my brother was was a marine vet, serving in the 2nd LAREBn 2d marine division out of camp lejeune. he served 3 tours in iraq, received the marine corps good conduct medal, combat action ribbon, sea service deployment ribbon, iraq campaign medal with two bronze stars, the global war on terrorism service medal, the national defense service medal, and rifle qualification badge (sharpshooter).
he was loved, revered, and respected by all who fought alongside him. i know because 30 of his marine corps brothers came to his memorial service and funeral six weeks ago. i lost one brother and gained 30. i got the chance to talk with them, to drink beer with them (and a few shots), to hear stories about their time in iraq together.
the most striking story was this: when their group would capture insurgents (my brother was the leader), most of the soldiers would just throw them in the vehicle without any care for whether they got injured or not. my brother would yell at his men for doing that, and would himself put the captives in the vehicle with his hand cradling their heads so they wouldn’t hit them against the side. think twice before assuming combat vets are just killing machines. the caliber of my brother’s character was unmatched.
for my brother, for my brother’s brothers, for the marines, for the vets, for the ones who think they are forgotten, i owe so much to you. not a day goes by that i don’t worry about other young vets like my brother, state-side casualties of OIF. 
my family and my marine family all wear bracelets in memory of my brother:
CPL (FIRST MIDDLE LAST) - USMC
OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM - 3 TOURS
PTSD - 6/23/86-4/14/13
never forget the fallen. i love you, bub. semper fi.

my brother was was a marine vet, serving in the 2nd LAREBn 2d marine division out of camp lejeune. he served 3 tours in iraq, received the marine corps good conduct medal, combat action ribbon, sea service deployment ribbon, iraq campaign medal with two bronze stars, the global war on terrorism service medal, the national defense service medal, and rifle qualification badge (sharpshooter).

he was loved, revered, and respected by all who fought alongside him. i know because 30 of his marine corps brothers came to his memorial service and funeral six weeks ago. i lost one brother and gained 30. i got the chance to talk with them, to drink beer with them (and a few shots), to hear stories about their time in iraq together.

the most striking story was this: when their group would capture insurgents (my brother was the leader), most of the soldiers would just throw them in the vehicle without any care for whether they got injured or not. my brother would yell at his men for doing that, and would himself put the captives in the vehicle with his hand cradling their heads so they wouldn’t hit them against the side. think twice before assuming combat vets are just killing machines. the caliber of my brother’s character was unmatched.

for my brother, for my brother’s brothers, for the marines, for the vets, for the ones who think they are forgotten, i owe so much to you. not a day goes by that i don’t worry about other young vets like my brother, state-side casualties of OIF. 

my family and my marine family all wear bracelets in memory of my brother:

CPL (FIRST MIDDLE LAST) - USMC

OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM - 3 TOURS

PTSD - 6/23/86-4/14/13

never forget the fallen. i love you, bub. semper fi.

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