Thursday, May 29, 2008

Boy stands up for Old Glory

Jeffrey Sahli noticed the faded, fraying American flag outside Evergreen Middle School soon after he started eighth grade last year.
"I thought the flag wasn't being treated with flag etiquette. I thought I needed to do that," the 14-year-old said. "I wanted to serve my country and I thought, heck, I'll start right here."
With the principal's permission, he began taking care of Old Glory. Every school day he carefully hoists the U.S. and Colorado flags before classes and takes them down before heading home. He folds the Colorado flag into a neat square, the U.S. flag into a triangle, and places them in a cabinet in the office.
He keeps them inside on stormy days.
Susan Roy didn't know Jeffrey but saw him every time she dropped off and picked up her son at Evergreen Middle.
"Jeff would be out there - rain or shine - it didn't matter," she said. "He just wasn't taking it down, throwing it over his shoulders and taking it inside. He was very purposeful about it."
"As simple as it is to some people, it really is a big deal. He doesn't do it for an attaboy.
"He just does it because it's right."
Roy was so impressed that she told a family friend stationed in Iraq about Jeffrey. First Sgt. Timothy Horan serves with the Kentucky National Guard's 138th Fires Brigade.
"You don't hear of kids taking that kind of responsibility, especially with something like that," he said. "A lot of younger kids think it's corny."
Horan bought a flag at the military store and hung it above Camp Liberty near the Baghdad airport on Jan. 30 in Jeffrey's honor.
The next day, he was flown out of the country for emergency heart surgery. Friends sent the flag to Horan this spring. He got it to Roy who gave it to Evergreen Principal Jane Sutera.
Sutera arranged a surprise ceremony Thursday at the school where a shocked and grateful Jeffrey received the flag and a certificate from the Army recognizing his patriotism.
"I've never been recognized for doing something as simple as that," he said.
"It was one of the best feelings I've had in my life."
He said he wasn't embarrassed by the attention because he wants people to see what he stands for.
"I stand for duty, honor, God and country."
Jeffrey doesn't come from a military background, though he hopes to attend West Point.
He wears a cross and a dog tag on a chain under his shirt. The bands on his braces are red, white and blue.
Outside Evergreen Middle School, the flag is clean and bright.
Jeffrey said the flag reminds him of the soldiers serving in Iraq.
"When they're coming home, I wanted them to see the flag flying high." or 303-954-2361
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Friday, May 23, 2008

Marines Provide Relief to Community

May 22, 2008
Marine Corps News|by LCpl Daniel R. Todd
KORAT, Thailand - To help improve the standard of living in a small, poverty-stricken community in Korat, Thailand, service members participating in Cobra Gold 2008 and Thai officials organized a charity event May 12.

"After seeing the little kids without clothes, light, electricity or food we decided that this was the best place to do a community relations project," said Master Chief Petty Officer Jay Stuckey, the U.S. Navy senior enlisted member for Headquarters and Service Battalion, Marine Forces Pacific, Camp Smith, Hawaii.

The group delivered more than 200 hygiene kits, which included hand sanitizer, soap, antibacterial wipes and other hygiene products. They also handed out toys, including stuffed animals and soccer balls, to the children.

Boy Scout Troop 248 from Aeia, Hawaii, provided the hygiene kits that were collected during an Eagle Scout project. Service members participating in Cobra Gold donated the money.

The people cheered loudly while welcoming the service members with flowers and hand-made necklaces, a gesture that the service members said brightened their rainy day.

A few service members said the pouring rain was unpleasant, but as soon as they saw how happy the people were, it took their mind off of everything else. They all agreed making the people smile and bringing a little joy to them was worth bearing the rain storm and getting a little dirty.

The service members also said the resilient nature of the locals left an impression on them.

"It was a very humbling experience to see how happy the people can be with so little," said Master Sgt. Henry Sutton, postal chief with Headquarters and Service Battalion, Marine Forces Pacific.

"It really made me appreciate what I have a lot more and showed me how blessed I truly am."

For Petty Officer 2nd Class Christian Montano, an aviation electronics technician with Fleet Readiness Center Northwest, Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Oak Harbor, Washington, the experience was an eye opening one. He said he never thought that a small plastic bag containing a few hygiene products could make such a big impact on people.

"Coming here and having this opportunity to bring joy to these people really made me realize how much I should appreciate the little things in life," Montano said. "I think everyone should jump at an opportunity like this if they ever have the chance. It is just an overwhelming experience."

© Copyright 2008 Marine Corps News

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

New Website

Lubbock Marine Parents now has a new website! Come by and visit us at We will eventually move the blog over, but for now we're staying right here.

We've also added a new program called Adopt a Medic (and added a new 2nd VP in charge of that program). Look for more info to come.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Meeting Tonight!

Please join us for our meeting tonight at 8:15pm at Daybreak Coffee on 19th and Quaker Ave. We'll be discussing Adopt a Medic, Operation Recruiter Appreciation, cookbooks, and the 4th on Broadway. Even if you've never been to one our meetings before, you are welcome to stop by.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Marines Far Surpass Recruiting Goal

May 13, 2008
Associated Press

WASHINGTON - The Marine Corps far surpassed its recruiting goal last month and could eventually be more than a year ahead of schedule in its plan to grow the force to 202,000 members.

All military services met or exceeded their monthly recruiting goals in April, with the Marine Corps signing 142 percent of the number it was looking for, the Pentagon said.

The Army signed 101 percent of its goal, recruiting 5,681 against a goal of 5,650. The Navy and Air Force met their goals - 2,905 sailors and 2,435 airmen.

The Marine Corps enlisted 2,233 recruits against a goal of 1,577.

"The Marine Corps, if they continue to achieve the kind of success they have had, could meet their growth figures more than a year early," Defense Department spokesman Bryan Whitman told Pentagon reporters. That would mean by around the end of 2009.

Stretched thin by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon last year recommended that the Army be increased by about 65,000 soldiers to a total of 547,000, and the Marines be increased by 27,000 to 202,000.

Recruiting is easier in a slow economy, which limits other job possibilities that are available. But officials also noted that the Army and Marines have added recruiters as well as bonuses and other special benefits to attract more recruits in the midst of the unpopular war in Iraq.
© Copyright 2008 Associated Press

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Mother's Day Picture

This is for all the mothers of more than one son. These "good" sons are trying to take a nice picture for Mom on Mother's Day. Well, it's the thought that counts, right?

Dutch troops train for Africa at Camp Lejeune

By Trista Talton - Staff writer
Posted : Wednesday May 7, 2008 9:46:59 EDT

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — Sgt. Erwin Spil could see his Marines’ arms slightly shaking, fierce concentration marking their faces.

Firing live rounds in close quarters kept the Dutch marines on their toes. Hard to say what’s around a corner or who might be standing on the other side of a wall, said Spil, an instructor with 11th Company, 1st Marine Battalion.

Training in the shoot-house at Camp Lejeune’s mobile military operations in urban terrain facility was among the highlights for the Dutch marines, here on a three-week stay at the base.

About 120 of the Korps Mariners — the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps — have been hosted by 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, and granted access to places such as the mobile MOUT and live-fire ranges peppered throughout the base.

“This kind of facility, like the shoot-house, in the Netherlands, we don’t have that,” Spil said.

On a warm April 29 morning, outside of the shoot-house, a small group of the Dutch marines suited up in their flak jackets and helmets, patterned in brightly colored green-brown-black camouflage. The protective gear stood in contrast with their woodland cammies, similar to those Marines wore before “digital” camouflage was introduced, and was provided courtesy of the Dutch army.

Like their U.S. counterparts, Dutch marines are considered a part of “the few.” The Royal Netherlands Marine Corps is about the size of a standard Marine regiment, about 3,000 Marines. But the group’s history spans back long before the first Marines pledged an oath at Tun Tavern. Korps Mariners formed in 1665, during the Anglo-Dutch Wars.

Camp Lejeune is a spiritual home of sorts for Dutch marines, who came to the base in 1944 after their homeland fell under Nazi control. Reorganizing completely at Camp Lejeune, the foreign troops settled in the Hadnot Point and Montford Point areas of the base to model their newly reformed corps after the American troops, according to historical records of the Montford Point Marines Association.

Members of the Dutch brigade practiced amphibious operations alongside their American counterparts, used the same base exchanges and facilities, and even modeled their uniforms on the U.S. pattern, according to the records. The units left the base in 1945.

Today’s Dutch marines have live-fire ranges of their own, but have less freedom when they conduct live-fire exercises because range control, not individual units, is in charge of exercises. They have access to two MOUTs, which are shared by all of the Dutch military, roughly 70,000 troops.

At Lejeune’s mobile MOUT, which is designed to resemble an Iraqi village, the Dutch marines tackling the shoot-house were reminded that communication in close quarters is important.

“You forget to communicate,” Spil said.

Lt. Maarten Van Der Hoek, 1st Platoon commander, 11th Company, said using live rounds makes a difference in their training.

“We’re used to working with blanks,” he said. “Now we have live rounds. You can see the tension in their faces.”

Several miles away at a live-fire range, another group of Dutch marines with 11th, 13th and 14th companies, prepared to walk the line.

As the Dutch marines fired their M16s, Marines with 3/8 watched their Dutch counterparts narrow in on targets.

“They’ve done well,” said Capt. Dan O’Brien, an exchange officer and officer in charge of a Dutch marine company-sized attachment. “That’s pretty competent basic gunnery they did and, two weeks ago, they couldn’t do that.”

Dutch marines don’t often have to train at ranges where they shoot into the sand, which helps shooters see where they’re hitting, O’Brien said. Dutch marines have even less access to machine-gun live fire in the Netherlands and they do not get as much ammunition.

Cpl. Stephen McGarry, a machine-gunner with 8th Marines, was one of two U.S. Marines working with Dutch marines firing their machine guns on the same range.

“They’re all really eager to learn,” he said. “The guys have been shooting real good the past couple of days.”

Dutch marines taking part in the training at Lejeune are preparing to deploy this fall to Chad in central Africa, where they will provide aid to Darfur refugees from the neighboring nation of Sudan.