I know I’m an old man now because I reminisce about a battle that happened ten years ago. That’s what old men do.
A Gunnery-Sergeant motivates his Marines on D-Day of Operation Moshtarak. [Caution, language]
Ten years ago, in 2010 I was a young Lieutenant on my first deployment. I had been out own patrols. We had lost friends. Our Sgt Maj had lost both of his legs on one of the patrols. I had been pinned down behind a wall with a Sergeant I’m honored to remember as a friend who later died checking on his friends in an IED attack.
I had been pinned down behind an armored vehicle with a college buddy, Dave who was now the Scout Sniper Platoon Commander for 1st Battalion Second Marines when we were scouting locations for his Snipers to engage the enemy (we found them). I was with 3rd Battalion 10th Marines, I was an Intelligence Officer for an Artillery Battalion. I caught a piece of the action, but the big invasion, the clearing of Marjah was an Infantry Battle, Operation Moshtarak.
Two USMC Infantry Battalions attacked Marjah from The East and the North West. US Army Special Operations Teams and Afghan Army Special Operation teams inserted into the South as a disruption. 3/10 provided fire support with Artillery. We had been there before the Infantry Battalions, operating a fixing and disruption effort until the Infantry arrived. But on this night they were here, and they were going into the fight. All I could do, all my Battalion could do was provide remote fire support and intelligence, and be ready to re-assume the security role we had held once the Infantry was fully engaged.
I get that feeling again today. Many of us in the YangGang have been providing our support remotely. We are eager to do our part when the campaign comes to our neck of the woods - we’ve text banked and phone banked and written and advocated on social media. We see our Brothers and Sisters heading into the action today, tonight in the caucuses in Iowa. We wish we were with them. We stand ready to pick up the struggle when it comes to our areas and to provide remote support by phone, text, writing and social media and donating for the next areas of the campaign. New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada and then Super Tuesday states.
Good luck and godspeed to our brothers and sisters in the #YangGang in Iowa. You are in our thoughts. You can do this.