Tonight, we have six Marines to remember. They were killed in two separate incidents on Friday, August 10th by Afghan allies. Since the beginning of 2012, there have been 37 NATO troops killed by Afghan allies.
The reports of the incidents have changed a couple of times, the latest is an Afghan local police man walked into the Marine Corps Special Operations Command Center and opened fire. One Marine was shot in the back and killed, three others were in an adjacent room and the bullets penetrated the plywood killing two, according to Marine Corps Times
The second attack appears to have happened at a joint US and Afghani base in Helmand Province. An Afghani went to the base gymnasium and opened fire killing three Marines.
A special thanks to JaxDem for writing the tribute to Captain Matthew Manoukian.
DoD Announces Marine Casualties
They died Aug. 10 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. These Marines were assigned to 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion, Camp Pendleton, Calif.
Capt. Matthew P. Manoukian, 29, of Los Altos Hills, Calif.,
Gunnery Sgt. Ryan Jeschke, 31, of Herndon, Va., and
Staff Sgt. Sky R. Mote, 27, of El Dorado, Calif.
Matthew Manoukian is the son of Santa Clara judge Socrates "Pete" Manoukian and associate justice Patricia Bamattre-Manoukian of the state appellate court. He graduated from Saint Francis High School in Mountain View in 2001. "Matt" also was dubbed an all-star caliber football player when he was a defensive lineman at St. Francis High School. There was a Mercury News article in 2001 about his selflessness when he gave up his spot to somoene else when he had strep throat so that his team could have a better chance at winning the 27th annual Silicon Valley Youth Classic Charlie Wedemeyer High School All-Star Football Game.
Both of Matt's parents serve on the board of St. Vincent's Day Home in Oakland. At the center, children adopted a group of Marines as penpals due to the influence of Matt and his parents. Manoukian's death has devastated the kindergartners from St. Vincent's Day Home in Oakland, who had adopted him as a penpal.
Manoukian was a 6 1/2-year veteran who joined Special Operations in March 2010.
His previous assignment was as a platoon commander for 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment at Camp Pendleton. He had multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. This was his second deployment with Special Operations Command.
Family friend for over 25 years, Associate Judge Carolzanne Corrigan said this:
Marines are special and he was a very special Marine. He could have gone in a command position, but he wanted to be with his men, in the field and that is how he happened to find himself in this assignment.At this writing there are 36 pages of condolences on the online guestbook Legacy. I chose to share this one:
Captain Matt Manukian was my friend and someone I spent every moment of everyday with during my time at Infantry Officers Course ("IOC"). IOC is the toughest school in the Marine Corps. It prepares young infantry officers in infantry tactics. More importantly, it toughens us up before we take over our platoons. Only the strongest are invited to the school after proving their metal at the Basic School for six months.Captain Matthew P. Manoukian's decorations include two Purple Hearts, two Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medals and two Combat Action Ribbons. He was also an airborne parachutist and a first-degree black belt in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program.
At IOC Matt and I were in the same fire team. A fire team is comprised of four people. One of the four positions in the fire team his the automatic rifleman who carries the heaviest weapon, the 249 SAW (squad automatic weapon). Not only is the weapon the heaviest, but the SAW gunner also carries nearly 1000 rounds to ensure his fire team is never without suppressive fire. Every other marine in the fire team carries six magazines of ammunition, which is 180 rounds.
Matt would always carry the SAW because he was the toughest marine not only in our fire team, but also IOC, which is saying a lot because we also had Jacob Sullivan in our group of four. Though Matt was tough, he was also exteremly likeable. If I ever had a son and he wanted to be a Marine grunt, I would hope that he would be placed under the command of a person like Matt Manukian.
He had planned to get out of the Marine Corps and begin law school in the Bay area (both of his parents are judges in the San Francisco area). Please say a prayer for his family. I was fortunate to be around Mom and Dad for 10 days this last week. Events like this make it easy not to take anything for granted. Live your life and enjoy the freedom that men like Matt provide to the world because freedom isn't free. Matt's family knows that more than I do.
I was truly around America's Finest while attending IOC and of the 40 young men who attended that school, Matt Manukian was the tip of the spear.
Matt Manoukian is survived by his parents and two brothers, Michael and Martin.
Gunnery Sgt. Ryan Jeschke was a chief critical skills operator for the Marine Corps Special Operations Team. He served 12 years in the United States Marine Corps. In 2009, he entered the MARSOC program (Special Ops). He was a first degree Black Belt in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program and was also an airborne parachutist.
From the Marine Corps Times:
A Purple Heart recipient who had deployed in support of both wars, he earned four Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, one with a combat V device, according to MARSOC. Before joining 1st MSOB in 2009, Jeschke had served with 1st Reconnaissance Battalion and, for a time, in the Marine Reserve.A friend and blogger of Jeschke's at Prevail Training wrote a tribute to his friend. He described him:
This man lived what so many dream, what a few go so far as to embellish or lie about in the hopes that some of the luster of men like him will reflect on them.Jeschke was interviewed by Wright in the story Generation Kill, which told of the 1st Reconnoissance Battalion in Iraq during the early parts of the war in 2003. The Rolling Stone story became an HBO documentary series winning several awards.
Ryan was – as seen above from his quotes in Generation Kill, a thoughtful fighting man as well. Committed to training and to professional development, he was also extremely humble. His screen name on TPI was just ‘ryan’, one name and in small case.
Staff Sgt. Sky Mote joined the USMC after graduating from Union Mine High School in 2003. In 2007, he became an explosive ordnance disposal technician, this work is highly specialized and quite dangerous. Before joining Marines Special Operation Command (MARSOC) , he was a bulk fuel specialist. Mote had served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and in Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan).
Staff Sgt. Mote earned the following awards and decorations: a Purple Heart, a Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal, a Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal, two Combat Action Ribbons and three Good Conduct Medals.
Semper Fi, Staff Sgt. Sky Mote.
DoD Announces Marine Casualties
They died Aug. 10 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. These Marines were assigned to 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force.
The Marines’ parent command was 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.
Staff Sgt. Scott E. Dickinson, 29, of San Diego, Calif.,
Cpl. Richard A. Rivera Jr., 20 of Ventura, Calif., and
Lance Cpl. Gregory T. Buckley, 21, of Oceanside, N.Y.
Staff Sgt. Scott Dickinson joined the Marine Corps right after graduating from Horizon Christian Academy in 2001. His mother told the U-T San Diego:
“We were shocked that he wanted to go into such a difficult military branch,” she said. “The brotherhood that’s there attracted him.”His mother recalled her son as kind and generous. His death benefits include help for his six nieces and nephews. Dickinson married in 2009 to Alicia, whom he met while stationed in Hawaii. He hoped for a transfer to an Embassy after he completed this deployment, this way he could be near his wife.
Dickinson was previously deployed to Afghanistan in 2010. His awards and decorations include: Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Sea Service Deployment ribbon, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, NATO International Security Assistance Force Afghanistan Medal and a Certificate of Commendation.
Semper Fi, Staff Sgt. Scott Dickinson
Cpl. Richard Rivera's family and friends were looking forward to a long anticipated visit from him on August 20, now instead of laughter and good times the stunned family members and friends are now preparing for his funeral. Rivera and fellow Marines, Buckley and Dickinson, had gone to a gym to work out, when they were ambushed by an Afghani policeman.
Amanda Castro, close friend of Rivera, told the VC Star, the last time he came home, he hugged both she and her friend in his arms. He was a carefree and fun-loving man.
"Everyone is very blank. No one can believe it still," Castro said. "You never think it's going to happen to your loved one."Cathy Mortilla dated Rivera for six years:
"I was always so scared," Mortilla said. "But he would just say, 'After all that training, I promise you to come back home safe to you,' and that would put me at ease."Family and friends gathered at Oxnard Dunes to grieve and comfort one another. Over 100 people showed up on short notice, Vanessa Fox didn't know many who showed up, but told the paper he was well-liked and able to bring people together.
"Just look around — people that don't even know each other, but they are here for him," Fox said.
Semper Fi, Cpl. Richard Rivera
Source: Ventura County Star
“I don’t want a Purple Heart, I want my boy home.” said father of LCPL Gregory Buckley to the New York Daily News
Family and friends gathered for a memorial at the Oceanside home of LCPL Gregory Buckley. A letter written by Buckley in June was read to the crowd:
"Dad, you're my best friend. You have no idea how much I appreciate the way you raised your three sons. Thank you for always talking to me"...Please take a moment to go to this link and watch the whole thing, it is one of the most moving videos in the IGTNT archives. Apologies for not able to share or embed it here.
Mom,... you know I love you more than anyone else on the planet, you brought me into this world growing up and I couldn't have asked for a better mother, you love your children more than yourself which made you perfect"....
The letter continued with how much he loved his brothers and looked forward to coming home for a break, which would have been this week. Buckley turned 21 in July and wanted to have his first "legal" beer with his dad.
The letter also expressed how he was proud to be a Marine and wanted his younger brothers to look up to him, but he hated it in Afghanistan. He was homesick.
The grief-stricken father told the NY Daily News:
“Get the rest of those boys out of there,” Buckley Sr. said. “He had only four months left on his tour. There’s no purpose for us being there.”The mother spoke to CBS news:
“I gave birth to a beautiful boy, and now God has taken him away from me,” said Marina.
“That’s my son, I miss my son. I miss my son, my son is everything to me, I don’t understand what happened,” said Marina.Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley was a 2009 graduate of Oceanside High School. He was a Varsity Basketball player. He deployed to Afghanistan in April.
I Got the News Today is a diary series intended to honor, respect and remind. Its title is a reminder that almost every day a military family gets the terrible news about a loved one. Diaries about the fallen usually appear two days after their names are officially released, which allows time for the IGTNT team to find and tell their stories.
All of the U.S. fatalities can be seen here and here. They all had loved ones, families and friends. The DoD news releases are here. I Got the News Today is intended to honor, respect and remind. Click the IGTNT tags below for previous diaries.
Click the IGTNT tags to see the series, which was begun by i dunno, and which is maintained by Monkeybiz, Noweasels, Blue Jersey Mom, Chacounne, twilight falling, joyful, SisTwo, Spam Nunn, True Blue Majority, CalNM, Wide Awake in Kentucky, Maggie Jean, Jax Dem, Kestrel 9000, TheFatLadySings, Ekaterina, and me, Sandy on Signal.
Please bear in mind that these diaries are read by friends and family of the service members chronicled here. May all of our remembrances be full of compassion rather than politics.