Friday, November 21, 2008

Once A Marine, Always A Marine...

With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable.
~~~~~Thomas Foxwell Buxton

I'm sure that everyone has heard that (the post title) at least once in their lifetime. But what happens to those Marines when they've been injured fighting for our country? Do they cease being a Marine? No! I've worked with men who had served in the Marines for years, had retired, and yet they continue to consider themselves Marines. I also know that they will do anything possible for a brother in arms. I've read many stories of our Heroes over the last year and half in regards to the men who just wouldn't quit after being injured. Some of those men have lost limbs and eyesight. Yet, the very first question they ask is "when can I get back to my unit?" or "I need to return to my men." Perhaps that's where they get their motto. Semper Fi or Always faithful.

Below you are going to read an excerpt from one such story. Only this man is in charge of more than a few injured Marines. Read how he is helping them along the return route. All I have to say...

Staying Power: Wounded Marines Ordered to do Their Part to Recover

By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. , Nov. 21, 2008 -

Marine Capt. Ray Baronie was traveling in a convoy in Ramadi, Iraq, on Dec. 1, 2005 when an anti-tank round blasted his truck. Baronie's legs were shattered, his body cut and bloodied. His driver was killed. The truck rolled onto its side, and then he was shot at. But really hard times didn't hit until Baronie came back to the United States.

"That's really when hell started. In one year, I had 46 surgeries," he said.

Baronie's right leg was amputated above the knee. He lost major muscle from both legs. He can tap his thigh bone through the skin on the back of his left leg. He now walks with the help of a cane and a prosthetic right leg. Scars cover his arms.

But Baronie's injuries haven't stopped him from stepping in front of a Marine formation and continuing his active duty. In fact, quite the opposite. His injuries have uniquely qualified him to run one of three companies in the U. S. military designed to house and care for seriously wounded Marines.

Remarkably, Baronie was offered the job while he was still in the hospital recovering from his wounds. He now commands 100 or so Marines who make up Company A, Wounded Warrior Battalion East, part of the Wounded Warrior Regiment stood up at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., by order of the commandant of the Marine Corps in April 2007.

"I had to get better because I had to get back to work," Baronie said. "How fast could I get back to work? That's what it came down to. I think me knowing that I had a job sped up my recovery."

Please do the clicky click thing on the link above to read the rest of this amazing story. You will come to understand what just how much this country has been blessed with men such as these.

And so it goes......


lela said...

Great story of dedication to the Country, the Corps, and Comrades. I just love the Marines!

Fire Fox said...

Thank God we have people like him...

Bob said...

Humbling ... we are so unworthy of such great men.

Ky Woman said...

Yup, Yup and Yup! I agree with y'all!

Just wishing that our esteemed MSM would take it upon themselves to showcase some of our Heroes in a positive light instead of all the negative BS they print now.

Oh, I know... I said "wishing" didn't I?

Tammy@savasbeatie said...


What an inspirational story! Here is a book about another wounded hero.

Below is a link to a Hollywood-style book trailer for "Once a Marine: An Iraq War Tank Commander's Inspirational Memoir of Combat, Courage, and Recovery," by Nick Popaditch with Mike Steere (Savas Beatie, October 1, 2008).

Make sure you watch to the very end for a "special" photo message from "Gunny Pop" Nick. I know you will appreciate seeing him.

Nick "Gunny Pop" Popaditch is a former marine Gunnery Sergeant, a Silver Star winner, a 15-year veteran of the USMC, and was widely known around the world as "The Cigar Marine:" (Google it.). His tanks captured Firdos "Saddam" square in April 2003 and pulled down the hated statue. Nick was severely wounded one year later with an RPG to the head, which was captured live by a media news crew. He had to fight his way through an incredible odyssey of turmoil, heartbreak, and bureaucracy to recover everything he had lost. His website is

If you know anyone in the media who you think would be interested in interviewing "Gunny Pop," don't hesitate to call or email them and let them know.

We appreciate your support of Nick and his family in any way you are able. The success of this book will open doors for this blind warrior, and hopefully provide revenue and success to someone who has sacrificed so much for his country.

Thank you.

Tammy Hall
Sacramento, California