'It's your medal': Read Kyle Carpenter's inspiring speech to Marjah vets

By Hope Hodge Seck, Staff writer 5:21 p.m. EST February 16, 2015

On Feb. 13, 2010, Marines assaulted the Taliban hub of Marjah in Southern Afghanistan in what coalition leaders would title Operation Moshtarak, from an Afghan Dari word meaning "together," or "joint." The attack would be the largest military operation since the start of the war in Afghanistan nine years earlier. It would take longer than expected and take a greater toll in casualties than anticipated.

According to a tally by Marjahveterans.com, 78 U.S. and British troops would lose their lives in Marjah and in support of Operation Moshtarak. But the operation would also be a success: Coalition forces ultimately flushed out insurgents from their stronghold and returned greater safety and stability to the region's population.

From the Battle of Marjah also came one of the Marine Corps' greatest stories of heroism out of Afghanistan. Medically retired Marine Cpl. Kyle Carpenter would receive the Medal of Honor for throwing himself on a grenade to shielda friend and fellow Marine from the blast during the 2010 Marjah assault.

On the five-year anniversary of the launch of Operation Moshtarak, Carpenter addressed several hundred Marjah veterans at the National Museum of the Marine Corps. Here, as accurately transcribed as possible from a recording, is his deeply moving and personal speech.

"With this short amount of time I have to speak to you tonight, I couldn't possibly sum up the historical battle of Marjah.

Read more: 'It's your medal': Read Kyle Carpenter's inspiring speech to Marjah vets

2015 F4 Reunion Info

 

June 17 through the 20th, 2015

Charleston Plaza Hotel

4770 Goer Drive
North Charleston, SC 29406

Charleston Plaza Hotel

Tel for Reservations: 1-888-747-1900
"Must give group name VMFA-333 and specify type of room they need: King, Double-Double, Disabled"

$110 per night: Includes two hot breakfast Buffets - if more people in the room only an additional $4 per person for breakfast

Wednesday June 17

Hospitality Suite Opens in early PM
Kids Room Opens: 6:00 pm - Games, TV, etc

Read more: 2015 F4 Reunion Info

His Heroism Goes Beyond Athletics

Brigadier General

Frank Huey

It was his 31st mission, the night of April 21, 1966, in the midst of the Vietnam War and not long after a surge in deployment of American troops, when Frank Alvin Huey's fighter jet was shot down over Laos.

He'd been hotdogging it, gloves off, sleeves rolled up, painting a line of supply trucks with napalm on the Ho Chí Minh trail, when flames roared into the cockpit, searing the Marine's left hand before he managed to eject.

Huey had been a multi-sport star at Milford High and the University of Delaware, and is being honored with his induction into the Delaware Sports Museum and Hall of Fame on Thursday at the Chase Center in Wilmington. But before then, as a child, his teachers were all women until he reached seventh grade, when the men began returning home from World War II. This group included his football coach at Milford, a bomber pilot, and Huey, like many boys his age, admired them.

"They had a tremendous influence on us," he said.

Read more: His Heroism Goes Beyond Athletics

Marines Air Chief Nominated For Key Defense Advisory Role

Law360, Washington (February 18, 2014, 8:48 PM ET) -- U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Robert E. Schmidle Jr. has been nominated as principal deputy director of the U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation, advising Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on the cost and feasibility of planned defense programs, the DOD announced Tuesday.
Schmidle, nominated to fill the CAPE role by President Barack Obama, is currently the Marine Corps’ deputy commandant for aviation, heading up policy for the Corps' aviation units and facilitating their manning, training and equipment, according to the DOD.

CAPE, which has held several names since its establishment in 1961 as the Office of Systems Analysis, works to combine the expertise of about 150 military officers and civilian workers across a range of disciplines with support from contractors to provide private, independent analysis to the defense secretary, according to the agency.

The agency's analysis extends to military plans, programs and budgets, assessing them — often against potential alternatives — on the basis of cost and available resources and whether programs meet defense objectives and policies. It also explores the impact of DOD spending on the U.S economy, it claims, and as such, Schmidle will play a key role in advising Hagel on the future of the military.

Among other duties, CAPE assists with development of joint programming guidance for the DOD, setting out the agency’s future plans, and with the direction of the military’s annual program review, although it does not have any direct decision-making authority.

Read more: Marines Air Chief Nominated For Key Defense Advisory Role

Beaufort on track to get 1st F-35 in June

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Marine Corps in South Carolina is getting its first futuristic F-35 fighter jets in June, a commander from the Air Station in Beaufort announced Wednesday.

Marine Air Group 31 commander Col. Bill Leiblien told members of the South Carolina Military Base Task Force that the first of dozens of aircraft and pilots are due to arrive by early to mid-June.

“We will be in full pilot production in October 2014,” Leiblien told the group of several dozen military officers and supporters.

Leiblien said it will take about eight to 10 months to train each pilot on the advanced aircraft, which is both stealthy and supersonic.

Read more: Beaufort on track to get 1st F-35 in June

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Help the VMFA-333 Association End the Year Strong

When you give a tax-deductible gift to the VMFA-333 Association, you're advancing the legend of the World Famous Fighting Shamrocks and recognizing the contribution that 333 made to Marine Aviation! And you are strengthening the bonds of loyalty that unite all Marines!

Please help our Association be as prepared as possible to execute its mission in the new year by giving a special year-end gift today. Thank you for your partnership and generosity!

 


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