p.m., Dec. 22, 2011

In a sunlit room of the naval hospital, Sgt. Collin Raaz balances on two tall prosthetic legs, standing at the threshold of his bionic future.

To continue reading:

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/dec/22/the-long-walk-home-chapter-6/

From vets to moms, Iraq War leaves mark on town

By Sharon Cohen - The Associated Press
Posted : Thursday Dec 22, 2011 8:28:46 EST

KOKOMO, Ind. — In a quiet park on the eastern edge of this auto manufacturing town, a gleaming ring of black granite walls and monuments stands in tribute to the war dead. Hundreds of names are etched in stone; many of them are long forgotten to history.

To continue reading:

http://marinecorpstimes.com/news/2011/12/ap-from-vets-to-moms-iraq-war-leaves-mark-on-town-122211/

Combat engineers tear down patrol bases throughout Helmand province, paving way for Afghan pullout

12/22/2011 By Cpl. Bryan Nygaard , 9th Engineer Support Battalion

FIREBASE SAENZ, Afghanistan — Firebase Saenz has been destroyed. Its defenses have been torn down and its walls have been completely leveled. This destruction was not caused by insurgents – it was the handiwork of Marines from the 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward).

For more on the 9th ESB:

http://www.marines.mil/unit/iimef/iimef-fwd/Pages/CombatengineersteardownpatrolbasesthroughoutHelmandprovince,pavingwayforAfghanpullout.aspx#.TvNL11aAqso

December 21, 2011

First steps for Marine after the blast

Written by
Gretel C. Kovach
8 p.m., Dec. 21, 2011

The Marine lies on his side in the military hospital, his wheelchair parked nearby, waiting to be cast for his first pair of legs. The prosthetist dips strips of fabric coated in plaster into a bucket of warm water, then smooths them over thin pants covering Sgt. Collin Raaz’s battle-scarred thighs.

To continue reading:

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/dec/21/the-long-walk-home-chapter-5/

Marines with concussion, mild brain injury may qualify for Purple Heart

12/21/2011 By Capt. Patrick Boyce , Manpower & Reserve Affairs

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. — No one steps foot into the combat zone in hopes to be wounded. But it’s a fact that some Marines in combat will be wounded or injured as a result of enemy action, with many of the Marines being eligible for award of the Purple Heart.

To continue reading:

http://www.marines.mil/unit/hqmc/Pages/Marineswithconcussion,mildbraininjuryqualifyforPurpleHeart.aspx#.TvJkS1aAqsq

New database tracks Marine head injuries

By Gidget Fuentes - Staff writer
Posted : Wednesday Dec 21, 2011 14:47:52 EST

The Marine Corps wants to make sure Marines and sailors who suffer concussions and other head injuries are tagged and tracked in a medical database, which officials hope will lead to better health care and treatment.

To continue reading:

http://marinecorpstimes.com/news/2011/12/marine-traumatic-brain-injury-detection-reporting-122111w/

December 20, 2011

Marine moves on from inpatient ward

Written by
Gretel C. Kovach
8 p.m., Dec. 20, 2011

On moving day, Sgt. Collin Raaz doesn’t have far to go or many belongings to transport. His car, his motorcycle and most of his other possessions remain in storage at the Twentynine Palms Marine base he called home before deploying to Afghanistan.

To continue reading:

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/dec/20/the-long-walk-home-chapter-4/

More on Sam Griffith

Tina Hay
December 20, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Yesterday I heard from Maj. Erik Orient ’99, a Penn State Naval ROTC instructor who knew Sam Griffith ’97, the Marine officer killed in Afghanistan last Wednesday.

To continue reading about Fallen Hero, Maj. Samuel M. Griffith, of 4th ANGLICO :

http://pennstatermag.com/2011/12/20/more-on-sam-griffith/

The Military Wives on course to be Christmas number one

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

The Military Wives are on course to be this year's Christmas number one and become the fastest-selling single for six years.

To continue reading:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/16265398

'Walking Dead' passes torch to 'The Ready Battalion' in Nawa

Story by Cpl. Alfred V. Lopez | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 12.18.2011
Date Posted:12.20.2011 08:43

FORWARD OPERATING BASE GERONIMO, Helmand province, Afghanistan – The people of Nawa have seen a clear difference since the Marines and sailors of 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, first arrived in their district.

For more on the 1/9 and the 2/6:

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/81601/walking-dead-passes-torch-ready-battalion-nawa#.TvK0-FaAqso

Uncommon valor, uncommon award

12/20/2011 By Cpl. Abigail Brown , Marine Corps Air Station New River

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION NEW RIVER, N.C. — Four Marines from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 264 were awarded the Individual Action Air Medals with the combat distinguishing device, Dec. 16, for heroic actions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

To continue reading:

http://www.marines.mil/unit/hqmc/Pages/Uncommonvaloruncommonaward.aspx#.TvEX8VaAqso

New ground requirement: amtrac dunker training

By Gidget Fuentes - Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday Dec 20, 2011 9:48:29 EST

Grunts and amtrac crewmen assigned to the Corps’ seven Marine expeditionary units will undergo more intensive water-survival training as part of a new initiative to teach personnel how to escape a sinking amphibious assault vehicle.

To continue reading:

http://marinecorpstimes.com/news/2011/12/marine-new-ground-requirement-amtrac-dunker-training-121911/

The road less travelled; Marines push COIN along Route 611

Story by Cpl. James Clark | Regimental Combat Team 8, 2nd Marine Division | Date: 12.20.2011

SANGIN DISTRICT, Afghanistan - The dirt along Route 611 has been pulverized to dust, turned to a trail of fine powder dotted with boot prints belonging to the Marines of Company A, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment. The footprints cover the landscape, blown away by wind, convoys of armored transports and civilian caravans, only to be replaced the following morning by another series of exhausting patrols.

For more on the 1/6:

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/81597/road-less-travelled-marines-push-coin-along-route-611#.TvEVkVaAqso

Veterans find a place in the Ivy League

December 20, 2011 11:17 AM

(CBS News)

Tens of thousands of American troops are coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan, and finding out just how tough it is to get a job right now.

To continue reading:

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-500202_162-57345560/veterans-find-a-place-in-the-ivy-league/

December 19, 2011

Healing hurts for Marine after return from war

Written by
Gretel C. Kovach
9 p.m., Dec. 19, 2011

Sgt. Collin Raaz sits in a dimly lit physical therapy room on a September morning, gripping a six-pound weight in each hand. His thighs are scored with scars from the explosion, the many surgeries that followed and skin grafts.

To continue reading:

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/dec/19/long-walk-home-chapter-3/

Marine surprised by motorcycle caravan outside church

BY DAN MORAN Sun-Times Media dmoran@suntimes.com
December 19, 2011 12:24AM

Marine Cpl. Bobby Permer noticed one thing out of the ordinary on Sunday morning while attending services at Village Church of Gurnee: His sister, Jessica, was carrying a camcorder.

To continue reading:

http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/9528248-418/marine-surprised-by-motorcycle-caravan-outside-church.html

Douglas Marine earns Silver Star

Lance Cpl. Timothy Lenzo
U.S. Marine Corps
Monday, December 19th

A Topaz Ranch Estates Marine received the Silver Star for standing his post after being severely injured during combat in Afghanistan.

To continue reading:

http://www.recordcourier.com/article/20111219/NEWS/111219876/1062&ParentProfile=1049

After harrowing duty in Afghanistan, twin brother Marines home in Tampa Bay

By Dan Sullivan, Times Staff Writer
In Print: Monday, December 19, 2011

TAMPA

The crowd assembled slowly around the walkway where the Marines would arrive at any moment. These were not just any Marines.

To continue reading:

http://www.tampabay.com/news/military/war/after-harrowing-duty-in-afghanistan-twin-brother-marines-home-in-tampa-bay/1206874

Students send Christmas wishes, calling cards to Marines in Afghanistan

By Christopher Cousins, BDN Staff
Posted Dec. 19, 2011, at 4:57 p.m.

TOPSHAM, Maine — “Forty-seven, 48, 49, 50. It has 13 stripes, too,” said 8-year-old Elaine Lemieux as she put the finishing touches on a drawing of the American flag.

To continue reading:

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/12/19/news/southern-coast/students-send-christmas-wishes-calling-cards-to-marines-in-afghanistan/

Guardian of patrols: Afghan dog fights like Marine

From the Trenches, Highlights // December 19th, 2011 // By Jeff Drew, 2nd Marine Division

FORWARD OPERATING BASE PAYNE, HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan — He defends Marines and sailors with love and tenacity, protecting them as any Marine would protect a brother-in-arms. He is the epitome of man’s best friend, shielding service members from the enemy while providing companionship and camaraderie. His name is Willy Pete, and he’s a warrior, a protector, a friend. He’s also a dog.

To continue reading:

http://marinesmagazine.dodlive.mil/2011/12/19/guardian-of-patrols-afghan-dog-fights-like-marine/

Texans surprise Marine’s widow and son with a new house

By Chris Chase
Mon Dec 19 10:53am EST

Marine Scott Wood died four weeks ago after suffering injuries during combat in Iraq. Before his burial, his wife dressed him in two uniforms. On the outside, Scott wore his military dress blues. Underneath, he wore the blue No. 80 jersey of Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson.

To continue reading:

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/blog/shutdown_corner/post/Texans-surprise-Marine-8217-s-widow-and-son-wit?urn=nfl-wp14211

Why Am I Here? A Drill Instructor's Story

By GySgt Terence A. D'Alesandro
Dec 19 2011

It's 0327 — Why am I here?
Why am I not in bed like everyone else, dead to the world?
Why do I do this?

To continue reading:

http://marines.com/news/-/news-story/detail/NEWS_20DEC2011_WHYAMIHERE_MARINESBLOG?WT.mc_id=122712_WHYAMIHERE_FB

With transition in sight, Afghan soldiers lead Marines in patrolling Garmsir district

Photos by Cpl. Reece Lodder | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 12.19.2011

On the patrol, the ANA and Marines interacted with local citizens and conducted a vehicle checkpoint. The Marines of "America's Battalion" are aiding the Afghan National Security Forces in assuming security responsibilities over Helmand province's Garmsir district. Their interoperability is designed to further the expansion of stability, development and legitimate governance of Afghanistan by defeating insurgent forces and helping secure the Afghan people.

To view photos of 3/3:

http://www.dvidshub.net/image/501498/with-transition-sight-afghan-soldiers-lead-marines-patrolling-garmsir-district#.Tu9dc1aAqso

December 18, 2011

Military doctors on a mission for wounded Marine

Written by
Gretel C. Kovach
9 p.m., Dec. 18, 2011
Updated 7:33 p.m.

The field where they wait for the medevac flight is strewn with dead stalks of opium poppy. Sgt. Collin Raaz, a 24-year-old Marine scout sniper, is critically injured from a bomb strike.

To continue reading:

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/dec/18/military-doctors-mission-wounded-marine/?page=1#article

Combat cooks feed 'America’s Battalion' in Afghanistan

Story by Cpl. Reece Lodder | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 12.15.2011
Date Posted:12.18.2011 07:15

FORWARD OPERATING BASE DELHI, Helmand province, Afghanistan — The clock has barely passed 4 a.m., and the base is asleep. Few souls aboard Forward Operating Base Delhi have stirred to brave the morning cold, a bitter chill that lingers until it’s been chased away by the mid-day sun.

For more on the 3/3:

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/81548/combat-cooks-feed-americas-battalion-afghanistan#.Tu5va1aAqsq

For Marine's widow, Iraq war will never be truly over

By Tony Perry
Los Angeles Times
Published: December 18, 2011

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - For most of America, the war in Iraq officially ended last week with a speech-laden ceremony in Baghdad.

To continue reading:

http://www.stripes.com/news/marine-corps/for-marine-s-widow-iraq-war-will-never-be-truly-over-1.163815

December 17, 2011

Reporting 'The Long Walk Home'

Written by
Gretel C. Kovach
5 p.m., Dec. 17, 2011

Reporting for the eight-day series “The Long Walk Home” was compiled during periodic visits and lengthy interviews with Sgt. Collin Raaz over three months of his recovery at San Diego Naval Medical Center.

To continue reading:

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/dec/17/reporting-long-walk-home-series/

Family to accept UT Arlington degree on behalf of slain Marine

By Chris Vaughn
cvaughn@star-telegram.com
Posted Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011

Of the hundreds of men and women who will receive their college degrees from the University of Texas at Arlington tonight in front of family and friends, only one will be represented onstage by his wife and his mother.

To continue reading:

http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/12/17/3602692/family-to-accept-ut-arlington.html

‘Small but mighty’ Marine welcomed home

BY GINGER BRASHINGER Correspondent December 17, 2011 10:52PM

Marine Sgt. Nicole Chickerillo gave personal meaning Saturday to the familiar tune “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” for approximately 100 family members and friends awaiting her return from military duty.

To continue reading:

http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/news/9494973-418/small-but-mighty-marine-welcomed-home.html

La Grange welcomes wounded warrior home

Marine left disabled by explosion in Afghanistan greeted with flags, ribbons, cheers

By Jack McCarthy, Special to the Tribune
7:17 p.m. CST, December 17, 2011

Josh Misiewicz couldn't stop grinning, even as he stood outside his family's La Grange home on prosthetic legs with an ear injury suffered in Afghanistan.

To continue reading:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-lagrange-wounded-warrior-1218-20111218,0,2661535.story

A single step, then everything changed

Marine had seen his share of IED casualties in Afghanistan, then he became one

Written by
Gretel C. Kovach
9:47 p.m., Dec. 17, 2011

Click. Boom.

To continue reading:

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/dec/17/the-long-walk-home/

Marines prepare for huge land, sea exercise

By Dan Lamothe - Staff writer
Posted : Saturday Dec 17, 2011 9:26:34 EST

LITTLE CREEK-FORT STORY, Va. — It started with a foreign invasion, and the Marines have been called to assist.

To continue reading:

http://marinecorpstimes.com/news/2011/12/marine-prepare-for-huge-land-sea-exercise-121711/

December 16, 2011

San Diego Marines look back on Iraq War

War shaped their lives. No regrets but mixed feelings

Written by
Jeanette Steele
7:57 p.m., Dec. 16, 2011

Alexander Martin’s hands shake just a bit all the time, and he carries a Louisville Slugger to meetings — a leadership tool, he says. Both are signposts of Martin’s seven years in the Marine Corps, including three combat tours in Iraq between 2005 and 2009.

To continue reading:

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/dec/16/san-diego-veterans-look-back-on-iraq-war/?page=1#article

Wounded Marine from Grover is welcomed home

By Kenneth Klein/Contributing Writer | Posted: Friday, December 16, 2011 12:15 am

Sitting in a wheelchair with a giant smile on his face, Marine Lance Cpl. Cody Elliott matched the excitement of those welcoming the wounded warrior back to the Central Coast.

To continue reading:

http://santamariatimes.com/news/local/wounded-marine-from-grover-is-welcomed-home/article_aac5fb8e-27b9-11e1-a802-0019bb2963f4.html

Iraq War Ends, Mother Still Feels Loss

Operation Iraqi Freedom officially ended Thursday, Dec. 15

By Ashley Gordon and Gordon Tokumatsu
| Friday, Dec 16, 201

Lisa Anderson’s daily life had to move past the personal tragedy she faced in 2004 when her oldest son Marine LCpl Nicholas Anderson was killed in action in Iraq.

To continue reading:

http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Operation-Iraq-Freedom-War-Ends-but-its-Sacrifice-Still-135714168.html

Getting the word out in the Upper Sangin Valley

Story by Cpl. James Clark | Regimental Combat Team 8, 2nd Marine Division | Date: 12.16.2011

SANGIN DISTRICT, Helmand province, Afghanistan - Nestled along Route 611, one of the few improved roads in Northern Helmand province, sits Patrol Base Florida, a home away from home for the Marines of 1st Platoon, Company A, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment.

For more on the 1/6:

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/81469/getting-word-out-upper-sangin-valley#.TutW6FaAqso

Getting the word out in the Upper Sangin Valley

Story by Cpl. James Clark | Regimental Combat Team 8, 2nd Marine Division | Date: 12.16.2011

SANGIN DISTRICT, Helmand province, Afghanistan - Nestled along Route 611, one of the few improved roads in Northern Helmand province, sits Patrol Base Florida, a home away from home for the Marines of 1st Platoon, Company A, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment.

For more on the 1/6:

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/81469/getting-word-out-upper-sangin-valley#.TutW6FaAqso

December 15, 2011

Jupiter mother: Marine reservist killed in Afghanistan 'lived by faith'

By Cynthia Roldan
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Updated: 7:52 a.m. Friday, Dec. 16, 2011
Posted: 6:13 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011

Two U.S. Marines knocked on Kathleen Bischoff's door in Jupiter Wednesday morning, there to inform her that her only son, Maj. Sam Griffith, had been shot and killed in Afghanistan.

To continue reading about Fallen Hero, Maj. Samuel M. Griffith, of the 4th ANGLICO:

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/jupiter-mother-marine-reservist-killed-in-afghanistan-lived-2034733.html

Motor transport platoon keeps Marines, Afghans supplied

Story by Cpl. Alfred V. Lopez | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 12.13.2011
Date Posted:12.15.2011 09:45

NAWA DISTRICT, Helmand province, Afghanistan – The Marine Corps is an American machine. This machine fights battles, participates in humanitarian relief efforts and executes counter-insurgency operations around the world on a daily basis.

For more on the 2/6:

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/81429/motor-transport-platoon-keeps-marines-afghans-supplied#.TuvYblaAqsp

Community rallying around Bozeman family struck by tragedy

Posted: Dec 15, 2011 4:09 PM by Judy Slate
Updated: Dec 16, 2011 11:47 AM

The community is rallying around a Bozeman family that lost almost everything in a fire that ripped through their rental home on Wednesday.

To continue reading:

http://www.kbzk.com/news/community-rallying-around-bozeman-family-struck-by-tragedy/

U.S. Marine Corps Band in Twentynine Palms falls victim to budget cuts

12:11 AM, Dec. 15, 2011
Written by
Denise Goolsby
The Desert Sun

From the Veterans Day parade to the annual Christmas concert, the U.S. Marine Corps Band based out of the Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms has been a musical fixture in the valley for decades.

To continue reading:

http://www.mydesert.com/article/20111215/NEWS01/112150305/U-S-Marine-Corps-Band-falls-victim-budget-cuts

Marines deliver Santa Claus to isolated Grand Canyon village using his new sleigh

Story by Lance Cpl. Marcin Platek | Marine Forces Reserve | Date: 12.15.2011

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. — As the red Arizona soil cloud cleared from the sky, the observing Havasupai tribe people turned around from protecting themselves from the dust stirred up by the loud swooshing sounds. They were finally able to see a Marine CH-46E helicopter landing in middle of their village. The children cheered not only for the Marines but the special guest they have been awaiting for.

To continue reading:

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/81458/marines-deliver-santa-claus-isolated-grand-canyon-village-using-his-new-sleigh#.TutbnFaAqso

Iowa Marine sets security, keeps morale high on Afghan deployment

Story by Sgt. Earnest J. Barnes | 2nd Marine Division | Date: 12.15.2011

FIRE BASE FIDDLER’S GREEN, Helmand province, Afghanistan — Having peace of mind means each service member with Headquarters Battery can concentrate on his specific job to accomplish the mission. Being able to laugh eases the tensions jobs bring while in a combat zone. These Marines and sailors have a brother-in-arms who provides them with both peace of mind and laughter, keeping morale high as they serve a seven-month tour in Afghanistan.

To continue reading:

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/81425/iowa-marine-sets-security-keeps-morale-high-afghan-deployment#.Tuoao1aAqso

Florida native creates ties with sea-service brothers on Afghan deployment

Story by Sgt. Earnest J. Barnes | 2nd Marine Division | Date: 12.15.2011

FIRE BASE FIDDLER’S GREEN, Helmand province, Afghanistan — While closing in on high school graduation, Lance Cpl. Mitchell L. Young, a Tampa, Fla., native, made the decision to take life into his own hands and chose a path no one in his family had pursued before.

To continue reading:

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/81421/florida-native-creates-ties-with-sea-service-brothers-afghan-deployment#.TuoZQFaAqso

New York Marine follows father’s footsteps, wears many hats on deployment

Story by Sgt. Earnest J. Barnes | 2nd Marine Division | Date: 12.15.2011

FIRE BASE FIDDLER’S GREEN, Helmand province, Afghanistan – It is not uncommon for Marines to spend birthdays, anniversaries, or holidays away from family, and some children may not understand why their parents cannot be home for these significant days. One North Tonawanda, N.Y., native wondered the same thing for years, but it wasn’t until becoming a Marine he began to understand why his father couldn’t always be around.

To continue reading

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/81419/new-york-marine-follows-fathers-footsteps-wears-many-hats-deployment#.TuoWwlaAqso

Female Engagement Team builds trust, rapport with women in Sangin

Story by Cpl. Meredith Brown | 2nd Marine Division | Date: 12.15.2011

SANGIN DISTRICT, Helmand province, Afghanistan – Petty Officer 2nd Class Kimberly Ryan stands in an open crop field surrounded by children. Greetings of “salaam alaikum,” which translates to peace be unto you, are said as she high-fives the local residents. Smiles spread across the faces of the children and laughter rings out through the brisk morning air as the sailor attempts Pashtu, the language spoken in the area.

To continue reading:

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/81422/female-engagement-team-builds-trust-rapport-with-women-sangin#.TuoU2VaAqso

Mobile Marines reflect on epic summer

Story by Cpl. Tommy Bellegarde | 2nd Marine Division | Date: 12.15.2011

PATROL BASE BEATLEY, Helmand province, Afghanistan – The mobile section of 3rd Platoon, Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, has provided reliable support for the platoon throughout its deployment by conducting a myriad of logistical missions and frequently supporting dismounted patrols. The section’s Marines have worked tirelessly since arriving in Afghanistan and continue to provide support as needed as the battalion nears its return to the United States.

For more on the 1/6:

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/81412/mobile-marines-reflect-epic-summer#.TuoS11aAqso

Medical initiative brings hope to isolated communities

Story by Cpl. James Clark | Regimental Combat Team 8, 2nd Marine Division | Date: 12.15.2011

SANGIN DISTRICT, Helmand province, Afghanistan - Nearly 100 civilians crowded the small dusty road outside of Patrol Base Florida, in the Sangin District, Dec. 2. Some had traveled by taxi from far off villages, having heard through word of mouth that the Marines and Afghan forces with 1st Platoon, Company A, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, would be holding a medical initiative, or temporary clinic, that day.

For more on the 1/6:

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/81411/medical-initiative-brings-hope-isolated-communities#.TuoQu1aAqso

Marines near completion of successful deployment in Marjah district

Story by Cpl. Tommy Bellegarde | 2nd Marine Division | Date: 12.15.2011

PATROL BASE BEATLEY, Helmand province, Afghanistan – The Marines of 3rd Platoon, Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, are nearing the end of their deployment in Marjah district, Helmand province, where they have worked diligently with their Afghan counterparts to continue to advance the once-troubled Marjah toward a future of stability and prosperity.

For more on the 1/6:

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/81408/marines-near-completion-successful-deployment-marjah-district#.TuoN_FaAqso

December 14, 2011

Mother of Fallen Marine: "He paid the ultimate price for our freedom."

FOX8 Staff Writer
9:52 a.m. EST, December 14, 2011

HIGH POINT, N.C. (WGHP)—
The mother of a local marine shot in Afghanistan visited FOX8 on Wednesday to talk about the ultimate sacrifice her son made to protect his country.

To continue reading about Fallen Hero, Lance Cpl. Christopher P. J. Levy, of the 1/6:

http://www.myfox8.com/news/wghp-story-he-paid-ultimate-price-freedom-marine-111214,0,2542197.story

Wife discusses Marine husband's Christmas song

December 14, 2011 9:58 PM
BY JAMES GILBERT - SUN STAFF WRITER

Carla Allen says, even though it has been four years, she still cries every time she watches the video of her husband, Master Sgt. Robert Allen, singing her a song he wrote for her while he was deployed to Iraq during the holidays.

To continue reading:

http://www.yumasun.com/news/allen-75218-song-husband.html

Eyes opened through pain, my experience with OC training

12/14/2011 By 2nd Lt. Dave Baugh , 31st MEU

CAMP HANSEN, OKINAWA, Japan — Within seconds of being sprayed, my eyelids slammed shut, hornets stung at my eyes and molten steel was poured over my face. This was my experience with Oleoresin Capsicum, commonly known as Pepper Spray.

To continue reading:

http://www.marines.mil/unit/31stmeu/Pages/Eyesopenedthroughpain,myexperiencewithOCtraining.aspx#.TuoMMFaAqso

Marines plunge into frigid canal to save nine Afghans

Story by Cpl. Reece Lodder | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 12.14.2011

KUCHINEY DARVISHAN, Helmand province, Afghanistan — Dimly illuminated by a sliver of moonlight, eight shadowy figures quietly patrolled a gravel road set against a swiftly flowing canal.

For more on the 3/3:

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/81340/marines-plunge-into-frigid-canal-save-nine-afghans#.Tui6DFaAqso

Three cousins serve together in Afghanistan

12/14/2011 By Cpl. Brian Adam Jones , 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (Fwd)

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan — Lucas, Josey and Steven grew up together. They graduated high school together.

To continue reading:

http://www.marines.mil/unit/mcascherrypoint/Pages/121214cousins.aspx#.Tui4cVaAqso

December 13, 2011

Wausau teen, a former Russian orphan, welcomes veteran home

2:47 AM, Dec. 13, 2011
Written by
Keith Uhlig
Wausau Daily Herald

Eagle Scout John Weber planned to salute Sgt. Josh Kopling when he met the Marine for the first time Wednesday afternoon.

To continue reading:

http://www.wausaudailyherald.com/article/20111213/WDH0101/112130549/Wausau-teen-former-Russian-orphan-welcomes-veteran-home

From the Sands of Iwo Jima to Life on the Seven Seas

12/13/2011 By Seaman Apprentice Jonathan L. Correa , 24th MEU

USS IWO JIMA — Experiencing things for the first time can be a scary or exciting moment in the lives of most people. Whether it is your first day of school, starting a new job, driving a car or for military members going on deployment; these firsts can at times be hectic.

For more on the 24th MEU:

http://www.marines.mil/unit/24thmeu/Pages/111213-AtSea.aspx#.TufYb1aAqso

December 12, 2011

Quantico training boom brings in more Marines

By Gina Cavallaro - Staff writer
Posted : Monday Dec 12, 2011 7:54:03 EST

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. — Deep in the woods northwest of main side, here at Camp Upshur, a technological revolution quietly has been taking place. Weeds and brush on the grounds of the old Officer Candidates School have been cleared to make room for modern white trailers and tents where more than a dozen training simulators hum and spin for Marine reservists training for deployment.

To continue reading:

http://marinecorpstimes.com/news/2011/12/marine-quantico-training-boom-reserve-121211w/

Volunteers lay 90,000 wreaths at Arlington

The Associated Press
Posted : Sunday Dec 11, 2011 10:20:21 EST

ARLINGTON, Va. — Volunteers honored veterans buried at Arlington National Cemetery on Saturday with a massive effort to lay tens of thousands of holiday wreaths at their tombstones.

To continue reading:

http://marinecorpstimes.com/news/2011/12/ap-volunteers-lay-90000-wreaths-at-arlington-121111/

Overseas voters should check website for registration options

By Geoff Ziezulewicz
Stars and Stripes
Published: December 12, 2011

NAPLES, Italy — With the 2012 presidential election campaign in full swing and the first primaries only weeks away, those living overseas who want to vote should think about registering now to cast an absentee ballot.

To continue reading:

http://www.stripes.com/military-life/overseas-voters-should-check-website-for-registration-options-1.163290

December 11, 2011

Friends during WWII, 2 Marines reunite

By Travis Griggs - Pensacola News Journal via the AP
Posted : Sunday Dec 11, 2011 13:33:17 EST

PENSACOLA, Fla. — For 65 years, Junior Montgomery thought his best friend was dead.

To continue reading:

http://marinecorpstimes.com/news/2011/12/ap-friends-during-world-war-2-2-marines-reunite-121111/

Unit arrives for exercise in Cambodia

Story by Capt. Roger Hollenbeck | 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit | Date: 12.11.2011

REAM NAVAL BASE, Cambodia - Marines and sailors of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit came ashore from amphibious ships here Dec. 11, to begin a cooperative exercise with the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces focusing on medical subject-matter-expert exchanges, mass-casualty response, community outreach, jungle familiarization and platoon and company movements.

For more on the 11th MEU:

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/81210/unit-arrives-exercise-cambodia#.TuWCtlaAqso

Repetitive yet reliable, vehicle checkpoints protect Afghans and Marines

Story by Cpl. Reece Lodder | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 12.11.2011

SAR BANADAR, Helmand province, Afghanistan — A short distance off a dusty Afghan road, two U.S. Marines brave the chill of an early winter morning as they await a flood of local traffic.

For more on the 3/3:

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/81188/repetitive-yet-reliable-vehicle-checkpoints-protect-afghans-and-marines#.TuV_WVaAqso

Rules Liberalized for Veterans with Undiagnosed Illnesses

Application Window Extended for Five Years

December 29, 2011

WASHINGTON – Veterans of the Persian Gulf War with undiagnosed illnesses have an additional five years to qualify for benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

To continue reading:

http://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=2239

December 10, 2011

Operation Western Gambit clears insurgents in Now Zad

Story by Cpl. Clayton Vonderahe | Regimental Combat Team 8, 2nd Marine Division | Date: 12.10.2011

NOW ZAD DISTRICT, Afghanistan - Marines and sailors wait in the cold, dark, desolate Afghan desert. The air is heavy with moisture, teasing the troops with a potential downpour.

For more on the 2/4:

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/81168/operation-western-gambit-clears-insurgents-now-zad#.TuOAgVaAqso

Wadi crossing opens for Musa Qal’eh

Story by Staff Sgt. Ryan Smith | Regimental Combat Team 8, 2nd Marine Division | Date: 12.10.2011

MUSA QAL'EH, Afghanistan - Commerce and travel through the District of Musa Qal’eh just became easier with the completion and grand opening of the Musa Qal’eh Wadi Crossing, Dec. 9.

To continue reading:

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/81169/wadi-crossing-opens-musa-qaleh#.TuN-9laAqso

Lawmaker: Award Marines for Libya ops

By Gidget Fuentes - Staff writer
Posted : Saturday Dec 10, 2011 9:31:58 EST

Eight months after Marine Corps aviators first flew missions in Libya — including the rescue of a downed Air Force pilot — a California representative wants to know why no Marine has been honored with awards for their combat actions.

To continue reading:

http://marinecorpstimes.com/news/2011/12/marine-lawmaker-award-marines-for-libya-ops-121011w/

December 9, 2011

MCB Hawaii commemorates 70th anniversary of Dec. 7 attacks

Story by Kristen Wong | Marine Corps Base Hawaii – Kaneohe Bay | Date: 12.09.2011

MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII, KANEOHE BAY, Hawaii - On the morning of Dec. 7, the flag was flown at half-mast as Marine Corps Base Hawaii held its annual Kaneohe Klipper Memorial Ceremony, commemorating the 70th anniversary of the “day that will live in infamy.”

To continue reading:

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/81152/mcb-hawaii-commemorates-70th-anniversary-dec-7-attacks#.TuKgqFaAqso

A beacon of progress: new bridge highlights development in Helmand

Story by Cpl. Jeff Drew | 2nd Marine Division | Date: 12.09.2011

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Helmand province, Afghanistan – An opening ceremony for the newly constructed wadi crossing in Musa Qal’eh, Helmand province, today serves as a shining beacon of the progress evident throughout Helmand province. The wadi crossing is a bridge across a riverbed that is often impassible in the rainy season, and it connects the district center with neighboring communities, opening access to local markets and towns, improving commerce and facilitating travel year-round.

To continue reading:

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/81108/beacon-progress-new-bridge-highlights-development-helmand#.TuKfAFaAqso

Marine recruits chase down shoplifters

The Associated Press
Posted : Friday Dec 9, 2011 15:47:16 EST

AIKEN, S.C. — Two 18-year-old recruits getting ready to be Marines chased a couple of shoplifters at the Aiken Mall.

To continue reading:

http://marinecorpstimes.com/news/2011/12/ap-marine-recruits-chase-down-shoplifters-120911/

December 8, 2011

NATO fuel tankers set ablaze in Pakistan

By ABDUL SATTAR
Associated Press
Dec 8, 12:04 PM EST

QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) -- Assailants torched more than 20 tankers in Pakistan carrying fuel for U.S. and NATO troops in neighboring Afghanistan on Thursday, in the first reported attack since Islamabad closed the border to protest coalition airstrikes that killed 24 Pakistani troops last month.

To continue reading:

http://ap.stripes.com/dynamic/stories/A/AS_PAKISTAN?SITE=DCSAS&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2011-12-08-10-45-31

Trees for Troops Yearly event brings free trees, holiday cheer to Cherry Point

12/8/2011 By Lance Cpl. Cory D. Polom , Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. — Families started lining up early in the morning to receive a free Christmas tree during the 7th Annual Trees for Troops event at Pelican Point Marina, Friday.

To continue reading:

http://www.marines.mil/unit/mcascherrypoint/Pages/TreesforTroops.aspx#.TuDcplaAqso

December 7, 2011

Michigan family reeling from beloved Marine's death in Afghanistan

By Eric D. Lawrence
Detroit Free Press Staff Writer
Dec. 7, 2011

Marine Staff Sgt. Vincent Bell didn't make it home as often as he wanted, so his family relished his visit during the first week of October.

To continue reading about Fallen Hero, Staff Sgt. Vincent J. Bell, of the 2/11:

http://www.freep.com/article/20111207/NEWS05/112070366/Michigan-family-reeling-from-beloved-Marine-s-death-in-Afghanistan

Progress through partnership: Afghan soldiers, Marines pair up to patrol Garmsir

Photo by Cpl. Reece Lodder | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 12.07.2011

Photos of Afghan National Army soldiers and 3/3 Marines who met with local elders at a shura and built rapport with local children during the patrol. The Marines of “America’s Battalion” will continue to mentor Afghan National Security Forces as they assume security responsibility in Garmsir district. Their interoperability is designed to further the expansion of stability, development and legitimate governance of Afghanistan by defeating insurgent forces and helping secure the Afghan people.

To view nine photos:

http://www.dvidshub.net/image/495566/progress-through-partnership-afghan-soldiers-marines-pair-up-patrol-garmsir#.Tt_NrlaAqso

eMarine is new one-stop-shop

Story by Cpl. Abigail Brown | Marine Corps Air Station New River | Date: 12.07.2011

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION NEW RIVER, N.C. - With many Marines accessing websites like Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, My Pay, Marine Online, Marines.mil and so on, the risk of leaking information vital to operational security is high. To reduce the threat, the Marine Corps offers a secure social media platform called eMarine that links a unit’s page to many pages vital for Marines.

To continue reading:

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/80997/emarine-new-one-stop-shop#.Tt-QblaAqso

Montford Point history now part of OCS

By Gina Cavallaro - Staff writer
Posted : Wednesday Dec 7, 2011 9:04:44 EST

The history of the Montford Point Marines, the Corps’ first black enlistees, is now being taught in class at Officer Candidates School at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.

To continue reading:

http://marinecorpstimes.com/news/2011/12/marine-montford-point-history-now-part-of-ocs-120711/

On date of infamy, Pacific War-named ships commemorate 70th anniversary

12/7/2011 By Gunnery Sgt. Scott Dunn , 11th MEU

USS PEARL HARBOR — Sailors and Marines aboard two ships whose names honor the memory of the Pacific War held services to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor.

To continue reading:

http://www.marines.mil/unit/11thmeu/Pages/OndateofinfamyPacificWarnamedshipscommemorate70thanniversary.aspx#.Tt-M11aAqso

December 6, 2011

Marine Commander to Discuss Afghan Deployment

Marine Support Group will host the commander of the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines at the San Clemente Community Center to talk to the public about the unit's experiences in Afghanistan.

By Adam Townsend
Dec. 6, 2011

The Commander of 1st Battallion, 5th Marines will give a presentation on that unit's recent deployment to Sangin, Afghanistan, knows as the Most Dangerous Place on Earth.

To continue reading:

http://camppendleton.patch.com/articles/marine-commander-to-discuss-afghan-deployment

December 5, 2011

US Marines save, heal Afghan IED victim

Story by Cpl. Reece Lodder | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 12.02.2011
Date Posted:12.05.2011 11:51

SAR BANADAR, Helmand province, Afghanistan — Nine months ago, a quiet 15-year-old Afghan boy had the last normal morning of his life.

To continue reading:

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/80907/us-marines-save-heal-afghan-ied-victim#.Tt40UFaAqsq

Marine strives to make Dominican Republic a better place

12/5/2011 By Lance Cpl. Kevin Crist , Marine Corps Air Station New River

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. — Thoughts of a United States Marine in support of a mission are typically associated with hardened individuals that will take the fight to the enemy’s front door or storm off naval ships and aircraft platforms in support of humanitarian efforts. However, Marines worldwide are making a difference in other aspects that do not require a weapon.

To continue reading:

http://www.marines.mil/unit/mcasmiramar/Pages/MarinestrivestomakeDominicanRepublicabetterplace.aspx#.Tt4yD1aAqso

Hotspots: You might deploy here next

By James K. Sanborn - Staff writer
Posted : Monday Dec 5, 2011 8:24:25 EST

As the Marine Corps resets itself after more than 10 years of large-scale combat, Marines will likely find themselves deploying more to exotic locations.

To continue reading:

http://marinecorpstimes.com/news/2011/12/marine-hotspots-you-might-deploy-here-next-120511w/

100K wreaths headed to Arlington Cemetery

By Clarke Canfield - The Associated Press
Posted : Monday Dec 5, 2011 9:13:37 EST

PORTLAND, Maine — Twenty years ago, wreath company owner Morrill Worcester and a dozen other people laid 5,000 wreaths on headstones at Arlington National Cemetery. It was Worcester's way of giving thanks to the nation's veterans with leftover unsold wreaths.

To continue reading:

http://marinecorpstimes.com/news/2011/12/ap-100k-wreaths-headed-to-arlington-cemetery-120511/

December 4, 2011

Fallen Marine receives a hero's welcome

Grieving family gathers at McNary Field as their fallen Marine comes home

Written by
Capi Lynn
Statesman Journal
11:52 PM, Dec. 4, 2011

Marine Cpl. Adam Buyes was welcomed home Sunday during a somber but stately ceremony on a flag-lined tarmac at McNary Field, eight days after he was killed during combat operations in Afghanistan.

To continue reading about Fallen Hero, Cpl. Adam J. Buyes, of the 3rd Recon:

http://www.statesmanjournal.com/article/20111205/NEWS/112050310/Fallen-Marine-receives-hero-s-welcome?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|News

On post or patrol, Guard Force Platoon maintains security in Garmsir

Story by Cpl. Reece Lodder | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 11.28.2011
Date Posted:12.04.2011 15:20

GARMSIR DISTRICT, Afghanistan — Against the backdrop of a piercing mid-day sun, a squad of U.S. Marines quietly patrols along a Garmsir road. A slew of guests walk evenly within their ranks, following their escorts through the bazaar.

For more on the 3/3:

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/80892/post-patrol-guard-force-platoon-maintains-security-garmsir#.TtzrRlaAqsq

Lessons in Coping for Children of Deployed

By MICHAEL WINERIP
Published: December 4, 2011

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — “Can we talk about deployment?” Gregory Bole, a counselor, asked the kindergartners last week at Tarawa Terrace Elementary, one of seven schools on the Marine base here.

To continue reading:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/05/education/lessons-in-coping-with-deployments-at-camp-lejeune.html?_r=1&scp=4&sq=Michael%20Winerip&st=cse

Conn. Powerball winners donate $1M for veterans

By Stephanie Reitz - The Associated Press
Posted : Sunday Dec 4, 2011 13:06:14 EST

HARTFORD, Conn. — A trio of money managers who shared a $254 million Powerball jackpot said Sunday they were kicking off the first of many charitable donations by splitting a $1 million gift among five veterans’ service organizations.

To continue reading:

http://marinecorpstimes.com/news/2011/12/ap-connecticut-powerball-winners-donate-million-for-veterans-120411/

World War II veterans take haunting pilgrimage

By Tom Charlier - The Commercial Appeal via AP
Posted : Sunday Dec 4, 2011 13:18:44 EST

MEMPHIS, Tenn.— Just like that history-changing morning so long ago, the tide is out and a stiff wind scours the sand, but W.T. Hardwick can’t quite reconcile the serene beach before him with the smoke and chaos of his memories.

To continue reading:

http://marinecorpstimes.com/news/2011/12/ap-world-war-ii-veterans-pilgrimmage-120411/

CLC-6 engineers bolster Route 611 security forces during ‘Eastern Storm’

Story by Sgt. Justin Shemanski | 2nd Marine Logistics Group | Date: 12.04.2011

PATROL BASE NEW JERSEY, Afghanistan - Fresh off a foot patrol, an infantryman with the 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, stepped out of an expeditionary field shower facility only to traipse through a courtyard blanketed by the region’s fine talcum powder-like sand where he was once again dusted with grime.

For more on the CLC-6:

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/80883/clc-6-engineers-bolster-route-611-security-forces-during-eastern-storm#.TtupQFaAqso

Pendleton Marines praise new enlisted digs

By Gidget Fuentes - Staff writer
Posted : Sunday Dec 4, 2011 9:17:56 EST

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — A funny thing happened after Marines moved into a new complex of swanky bachelor enlisted quarters for 1st Marine Logistics Group: Some are finding that hanging out in the barracks on weekends isn’t such a bad option compared to going into town to meet with friends and find a good time.

To continue reading:

http://marinecorpstimes.com/news/2011/12/marine-pendleton-marines-praise-new-enlisted-digs-120411w/

Postwar Marines: smaller, less focused on land war

By ROBERT BURNS, AP National Security Writer – December 4, 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) — With the Iraq war ending and an Afghanistan exit in sight, the Marine Corps is beginning a historic shift, returning to its roots as a seafaring force that will get smaller, lighter and, it hopes, less bogged down in land wars.

To continue reading:

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5i4dsB7aGj1L7uNaCsIEk_xjmQyuQ?docId=f82a5edead514fb6bc66803755719472

Five key Afghan officers visit California

A highlight is a tour of a faux Afghan village constructed at Camp Pendleton to help train Marines before they deploy to a Taliban stronghold. The officers also talk with law enforcement officials.

By Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times
December 4, 2011

Reporting from Camp Pendleton, Calif.—
Five high-ranking officers of the Afghan security forces finished a three-day visit to Southern California on Saturday after observing military training and civilian law enforcement operations in the U.S.

To continue reading:

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-afghan-20111204,0,3785890.story

December 3, 2011

Marine Corps seeks better body armor system

By Dan Lamothe - Staff writer
Posted : Saturday Dec 3, 2011 9:06:33 EST

The Marine Corps has begun researching options for a new modular body armor system that would combine the coverage of the current plate carrier vest with additional soft armor resembling the service’s new pelvic protection system.

To continue reading:

http://marinecorpstimes.com/news/2011/12/marine-corps-seeks-better-body-armor-system-120311w/

December 2, 2011

Traumatic injury pay now covers genital trauma

By Patricia Kime - Staff writer
Posted : Friday Dec 2, 2011 15:53:29 EST

Veterans whose genitals have been severely injured as a result of trauma are now eligible for a lump-sum payment under the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury program, or TSGLI.

To continue reading:

http://marinecorpstimes.com/news/2011/12/military-traumatic-injury-pay-now-covers-genital-trauma-120211w/

E-Marine Connects Units and Families

December 02, 2011
Marine Corps News|by Lance Cpl. R.J. Driver

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, S.C. -- Family readiness officers throughout the Marine Corps use a combination of Facebook, base-sponsored web pages and word of mouth to pass information to their units’ families.

To continue reading:

http://www.military.com/news/article/marine-corps-news/emarine-connects-units-and-families.html

Semper Fi: Marine Corps vet celebrates 105th birthday with friends (With Video)

Published: Friday, December 02, 2011

By JOHN KOPP
jkopp@delcotimes.com

DARBY BOROUGH — Retired Master Sgt. Alfred DeSerio sat in an armchair cracking jokes, demonstrating his daily exercise routine and recalling stories from his 42 years in the Marine Corps.

To continue reading:

http://www.delcotimes.com/articles/2011/12/02/news/doc4ed6ee50adc0f224381088.txt?viewmode=fullstory

Marine’s Christmas song offers tribute to family back home

12/2/2011 By Cpl. Brian Adam Jones , 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (Fwd)
CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan —

While deployed to Iraq, Robert Allen wrote a song for his wife, Carla. He sent it to her on Christmas Eve.

To continue reading:

http://www.marines.mil/unit/mcascherrypoint/Pages/USMC%20Christmas%20Song.aspx#.Ttjh_FaAqso

3rd Recon Marines, loved ones reunite

12/2/2011 By Lance Cpl. Daniel E. Valle , Marine Corps Bases Japan

CAMP SCHWAB, OKINAWA, Japan — More than 34 Marines with 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion’s advanced party returned to Okinawa Nov. 27, where they were met with open arms following a seven-month deployment to Afghanistan.

To continue reading:

http://www.marines.mil/unit/mcbjapan/Pages/2011/111202-return.aspx#.TtjhQlaAqso

December 1, 2011

Website makes WWII records available for free

By Ron Barnett - USA Today
Posted : Thursday Dec 1, 2011 17:30:25 EST

Carol Horner-Iacona of San Marcos, Texas, knew her father had been aboard the USS Helena on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. But it really hit home this week when she found the Navy document on the genealogy website Ancestry.com placing him there on that day.

To continue reading:

http://marinecorpstimes.com/news/2011/12/gannett-website-makes-world-war-2-records-available-for-free-120111/

New Border Advisor Team up to bat in Helmand

Story by Cpl. Marco Mancha | 2nd Marine Division | Date: 12.01.2011

COMBAT OUTPOST CASTLE, Helmand province, Afghanistan -- A new Border Advisor Team recently stepped up to the plate in the war on terror. While nearly half a dozen teams have come before them to train the Afghan policemen guarding the borders of Afghanistan, this group is unlike those before them.

To continue reading:

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/80778/new-border-advisor-team-up-bat-helmand#.TthK21aAqso

Army green to Marine mean

Story by Lance Cpl. Michael Rogers | Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island | Date: 12.01.2011

PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. -- Andrea M. Robb used to be a private first class in the Army National Guard. Now, she is a private first class in the Marine Corps.

To continue reading:

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/80779/army-green-marine-mean#.TtfFz1aAqso

Echo Company battles in the Octagon

Story by Lance Cpl. Francisco Abundes | Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island | Date: 12.01.2011

PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. -- Recruits from Echo Company, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, battled within the confines of the Octagon during the Crucible, Nov. 21.

To continue reading:

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/80771/echo-company-battles-octagon#.TtfEnFaAqso

Nebraska ‘Kidd’ matures for family, love of Corps

Story by Cpl. Marco Mancha | 2nd Marine Division | Date: 12.01.2011

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan - Life in Beaver Lake, Neb., was a fun ride for the small-town boy. He spent most of his time riding four-wheelers, playing sports, and spending time with his girlfriend. Life was good. He never expected for it to be cut short at such a young age.

To continue reading:

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/80764/nebraska-kidd-matures-family-love-corps#.TtfCr1aAqso

Mess hall Marines maintain 3rd Recon morale

Story by Sgt. Earnest J. Barnes | 2nd Marine Division | Date: 12.01.2011

PATROL BASE ALCATRAZ, Helmand province, Afghanistan – Most people do not think twice about the food they eat each day and come to assume three hot meals will be available. The Marines with 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion quickly realized the value of a hot meal after eating pre-packaged Meals-Ready-to-Eat for the first six weeks of their deployment. Fortunately for them, that has all changed.

For more on the 3rd Recon:

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/80751/mess-hall-marines-maintain-3rd-recon-morale#.TtfBhFaAqso

Illinois Marine returns to Marjah district, reflects on progress

Story by Cpl. Tommy Bellegarde | 2nd Marine Division | Date: 12.01.2011

PATROL BASE BEATLEY, Helmand province, Afghanistan – In February 2010, Des Plaines, Ill., native Cpl. Jeffery Rice pushed into Marjah, Helmand province, with other Marines and sailors from 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, to rid the area of a thriving insurgency during Operation Moshtarak.

For more on the 1/6:

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/80745/illinois-marine-returns-marjah-district-reflects-progress#.TtfAN1aAqso

CLC-6 Marines support Task Force 1/6 during ‘Eastern Storm’

Story by Sgt. Justin Shemanski | 2nd Marine Logistics Group | Date: 12.01.2011

FORWARD OPERATING BASE NOLAY, Afghanistan - Little more than two months ago, the region through which Route 611 traced north through Helmand province was a dangerous one, at best. Known as the last Taliban stronghold in southern Afghanistan, the Upper Sangin Valley was gripped in terror and saw little activity in the way of local commerce and development along its main thoroughfare. The future was bleak.

For more on the CLC-6 and the 1/6:

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/80768/clc-6-marines-support-task-force-1-6-during-eastern-storm#.Tte9SFaAqso

Absolutely Alabama: Parris Island

Posted: Dec 01, 2011 2:01 PM CST

Over the next several weeks, we'll be hearing holiday greetings from American servicemen and women around the globe. Many of them are, at this moment, in harm's way, doing our nation's business. Service to their country may have begun at a place like Parris Island where the motto is simple: we make Marines.

To continue reading:

http://www.myfoxal.com/story/16166654/absolutely-alabama-parris-island#.Ttlub0ehNDw.facebook

Marine Corps Reserves’ Dunkin’ Donuts Toys for Tots Train Hits the Rails for 2011 Run

Published: 12/01 2:08 pm

From Dunkin Donuts:

The Marine Corps Reserves’ Dunkin’ Donuts Toys for Tots Train, presented by Canadian Pacific Railway, will make its annual run across New York to deliver gifts to thousands of children in need. The train’s run is the result of a $25,000 contribution from Dunkin’ Donuts to the Toys for Tots Foundation.

To continue reading:

http://www.newschannel34.com/content/developingnews/story/Marine-Corps-Reserves-Dunkin-Donuts-Toys-for-Tots/-a9SQmWat06ofREohfmk_w.cspx