SGT Charlie Linville

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As an explosive ordnance disposal technician, Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Charlie Linville would defuse as many as 40 bombs on a typical day on duty in Afghanistan. In January 2011, he and his team were conducting a routine sweep when Sgt. Linville was struck by a device and he was blasted into the air. He was immediately evacuated and then treated in several hospitals, ending up at Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego. His wife, Mandi (his high-school sweetheart), and their two daughters, Taylor and Dylan, moved there to be with him as he underwent a dozen surgeries.

Despite all of their intervention, doctors realized that they would need to remove the Marine’s foot, a decision that Sgt. Linville and his family accepted with grace and a sense of humor. One day, Taylor and her mother were at Party City, waiting for the store to open. When a woman asked Taylor, “What are you celebrating?” Taylor, then 4, explained that her father was having his foot amputated and they were having a “going away-foot” party.

Sgt. Linville has since mastered walking with a prosthetic foot, and he plans to climb Mt. Everest as part of the Heroes Project in the spring 2015. Here, he poses with his younger daughter, Dylan.

We honor you, Charlie Linville.

(#Repost @https://www.rd.com/true-stories/inspiring/veterans-stories-returning-home/)

Cpl Stephen E. Austin

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On June 8, 1968, a young Marine corporal was in the fight of his life with fellow Marines in an operation just south of Da Nang, Vietnam. A half century later he would be awarded the nation’s second highest award for combat bravery for his heroic actions that fateful day.

On Saturday, the Commandant of the Marine Corps General Robert B. Neller awarded the Navy Cross posthumously to Cpl. Stephen E. Austin during a reunion held in Alexandria, Virginia, for 1st Battalion, 27th Marines — the unit Austin served as a squad leader with. The award was presented to Austin’s daughter, Neily Esposito.

Austin gave his life in Vietnam on June 8, 1968, when he single-handedly took on a bunker firing on his unit.

The young corporal convinced his platoon leader not to pull back his unit that was taking heavy fire from a bunker. The platoon leader wanted to withdraw and destroy the bunker with an airstrike.

But there was fear that the unit could take heavy casualties if they retreated, the Fresno Bee reported.

Austin maneuvered his squad to a point where they could provide cover fire on the bunker.

“With complete disregard for his own safety, Corporal Austin single-handedly assaulted the bunker and destroyed it with a grenade,” his award citation reads.

Austin was mortally wounded in the attack on the bunker, but his unit prevailed because of his selfless actions. For nearly two weeks leading up to June 8, 1968, Austin’s company with 1/27 had been in the field in an operation dubbed Allen Brook just south of Da Nang.

On June 5, 1968, Austin’s unit suffered heavy casualties, 28 wounded and six dead, according to the final letter he wrote home to his parents.

“I am so sick of fighting I’ve seen and helped to[o] many boys my age or younger that was wounded or dead,” Austin wrote in his letter.

Friends and some of the men from Austin’s unit pushed an effort to award Austin a citation for his heroic deeds, which took several years to get approved, the Fresno Bee reported. Originally, the men had submitted Austin for the Silver Star but it was upgraded to the Navy Cross, according to the Fresno Bee.

“Honored to present the Navy Cross medal to the family of Cpl Stephen E. Austin, who was killed in 1968 while saving members of his platoon in Vietnam,” Neller said in a posting on Twitter. “He demonstrated ‘Semper Fidelis’ through the very end. Proud to wear the same cloth as American heroes like Cpl Austin.”

We honor you, Stephen Austin.

(#Repost @Marine Times)

GySgt Eric Olson

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I was born in Vancouver, Washington on January 6, 1980. I went to Goldendale H.S. in Goldendale, Washington. I earned a diploma from Goldendale H.S. in 1998. During high school I worked with my uncle performing general construction contracting.

My mother is Cindy Olson and Father is Phillip Olson.  They both reside in Centerville, Washington.  I have two younger brothers, Matthew and Wade.  My wife, Brandi Olson, along with my daughters, Emma and Sophia have recently relocated back to Goldendale, WA for my medical retirement.

I enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve in June 1997 and reported to 6th ESB Category P platoon to begin fulfilling my contract.  I reported to MCRD San Diego in June 1998. Upon graduation in September 1998, I returned to 6th ESB. I reported to Basic Combat Engineer School in June 1999 as a LCpl and MCT in June 2001 as a Corporal. While at 6th ESB I deployed to Okinawa, Japan as part of a UDP, Alaska, and Belize.  I also performed more than 6 months of ADSW to assist in Color Guard and Burial details.

In August of 2001 I applied for and was accepted to the Active Reserve Program and reported to VMFA-112 at Joint Reserve Naval Air Station Fort Worth, Texas in January 2002.  Upon reporting, I immediately went to Powerplant and Fuel System A-School in Pensacola, Florida and F-18 C-School in El Centro, California.  I also obtained the 5811 (Military Police) MOS as well as Marksmanship Coach MOS while stationed with VMFA-112.  Also while stationed at VMFA-112 I graduated from Columbia College of Missouri with an Associate in Arts and a Baccalaureate Degree in interdisciplinary Studies.  While stationed with VMFA-112 I deployed to Miramar twice, Eglin AFB, Elmendorf AFB, Norway, Hawaii twice, and completed 1 WestPac.  I was promoted to Sergeant in April 2004.  I then received orders to EOD School in Eglin AFB, Florida in June 2006 and graduated as the Honor Graduate in April 2007.

After graduation from NAVSCHOLEOD I served as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Technician at 9th Engineer Support Battalion.  I was promoted to Staff Sergeant in August 2008.  While at 9th ESB, my deployments include KITP 07(South Korea), Balikitan 08(Phillipines), OIF 08-2 as a Team Leader, and a Far East float as a Team Leader with 31st MEU Force Reconnaissance Platoon. I attended Silver Flag, SNCO Academy Career Course, Dynamic Entry, Dynamic Assault, completed the Joint Services Senior SNCO PME, and Dynamics of International Terrorism.  I detached from 9th ESB EOD Company in May 2010 and reported to 7th ESB, 1st EOD Company in June 2010.

Upon reporting to 1st EOD Company I began pre-deployment training for OEF and deployed to Afghanistan in September 2010.  I was assigned to the Kajaki battle space near the Kajaki Dam.  While at Kajaki I lost my team member to an IED on November 19 while performing a search.  On January 3, 2011 I functioned a pressure switch resulting in a low order detonation and ended my Afghanistan deployment.  Since that time I have held a variety of billets to include Training Chief, Operations Chief, and EOD Chief.  I underwent foot reconstruction surgery in April 2012.  In April 2013 it was determined that I am unfit for continued active service and was given a medical retirement date of 29 September, 2013.

My immediate plans are to find a job with either the County or State for a year or two.  During this time I intend to work on my gunsmithing and receive my Federal Firearms License.  My five year plan includes opening a retail gun shop, as well as a shooting complex including distance and clay shooting, leaning heavily toward sponsoring youth marksmanship programs.

We honor you, Eric Olson.
(#Repost @Halo Warrior Foundation)

CPT Ted Williams

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The Baseball Hall of Famer smashed 521 home runs during his career in spite of missing nearly five full seasons to serve in the military. During World War II, the Boston Red Sox slugger trained as a pilot and gunner but did not see any combat. After playing just six games of the 1952 season—and homering in his last at bat—Williams was recalled for military service and deployed to Korea. Williams flew 39 combat missions as a Marine Corps pilot, including several as Glenn’s wingman. The 16-time All Star’s plane was hit by enemy gunfire at least three times, and he was lucky to survive a wheels-up “belly” landing after one of his missions. Williams was formally discharged following the cease-fire in July 1953 with three air medals.

We honor you, Ted Williams.

(#Repost @ https://www.history.com/news/10-famous-korean-war-veterans)

SSgt John P. Jones

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Staff Sergeant John P. Jones was born March 12, 1977 and was raised in Enid, OK. He joined the United States Marine Corps in July 1995, and underwent recruit training at MCRD San Diego. He completed recruit training and was assigned to SOI west at Camp Pendleton, CA where he was assigned the MOS of 0331 Machine Gunner. After completion of his MOS School, he was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, Company “G” Weapons Platoon, where he was deployed to Okinawa, Japan in 1996. Upon completion of his tour with 2/7, he then transferred to 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, Company “C” in 1997 where he deployed again to Okinawa, Japan in 1999 and held security for the G-8 Summit and participated in Cobra Gold 2000. He then transferred to Marine Corps Security Forces Training Company where he was a Cadre Instructor and Non-Lethal Weapons Instructor.

In 2002, Staff Sergeant Jones was transferred to Bahrain where he participated in Operations Southern Watch and Operation Iraqi Freedom 1. He then transferred to 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, Company “C” again and deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom 2 in August 2004. During his deployment, SSgt Jones was severely injured when his hummer ran over a double-stacked anti-tank mine. SSgt Jones underwent 30 surgeries at NNMC Bethesda, MD attempting to save his legs. As a result of his injuries, SSgt Jones lost both legs below the knees.

SSgt Jones transferred down to BAMC San Antonio, TX where he rehabilitated his legs and gradually began the process of walking again with prosthesis. In 2005, he joined 4th Reconnaissance Battalion where he was assigned as the Operations and Training SNCOIC. SSgt Jones medically retired from the USMC in 2007, putting in a total of 12 years of service to his country. Shortly after retirement, SSgt Jones began training fellow wounded servicemen and women with the F.A.T.S. System (Fire Arms Training Simulator). He devoted his time and effort to help retrain service-members how to shoot their weapons effectively with their new disabilities. SSgt Jones had a 100% success rate to include graduation of various amputees, burn victims, and blind patients.

SSgt Jones was the Executive Director of Wall Street Warfighters Foundation.  Wall Street Warfighters Foundation helps disabled veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan find jobs in the financial industry.  During his time at WWSF he developed the training programs for the participants.  He was an intricate part of the development of the job hiring processes with various banks and financial institutions

SSgt Jones is working for the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, as a development officer and special projects. MCSF provides scholarships to the children of Marines and Navy personnel that have been killed in action, wounded in action, and for those that have served the US Marines and Navy Corpsmen whom are attached to the Marines.

We honor you, John Jones.

(#Repost @Halo Warrior Foundation)

Sgt Bob Williams

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In the summer of 2012—almost 70 years to the day he joined the Marines at age 17—Bob Williams presented his story to Todd DePastino’s World War II History class at the Canonsburg campus of Waynesburg University.  Bob landed at Parris Island at a hard time for the Marines.  The Corps was so short of manpower that the teenage Bob soon became a drill instructor, barking orders at recruits a dozen years older than he.

By 1944, Bob had transferred to the new 24th Marine Regiment, which, along with the 23rd and the 25th, became part of the 4th Marine Division.  When the 4th Marines stepped aboard ship in San Diego, they would not touch dry land again unless they were fighting on it.  There would be four island invasions over the next thirteen months: Roi Namor, Saipan, Tinian, and Iwo Jima.

Bob made it only as fas as Saipan.  Like so many combat veterans, he considers himself very lucky.  So many close calls.  So many killed by fire that should have struck him.  Finally, on July 4, 1944, he did get hit.

It was still dark when Sgt. Williams saw the grenade land at his feet.  He scrambled for a bomb crater.  The grenade exploded, and Bob, expecting another grenade, jumped up and started running.  He noticed a loose rope flopping around him.  It was his arm, disabled by the blast.  Bob would spend the next year in military hospitals.  His arm would heal well enough for Bob to earn a living as a wallpaper hanger back in Pennsylvania.

Recently, Bob’s daughter Pam Rose sent a summary of his VBC interview to the Camp Pendleton Historical Society, which published his account in its 2014 first quarter edition.

We honor you, Bob Williams.

(#Repost @http://veteransbreakfastclub.com/veterans-breakfast-club-interview-prompts-article/)

MSgt Catherine G. Murray

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The first female Marine to retire from the U.S. Marine Corps was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on [January 23, 2018].

Catherine G. Murray, who passed away last month at the age of 100, enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserves in 1943 after hearing President Franklin D. Roosevelt announce the Pearl Harbor attack over the radio. She transferred to active duty five years later.

Her first assignment was as a motor transport Marine during World War II. After the war, she was one of the first female Marines transferred to Hawaii.

During her service, Murray was a fierce advocate for women, once standing up to two colonels after she felt they were not giving female Marines enough credit, according to her YouTube channel.

In 1962, Murray was the first woman to retire from the Corps, achieving the rank of Master Sergeant.

Even after her retirement, Murray continued to serve her country, becoming the first enlisted woman to join the Fleet Marine Reserves where she served until 1972.

Murray passed away December 20, 2017.

 

We honor you, Catherine Murray.

(#Repost @ABC News)