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Semper Fidelis

More than a motto, a way of life that distinguishes the Marine Corps bond from any other. It goes beyond teamwork – it is a brotherhood and lasts for life.

Latin for "always faithful," Semper Fidelis became the Marine Corps motto in 1883. It guides Marines to remain faithful to the mission at hand, to each other, to the Corps and to country, no matter what.

Becoming a Marine is a transformation that cannot be undone, and Semper Fi reminds us of that. Once made, a Marine will forever live by the ethics and values of the Corps.  

There is no such thing as an ex-Marine.

"For 221 years our Corps has done two things for this great Nation.  We make Marines and we win battles."
  ~ Gen. Chalres C. Krulak, USMC (CMC): 5 May 1977  

Tonight We Honor and Remember this Marine:
Cpl. Johnathan W. Taylor
     Semper Fi

Since 2003 we have suffered the loss of 4439 American lives and a total of 4757 Coalition Forces in Iraq.

Since 2001 we have suffered the loss of 1483 American lives and a total of 2341 Coalition Forces in Afghanistan.

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The Department of Defense announced today (February 24, 2011) the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Cpl. Johnathan W. Taylor, 23, of Homosassa, Fla., died Feb. 22 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.  He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
U.S. Department of Defense

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         HOME

   ~ DAUGHTRY

I'm staring out into the night,
Trying to hide the pain.
I'm going to the place where love
And feeling good don't ever cost a thing.
And the pain you feel's a different kind of pain.

Well I'm going home,
Back to the place where I belong,
And where your love has always been enough for me.
I'm not running from.
No, I think you got me all wrong.
I don't regret this life I chose for me.
But these places and these faces are getting old,
So I'm going home.
Well I'm going home.

The miles are getting longer, it seems,
The closer I get to you.
I've not always been the best man or friend for you.
But your love remains true.
And I don't know why.
You always seem to give me another try.

So I'm going home,
Back to the place where I belong,
And where your love has always been enough for me.
I'm not running from.
No, I think you got me all wrong.
I don't regret this life I chose for me.
But these places and these faces are getting old,

Be careful what you wish for,
'Cause you just might get it all.
You just might get it all,
And then some you don't want.
Be careful what you wish for,
'Cause you just might get it all.
You just might get it all, yeah.

Oh, well I'm going home,
Back to the place where I belong,
And where your love has always been enough for me.
I'm not running from.
No, I think you got me all wrong.
I don't regret this life I chose for me.
But these places and these faces are getting old.
I said these places and these faces are getting old,
So I'm going home.
I'm going home.

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Cpl. Johnathan W. Taylor, 23, of Homosassa, Florida

When the two Marines in their dress blues showed up Tuesday evening at his Homosassa home, Mark Taylor thought they were coming to talk to his son Christopher, who was thinking about joining up.

One glance at the somber Marines and Taylor knew better.

I looked at them and broke down, and I knew it wasn't for him.

They were there to tell them about his middle son, Johnathan, 23, a Marine corporal who was on his fourth tour of duty, this time volunteering to return to Helmand Province in Afghanistan.

I knew John wasn't coming home the way we wanted him to.

Johnathan Taylor was born in Hickory, N.C., on Aug. 14, 1987. and moved to Florida with his family when he was about 12.

Johnathan Taylor was a 2006 graduate of Lecanto High School where he excelled in football and was involved for four years in ROTC and participated in the delayed-entry program.

All his friends knew him as “Butters,” a nickname picked up in high school because he couldn’t catch the football.  He wore No. 83 when he played tight end for the team.  Though the nickname stuck, that boy grew into a man.  A man who loved his parents and brothers.  A man who defended his country — and died for it.

His former social studies teacher, Brian Donovan recalled Taylor’s interest in serving his country from his teenage years.

He was a very patriotic young man. He struck me from the get go that this young man put his country first. He had a military-type haircut and he was a Southern gentleman.

After high school, Johnathan Taylor worked at a local quarry before finally enlisting around Thanksgiving in 2007.

Mark Taylor spoke of his son's deep sense of duty for this country:

He loved the Marine Corps. He loved to serve his country and was upset over 9/11. He remembered that when he was younger and always talked about going into the Marine Corps, because that was the toughest outfit.

John's first tour of duty was in 2008, when he went to Anbar Province in Iraq, where he was stationed for seven months.

He returned to Camp Lejeune, then left again, this time to Afghanistan says his father:

His company was part of the biggest airlift since Vietnam, dropped the furthest south, into the middle of a Taliban stronghold on April 2, 2009.  He lost one of his best friends that day, and six others soon after.

After returning from his 2009 tour, Johnathan Taylor volunteered to go back. He returned in November and, after training 140 new recruits at Lejeune, went back again on Jan. 12th.

John's mother, Deb Taylor said that to his comrades, Taylor was a fearless warrior who looked after them.  In their last conversation, she reminded him that she was sending a package of snacks, soft drinks, new socks, smokeless tobacco and other items that are tough to come by in the desolate Helmand province in Afghanistan where his unit is stationed.

He told me to make sure I packed enough so that he could share with the guys in his unit. That was really important to him.

The next morning, the 23-year-old was killed when an improvised explosive device blew up beneath his feet.

Deb Taylor said her son quickly latched onto the brotherhood of his close-knit unit. On an early visit home, she noticed he had a tattoo of the Marine Corps "Devil Dogs" symbol on his chest. Over time, Taylor added several more on his torso, including the names of fallen comrades.

Deb Taylor still plans to send the package to her son's unit. She thinks it will make a fitting memorial.

He was always thinking of them.  I know they'll never forget him.

Taylor deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from October 2007 to May 2008. He also deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom three times: from May 2009 to November 2009, from July to October and most recently in January.

His awards include the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and NATO Medal-ISAF Afghanistan.

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(Photo Credit: USAF photo/Roland Balik)

As was his request, John Taylor will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

The Taylor family is in the midst of making arrangements to hold a memorial service for John. They would like to hold it at Lecanto High School at either the football field or gymnasium.  Deb Taylor said that a lot of his Marine buddies want to come.

Sheriff Jeff Dawsy said Friday his agency would offer to provide an escort, and he hoped Citrus residents would line the route to pay their respects.

We’re hoping the family can see the support from the community.

You may view and/or sign a Guest Book For Cpl Taylor here.

Cpl. Johnathan W. Taylor leaves behind his parents, Mark and Deborah Taylor, and brothers Christopher and Mark Jr.

~ Source   ~ Source   ~ Source   ~ Source   ~ Source   ~ Source

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About the IGTNT series:

"I Got the News Today" is a diary series intended to honor, respect, and remind us of the sacrifice of our US troops. Click here to see the series, which was begun by i dunno, and which is maintained by Sandy on Signal, noweasels,  monkeybiz, blue jersey mom, Chacounne, twilight falling, joyful, roses, SisTwo, SpamNunn, TrueBlueMajority, CalNM, Wide Awake in Kentucky, Ms Wings, maggiejean, racheltracks, and me, JaxDem. These diaries are heartbreaking to write, but are an important service to those who have died, and show our community’s respect for them.

Fallen service members whose names have been released by the US Department of Defense will usually be diarized two days after the official announcement on the DoD website. This allows the IGTNT team to cover each person more fully, but still in a timely manner.


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POW/MIA: Afghanistan & Iraq

Two U.S. soldiers are currently listed as captured or Duty Status -- Whereabouts Unknown as of December 1, 2009.

Spc. Ahmed K. Altaie 41
and
Pfc. Bowe R. Bergdahl 23

Never forgotten - please keep good thoughts and prayers for these two men.

On December 8th new photos were published of Pfc Bowe R. Bergdahl in captivity.  The article and images can be seen  here.

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Helping Our Troops

There would be no finer way to honor the fallen than to contribute to programs that assist our active duty military.  Here are a few suggestions:
Evan Ashcraft Foundation - This foundation was established to assist soldiers returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan to adjust to civilian life.  In particular this foundation's emphasis is on PTSD and traumatic brain injuries.
Fisher House - Provides a "home away from home" for military families to be close to a loved one during hospitilization for an illness, disease or injury.
Homes For Our Troops - Build special adapted homes for severely injured veterans at no cost to the veterans they serve.
Netroots For The Troops -  raises money for the assembly, mailing and delivery of care packages to American military in war zones, and to provide assistance to military families in the United States.
Veterans Green Jobs - Our recently returned veterans need jobs and VGJ is now hiring for positions and filling training sessions. VGJ corps retrains veterans as leaders in natural resource conservation, green construction, and energy efficient upgrades of homes in rural areas.
Welcome Back Veterans -  created to inspire Americans to give back to our returning veterans and their families and assist in particular with PTSD.
Wounded Warrior Project -  To raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service service members, to help injured service members aid and assist each other and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members.
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Please bear in mind that these diaries are read by friends and family of the service members mentioned here. May all of our remembrances be full of compassion rather than politics.
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