Sunday, September 18, 2011

“Retreat, Hell!”

Not too long ago my bride and I watched a movie at home that was so bad we almost wanted too … well I don’t want to say, but it was really, I mean really, badly done. I posted on Facebook about it and our son agreed, but recommended Battle Los Angeles.

So to get the last movie out of our minds/heads, we decided to watch Battle Los Angeles. Not bad, not great, but real entertainment with real (albeit fictional) heroes. We enjoyed it on a few different levels. Especially the acts of heroism within the film, but they seemed somewhat overacted.

Still, we learned a new wartime phrase, “Retreat, Hell!” In the movie it was explained as a USMC motto, especially for the 2nd Battalion 5th Marines according to Wikipedia, when a Marine officer was ordered to retreat and replied “Retreat? Hell, we just got here!”

“Retreat, Hell!” and the movie theatrics had me looking at the movie as a recruiting film for the US Marine Corp and a bit for the US Air Force. The real focus of the movie was clearly on the USMC throughout and the brotherhood of the Marines. Was it overdone? I thought so then but no longer.

Why not any longer?

Well, this past week I read about a real life USMC soldier who has become the first living Marine in 38 years to win the Medal of Honor. Sergeant Dakota L. Meyer while a Corporal serving in Afghanistan, from his citation, received this Medal “for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life, above and beyond the call of duty while serving with Marine Embedded Training Team 28, Regional Corps Advisory Command 37 in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, on 8 September, 2009.”

That doesn’t tell the half of it, read the citation here or here and find out what conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life, above and beyond the call of duty really is.

One thing that jumps out at you in reading the facts within the citation is an understanding of why no living Marine has received the Medal of Honor in 38 years. It is nothing short of a miracle that Sergeant Meyer is with us today. The facts of going into battle solo against overwhelming odds three times, the last two while wounded, in the same battle with three different vehicles, gun trucks, saving two dozen Afghan soldiers, is almost too much to believe.

Corporal Dakota Meyer is an incredible embodiment of the spirit of “Retreat, Hell!” I hope you take the time to read the full citation.

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