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Posts Tagged ‘Marines’

A special Memorial Day weekend reading review.

Marine the life of chesty puller

Mark Galeotti. Marine! The Life of Chesty Puller.  New York, NY: Open Road Intergrated Media, March 29, 2016. 371 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

One of the most celebrated legendary Marine is Chesty Puller; the most decorated US Marine in history, even today every Marine would know of his name after being drilled information about him starting in the days of boot camp; do you know who he was and what he has done?  Though I’m a Marine veteran who love Marine Corps history I am ashamed to realize that I have never read any books about Chesty Puller until recently and I don’t know much about him as much I should compared to other military leaders in the other services!  For those that don’t know anything about him Chesty Puller is literally the guy that you want to be around taking charge when the enemies have surrounded you and outnumbered against you; and he’s literally saved men’s lives during such a scenario too.  So I am glad I saw they have an electronic format of this book available.  Originally published in 1962 this book was written when Puller was still alive.  This book actually made me want to read more works on Chesty Puller especially more recent works evaluating his life, legacy and contribution.

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Marines

I’m not trying to promote nationalism and I have some spiritual points towards the end of this post.

In light of Veteran’s Day and also the recent Marine Corps Birthday (November 10th) the Marines’ released their latest ads and I thought it was a winner that it actually teared me up a little:

I always thought the US Marines made the best commercials.  I remember a few years back tutoring someone who had a class in advertisement in college and reading his textbook it mentioned that one of the most success commercial slogans out there was from the Marines: You probably have heard of the famous “The Few.  The Proud.  The Marines.”  Only recently have the Marines moved away from that slogan to try out new things.  Another reason why I think Marines’ ads are the best is because sometimes their focus on something “transcendent” lead to spiritual lessons as I’ve looked at in the past here: New 2017 Marine Corps Commercial and the search for Transcendence.

Yet in making a commercial in 2021 it is not an easy task.  We’ve had 20 years of the War on Terror.  Afghanistan is still so fresh and what happened in August still stings for many veterans I know.  There’s uncertain future and the role the Marines will play in geopolitical challenges.  These challenges can make the ad appear cheesy and off -putting if not done right.  But this video manage to be well done by transcending that.

Why did I think it was a good video? I’ll get to the spiritual lesson later.  But for now here’s why I thought the video was well done:

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I’m reviewing two history books…because Pastors also need a break!

On Desperate Ground

Hampton Sides. On Desperate Ground: The Marines at The Reservoir, the Korean War’s Greatest Battle.  New York, NY: Doubleday, October 2, 2018.  368 pp.

4 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

If you ever heard the hymn for the US Marines there’s a line that says “we will fight in every climb and place” but where’s a place that’s cold that the Marines have fought in? This book covers the legendary First Marine Division and their campaign in the Korean War.  Readers will learn about the epic and horrible battle of Chosin Reservoir that took place in frostbiting cold of North Korea.  There’s other battles covered but this was the climatic part of the book.

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marine gas mask

You might have heard of Marine veteran James Kilcer who stopped a robbery attempt at an Arizona gas station.

Here’s the newstory:

As I watched the clip I thought about how important it is to cultivate the virtue of courage.

Courage is as they say not the absence of fear; but is the ability to do the right and necessary thing despite fear.

Its one of those traits that I think easily came displayed one moment, and the next one can seem to lack courage.

We see that too in the Bible don’t we? I think of Elijah, I think of Jesus’ disciples.

I think one area of cultivating courage that you don’t see in secular self-help book is prayer and also meditating upon one’s identity in Christ:

For God has not given us a spirit of [a]timidity, but of power and love and [b]discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

This verse shows us (1) God gives to us the Spirit to help us with courage; (2) We can have hope not to be timid, (3) our identity in Christ is a powerful motivation for courage.

How we need to pray; but also work on discipline in doing the right thing with the little things; faithful with little, faithful with much.

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My brother in Christ and fellow Marine friend is losing his speech. He can read and write but talking has recently gotten more difficult. He’s a Marine and his speech was the result of a wound from a sniper during the Second Battle of Fallujah (November 2004).

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A weekend non-fiction book review!  Because sometimes even Pastors need a break from heavy theological reading!

Jim Proser. No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy.  New York, NY: HarperLuxe, August 7th 2018. 416 pp.

4 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

This is the first book on James Mattis.  Mattis is probably our generation’s best combat general.  A career Marine who served in uniform for forty four years he also went on to become the Secretary of Defense and one who received nearly unanimous bipartisan support for his nomination which is quite impressive in a day and age of much political division and partisanship in the United States.  For years I have been amazed at how low profile General Mattis have been compared to how much public attention the US media has given other Army generals.  It seem overnight a few years ago Mattis started to finally receive a lot of attention and praise and usually through the medium of social media making jokes about his exploits and strength. Yet people’s hunger to know more about this tough talking and private general has only increased when news broke that Trump wanted him to be Secretary of Defense.  Personally as a Marine who served under General Mattis’ 1st Marine Division in Iraq I am glad that the author wrote this book.  I actually think it has been long overdue.

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I know for many summer vacation is around the corner so here’s my review of two military books for your summer travel…and also because Pastors also need a break from heavy theological reading!

For other suggestions check out also our previous post “2017 Memorial Day Weekend Lists of Recommended Readings.”

Robert O’Neill.  The Operator: Firing the Shots that Killed Osama bin Laden and My Years as a SEAL Team Warrior. New York, NY: Scribner, April 3rd 2018. 368 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

This is a book by the Navy SEAL who shot Osama Bin Laden.  This book not only tell the story of the mission to go after Bin Laden but also Robert O’Neill’s upbringing in Montana, how he joined the Navy and made it into the SEALs.  A fascinating book of a fascinating individual.

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I’m going to post this ahead of the Memorial Day weekend as a book I immensely enjoyed that is very appropriate for the weekend as part of my nonfiction leisure reading review…why?  Because Pastors also need a break from heavy theological reading…and also to appreciate the generations of people who have served in the past in the military and have given so much.

Chester Nez.  Code Talker: The First and Only Memoir By One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of WWII. New York, NY: Berkley Caliber, September 6th 2011. 310 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

This is an incredible book on the legendary Navajo Native American who served in the United States Marines during World War Two.  Apparently this is the only memoir of the original first group of Navajo “Code talkers.”  The book is about the life and service of “Code Talker” Chester Nez who co-authored it along with Judith Avila, a historian of these incredible Marines.  In the beginning of the book Avila noted that at first Chester Nez was reluctant to write this book since he felt that others also have done their duty and also because he feared people would not find his life interesting.  Avila disagreed and encouraged him to tell his story.  I’m in agreement with Avila; Chester Nez and other “Code Talkers” lived an interesting life both in the Marine Corps and outside the Marine Corps.  I’m really glad this book was written.

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Some of you know that I’m a former Marine.  Since today is the Marine Corps Birthday I thought it is appropriate to share my weekend review of a story involving an incredible Marine that is part of the Marine Corps cherished heritage.

John Grider Miller. The Bridge At Dong Ha.  Annapolis, Maryland: U.S. Naval Institute Press, March 15th 1989. 224 pp.

4 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

This book tells the story of the Marine legend John W. Ripley.  I have heard the name “Ripley” before as a Marine, and some vague summary of him blowing up a bridge to stop invading North Vietnamese communist forces during the last years of the Vietnam War.  Recently I saw something on facebook about Ripley that sparked my interests to read more about Ripley and this book was what I picked up to learn more about Ripley and the famous incident with the bridge at Dong Ha.  It was a treat for me to read this book.  I was blown away (pun intended) with what Ripley accomplished against overwhelming odds.  His story is one of courage, commitment and mission above self.

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I’m not trying to promote nationalism and I have a spiritual point towards the end of this post.  I am not going to lie as a Marine veteran I am biased.  I think the United States Marine Corps make amazing commercials.  Even after all these years after seeing my first Marine commercial on TV as a kid every time I stumble upon a Marine ads it still manages to stop me and grab my full attention.

Here’s the latest Marines’ commercial that they have released:

I watched it several times.  Did you?

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Another weekend, another weekend leisure reading review.

thomas-jefferson-and-the-tripoli-pirates

Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger. Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates.  New York, NY: Sentinel, November 3rd 2015. 238 pp.

5 out of 5

I remember as a kid reading old books on Marine Corps history that talked about a conflict I rarely hear people talked about in which the Marines was at the tip of the spear waging a war against Barbary Pirates in the Mediterranean and North Africa in the early part of the 1800s.  It sounded so exotic and I was fascinated with how the United States’ Navy and Marines as small as they were back then went about trying to execute their mission despite limited manpower and military capabilities.  It was during a time when the United States was still a new country and the leaders of the US was still trying to figure out what to do and how to do it.  So I am glad that over two decades later I came across this book on the United States response to the Tripoli pirates.

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Mattis Nomination

When I was a young Marine at the age of 19 General Mattis was in charge of the Marines on the ground in Iraq.  I definitely felt he was our generation’s Patton back then.  Now he’s Trump’s nomination for Secretary of Defense.

There’s many stories circulating about General Mattis.  One that stood out the last few days is the story of when Mattis was a one star general taking the place of another Marine’s much dreaded holiday “duty.”  Here’s the account as given by someone in 2010:

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vetsday081

I want to salute and honor all the veterans who have served their country especially to my two bloggers who are the United States Marine Corp veterans. You have served your country with honor. Hoooahhhh!

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