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3/25th Captain - The Meaning of "Semper Fidelis"

Via Seamus - This is from a Captain in the 3rd Battalion, 25th Regiment, in Iraq.  These are the Marines (Reservists from Ohio and elsewhere) that have sustained so many losses in recent weeks.

Dear Family and Friends,

We have the deepest sympathies for the families of our fallen 21 Marines and the other Marines who have given their lives for Iraq   and for each other. We recognize that several of them came from other   units, like 4th Amphibious Assault Battalion who has taken every risk with   us.  After the last week's incidents, when asked if they wanted to   leave, every Marine from Company L said "We came here to do a job and we   will finish it."  A Marine dropped off six detainees who had just   attacked his men; I asked him how it was going out there.  He simply shook his head and said, "Busy."  He quickly smiled and shook his head and headed out the door.

The last week has proven the most   difficult for 3d Battalion, 25th Marines and the families.  We have   participated in more combat actions than almost any other unit in Operation   Iraqi Freedom.  We continue to take casualties and also kill, capture,   or detain insurgents who have found no haven along the Euphrates.    3/25 has protected Baghdad and Ramadi from attacks and kept the highways   clear.  Letters have come from Marine veterans from WWII to Desert Storm, thanking us for carrying on a proud tradition.

We will   always keep our honor and avoid hurting the Iraqi people.    When Gunnery Sergeant Charles Hurely IV's platoon from Company L became   engaged by heavy machine guns, he ordered his Marines not to fire back   because the insurgents hid among innocent Iraqis.

We have   had heroes like Lance Corporal Todd Corbin and Corporal Jeffery Schuller Jr   from Weapons Company who saved the lives of 11 Marines during an ambush   when the enemy used a hospital to attack from.  The Marines who   gave their lives in the last week had courageously cleared a town in   Operation Matador, going house to house, so they would not inflict injuries   to the many civilians who lived there.  We have had instance after   instance of Marines going above and beyond the call of duty.  Sergeant   John Howarth, a scout sniper, ran out into a hail of enemy small arms fire   in New Ubaydi to pull an Iraqi to safety.

Many times Marines   have looked after their own.  With a supporting M1A1 tank main gun   firing, Captain Billy Brown from Company L calmly walked in front of the   fire power to a fallen Marine.  With rocket propelled grenades   firing point blank at him, he scooped the warrior up and moved him away   from the enemy.  3/25 has continued to clear the roads and the   insurgents.  We have been the focus of main effort for the Regimental   Combat Team 2 and 2d Marine Division during major operations, recently   during the clearing of the city of Hit.

Our job has always   focused on keeping the rest of Iraq safe.  The enemy will never use   Haditha or Hit as a haven to launch attacks toward any southern city or   town while we are on watch.  3/25 has always known we have   to accomplish our mission so other Marines and Army brothers in southern   Iraq do not get attacked from the enemy.

My friend Staff   Sergeant Joseph P. Goodrich recently was killed in the city of Hit.    We went to Reserve Infantry Officers Course together in the summer before   we deployed.  The entire time during this rigorous training, he had   a grin on his face.  I will miss that famous smile of his.  He   always remained positive and everyone always felt better when he walked up   to you.

"Semper Fi" has taken on a deeper meaning for many Marines here.  3/25 will remain "always faithful" to the Marines and families from past wars and actions who have given their all for the Corps.

From 3d Battalion, 25th Marines to all those who we have   lost and those who continue to press on in their memory,

Semper Fi

Captain John A. Kasparian