There were 232, but I picked the ones I understood, and liked the best.
1. Cpl. Jason Dunham. First Marine to receive the Medal of Honor since Vietnam. If jumping on a grenade to save a buddy isn’t worth the top of the list, nothing is.
29. Recruiting in Texas is like hunting at the zoo.
47. The occasional free beer. Wear your blues into a bar and see what happens.
54. Everyone at a high school reunion is obliged to justify his last 10 years, except the guy wearing alphas.
58. From “Aliens” to “Doom,” the future vision of warfare almost always includes Space Marines.
59. The Corps was formed in a bar.
60. Marines predicted the WWII campaigns in the Pacific years earlier and prepared for the inevitable. So when a Marine says, “Hey, I’ve been thinking…” perhaps you should take notes.
61. Give a Marine some free time, and he’ll rip down your dictator’s statue.
69. Gen. Peter Pace, the first Marine Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. He left his four-star insignia with his fallen comrades at the Vietnam Wall when he retired. Classy move.
73. Bill Barnes. In June, the former Marine beat the crap out of a 27-year-old pickpocket who tried to make off with his dough. Oh yeah, he’s 72.
76. Tax-free combat pay. Doing what you signed up for and not having to give Uncle Sam a dime back.
77. Montford Point Marines. The first African-American Marines know a little something about honor, courage and commitment.
78. Front toward enemy. It’s not just a visual reference on a Claymore mine, it’s a Marine Corps way of life.
93. John Lovell. A 71-year-old former Marine is sitting in a Subway restaurant when two armed men try to rob the place. Lovell grabs his .45, kills one and wounds the other. No word on how Lovell’s sandwich fared.
110. Maj. Gen. Marion E. Carl, the Corps’ first fighter ace. First Marine to fly a helicopter. Two Navy Crosses, five Distinguished Flying Crosses, 14 Air Medals. In 1998, the 82-year-old was killed during a home break-in when he jumped in front of a shotgun blast aimed at his longtime wife, Edna.
115. Having a WWII Marine say he’s proud of you. (I saw the picture just this weekend. It made me cry again.)
133. Riding a chartered Continental Airlines flight home from the war zone with assault weapons stuffed in all the overhead compartments.
150. John Philip Sousa. A Marine, the nation’s March King and composer of “The Stars and Stripes Forever.” Ooh-rah.
154. The slogans: “The Few, The Proud, The Marines.” “We’re Looking For a Few Good Men,” “Once a Marine, always a Marine,” “Tell that to the Marines.” If they could only purchase the rights to Hallmark’s “When You Care Enough to Send the Very Best.”
163. Standards. The Corps doesn’t lower the bar when recruiting gets tough.
185. Col. John Ripley. Received the Navy Cross for the destruction of the Dong Ha bridge in Vietnam. The Corps takes care of its own. In 2002, with Ripley near death, doctors finally found a donated liver for his much-needed transplant. So the Marine Corps sent helicopters and Marines to Philadelphia to retrieve it, and they personally rushed it back to Washington in time to save his life.
195. Race as a nonissue. It wasn’t always the case, but three black Sergeants Major of the Marine Corps in a row show that the Corps has only one color: green.
204. Navy Lt. Vincent Capodanno, Medal of Honor recipient. If Marines have a hot line to heaven, Father Capodanno — aka the Grunt Padre — would take the call. His body peppered by shrapnel, his right hand nearly severed, the Navy chaplain and priest crisscrossed a Vietnam battlefield Sept. 4, 1967, to render last rites to his fallen Marines and corpsmen with 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, until 27 rounds from an enemy machine gun took his life. Last year, the Vatican declared him a “servant of God.” Next step, sainthood?
223. Sgt. Rafael Peralta. Like Dunham, he hugged a grenade to save his buddies in Iraq. No Medal of Honor … yet. (I remember reading about him when he died. God bless his family.)
Read the rest for your most touching…