A Marine Platoon at War

A book by Bing West

Francis J. “Bing” West served in the U. S. Marine Corps as an infantry officer during the Vietnam War. He served with a Combined Action Platoon, spending 485 days in a remote village, and he served as a member of the Marine Force Reconnaissance Team that helped to develop and implement Stingray operations —small unit attacks behind enemy lines. He subsequently served as an under-Secretary of Defense in the administration of Ronald Regan (international Security) with expertise in matters involving El Salvador, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Pakistan, South Korea, and Japan.

One-Million-StepsIn my opinion, Mr. West has presented his readers with an exceptional book; it is one I would recommend to every single American who still loves their country (noting that many no longer do). What leaps out at you from almost every page is the cost of making poor choices in national leadership from inside the voting booth.

It is hard to imagine a president nonchalant about the situation on the ground in Afghanistan. It is difficult to imagine a clueless Secretary of Defense about an appropriate strategy inside a war zone. It numbs the mind to learn that while our troops are dying and losing their limbs, three, and four-star generals endeavor to implement a progressive theory designed to save the Taliban from himself.

Throughout this period of political malfeasance, the Marines of the 3rd Platoon, Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines (3K/3/5) distinguished themselves in lethal combat, both as individuals, and as members of this nation’s finest fighting force. Most of the Third platoon survived; they excelled in defeating a determined enemy —not because of Defense Department leadership, but in spite of it.

I believe that this book is mandatory reading among those of us who still love America; it teaches us that there are consequences to the decisions we make at the voting booth. It teaches us that elections can have dire consequences. I rate this book FIVE stars.

Real Heroes Don’t Wear Capes

Navy Cross MedalWhile assigned to Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, (then) Corporal Clifford M. Wooldridge (Port Angeles, Washington) distinguished himself in the service to his country while serving in Afghanistan on 18 June 2010.  When his mounted patrol came under intense enemy fire, Corporal Wooldridge and his squad dismounted and maneuvered on the suspected enemy location.  Spotting a group of fifteen enemy fighters preparing an ambush, Wooldridge led one of his fire teams across open ground to flank the enemy, killing or wounding eight of them, and forcing the rest to scatter.

As he held security alone to cover his fire team’s withdrawal, he heard voices from behind an adjacent wall.  Boldly rushing around the corner, he came face to face with two enemy fighters at close range, killing both of them with his M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon.  As he crouched back behind the wall to reload his weapon, he saw the barrel of an enemy machine gun appear from around the wall.  Without hesitation, he dropped his empty weapon and seized the machine gun barrel.  He overwhelmed the enemy fighter in hand to hand combat, killing him with several blows to the head with the enemy’s own weapon.Navy Cross

Wooldridge’s audacious and fearless actions thwarted the enemy attack on his platoon.  By his bold and decisive leadership, undaunted courage under fire, and his total dedication to duty, (now) Sergeant Wooldridge reflected great credit upon himself, and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval service.

American Marines —beating the akbar out of the enemy with their own weapons since the days when Jefferson was president.