Excerpt from a CMC speaking engagement:
I would share with you a story that took place back in the spring in Iraq. I say that Iraq is better, but Iraq is still a very dangerous place. On the morning of 22 April, outside an entry control point in the city of Ramadi, we had two young Marines standing post at that entry control point. One was from 1st battalion 9th Marines, the other one was from 2nd battalion, 8th Marines, two different battalions because there was a turnover taking place, one battalion to the other. Inside this compound where we were with the Iraqis were about 40 Marines, some of whom were sleeping because they’d had night patrol the night before. Some of who were going about their daily routine.
At about 9:30 that morning a 20-foot tanker truck busted through the outer cordon of Iraqis and headed towards an old flimsy metal gate. At 500 yards, the Marines realized what was taking place and they started putting aimed rifle fire on that cab. There is an escalation process that takes place but, in fact, they didn’t go through that process because they recognized immediately what was occurring. At about 25 yards, the machine gun opened up and the truck then came to a halt about 10 yards the post. The truck exploded, we think there was probably a dead-man switch. They had 2,000 pounds of explosive that was ignited. Young Corporal Yale from Burkeville, Virginia, and Lance Corporal Haerter from Sag Harbor, New York, really never had a chance with the explosives that close. The Iraqis who had been manning the gate when we opened fire ran. And later, an hour or two later when General Kelly and the Iraqi commander came to view this hole that was seven feet deep and 20 feet across, the Iraqi commander said to General Kelly, why didn’t they run? My men ran and they lived. General Kelly said, they couldn’t run. I hope some day you will understand that, but they couldn’t run because there were 40 Marines on the inside of that gate depending on them.
I’ll tell you, folks, if our country continues to provide us with great young Marines like that, we can go anywhere and do anything that this nation asks. God bless you all. Thank you very much.
Youtube video of bridge dedication in Sag Harbor