The Tsunami and the US Marine Corps

There is something enchanting about the Corps.  The United States Marine Corps.

It’s the only branch of service where the first letter is capitalized.

Marine.

Yes, we owe our current freedoms to ALL of our branches of service, especially during WWII (It seems, however, that our current leadership do not value that.).  Don’t get me wrong.  Many of you had fathers or grandfathers fight in the Army, Navy, USAAF during WWII.  Two of my uncles served in the US 8th Army as part of the then secret Military Intelligence Service. I just place the US Marine Corps at the top of my own personal list…  I am but a citizen and like Obama and Clinton, I have never served although I got close in 1973…but I sure the hell didn’t flee the draft like a former President we know.¹

Yet, why does our media castrate or belittle the Marines so much?  I just do not understand.

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Okinowa
Definitely not Iwo Jima, Saipan or Guadalcanal but perhaps Okinawa.  These Japanese children are wearing Marine helmets given to them for protection; you can see the Marines in combat behind them.
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US Marines on Saipan helping a very old Japanese man to safety.
fe150cd7d93477f7daa0e13e3ae5c3f1
US Marines rendering aid to a Japanese child.
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US Marines rendering aid to a Japanese child.

Old Man Jack endured combat in the SW Pacific during WWII as a sailor.  Put it this way: for whatever reason, he volunteered for duty in 1942, soon after Pearl.  One very piercing and ugly flashback he would endure while describing what truly went on in war was, “If you got killed with shit in your pants, you got buried with shit in your pants.”

I think of all the boys and young men who were killed on those “stinkin’ islands” as Old Man Jack called them.  One step to the left or just taking that step one second earlier or later meant instant death.  And on Iwo Jima, there was no “front line”.  The enemy hid in caves or were secreted away by camouflage or were in well hidden concrete fortifications that they had years to build.  They would pop out of a tunnel that the Marines just “cleared”.  Death came from all directions for very young Marines. Same at Pelileu. At Guadalcanal.  At Saipan.  Many other small islands.

Yet, they fought – and died for their buddies – to be buried with soiled dungarees in that black talcum-powder like sand like Old Man Jack horribly recollected. Or in an unmarked grave deep in a jungle on Guadalcanal, forever lost.

But why does the media today showcase to no end an instance when front line Marines urinate on dead Taliban?  Because it isn’t PC? Or because its a paycheck?  And the injustice – yes, injustice – served upon the Marines by the media during Viet Nam?  I, for one, thank each and every one of the military who were in Viet Nam.

But most importantly, why DOESN’T the media showcase all of the other gazillion humanitarian acts performed by the Marines?

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us_marines_in_oshima_japan
At least the Japanese media appreciated the US Marines during the tsunami’s aftermath.

Well, since in my opinion CNN and other outlets have their own agenda, I will write about just one of the HUGE US Marine humanitarian efforts here.  In my tiny corner of this blogging universe.

Because the Obama tainted media won’t and I think that sucks.

When the devastating tsunami hit Japan in 2011, who were the first ones to render aid to the pockets of isolated Japanese civilians?

It was the United States Marine Corps.  In the typical and expected norm for Marines, they were the first ones there…  even before Japan’s own relief efforts reached them.

Did you know that?  They got to many of the isolated survivors before their own government did.

(Note: some of the footage immediately above will be of the USN)

And one thing you will also notice about these desperate Japanese people in the footage.

There was no rioting.  No looting.  No screams about, “You need to bring us more.  We are entitled to it,” when the desperately needed supplies were unexpectedly choppered in.

The exact opposite.  The shocked, hungry and cold Japanese formed chains to help unload the desperately needed water, food, clothing, medicine and kerosene… then distributed them amongst themselves in an orderly fashion.

It was all for one… and the Japanese appreciated the Marines.

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Dozens of those rescued by the US Marines wave their thanks energetically to the departing Marines.  http://www.31stmeu.marines.mil

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But how much footage of the Marines’ relief efforts did you see on TV back then?  Very little, I think.  I wager that you likely didn’t even HEAR of the US Marine relief efforts.

Excuse me.  Anderson Cooper was there on a Japanese street corner in the evening, broadcasting for CNN.  But he didn’t report about our military helping tremendously in their relief efforts.

He was stirring up the media pot.  He was accusing alluding to the Japanese government hiding the truth about the Fukushima nuclear power plant meltdown.

Right there on a Japanese street corner.

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Old Man Jack fondly recollected “tussling” with the Marines back then because “they thought they were better than us white caps”.  But he followed that up real quick by saying there was no one better than the Marines to protect his sorry ass with theirs when it came time.

Well, if we are stranded somewhere like the tsunami victims, I’m sure the Marines will be coming.

They’ll even help Anderson Cooper…reluctantly.

 

Footnote:

1  You can decide for yourself about Clinton and the draft.  You cannot argue you didn’t agree with the war.  It was a duty, plain and simple.  Senator Fulbright pressured the officer in charge of the ROTC program at the University of Arkansas to accept Clinton.  By doing so, Clinton’s induction would be delayed.  Instead, he fled to England to further his studies at Oxford.  Google “Clinton letter to Col. Holmes”.

27 thoughts on “The Tsunami and the US Marine Corps”

  1. Oh, Koji – you’re on a roll!! Excellent post to honor the Marines and a well-deserved slash at the media (I’m afraid I usually find them to be more of a hindrance than a help in any given situation – kind of remind me of politicians in that sense). 😉

    1. The media and the politicians feed off each other. Nothing is more important to them than quenching their hunger and sensationalizing… And I hope Smitty isn’t too upset about my “informal” ranking of the branches!

    1. Well, I don’t know if I did any justice to our other branches but surely, you would not have seen nor heard about their efforts from the media… It doesn’t help their danged ratings. So sad.

  2. Thank you so much, Koji, for telling it like it truly was. I was not aware of the help given by the Marines and I doubt very many others were either. I think today’s media is a disgrace. There is no such thing as mainstream news anymore if you ask me. Thank you so much for sharing this.

    1. Thank you, Linda… and that’s why our little blogging world is so important. Blogs show all their dirty little secrets but also spotlights the good in this world in spite of tragedy.

  3. this is one of the most touching posts I have ever read. And seeing the Japanese kids with Marine helmets on their heads brought tears to my eyes. Beautiful stuff here and you’re SO RIGHT; the Marines get dragged through the media mud and they never get the credit for ALL THE GOOD they do! They are friends with and protect the children of the enemy! How much better can we talk about our Marines?
    I always thought you were a Marine because of “Mustang”…but you say above you didn’t serve?
    I think you’re serving America now with your blog. Which reminds me..

    I’m hoping you put up a small note above your fabulous piece at the top of your Home Page…like “Scroll down to see recent posts”???
    I seriously though you had just stopped posting….You need to be read! (nag,nag nag!!)

    1. Thanks, geeez, for your kind compliments and suggestion. I love that photo, too, of the two children to whom the Marines gave them helmets for protection. Even in all that inhumanity on those islands, the Marines showed their heart and civility, even as their own buddies were being killed. And no, I did not serve although I got a “courtesy” letter from the US Army informing me of my options: enlist in another branch or get drafted (I had a real low number). Fortunately, Nixon stopped the draft…but I sure as hell wouldn’t have fled the country like that coward Clinton.

      As for the blog’s appearance, I am a dufus. I’ve been trying to figure out how to update my “blogroll” but just can’t even get THAT done right. 😦

    2. For what it’s worth, the photo of the two children with the Marine helmets are Korean. This photo was taken by David Douglas Duncan during the Korean War.

  4. Very well written. And yes I have also noticed how orderly the Japanese were after the tsunami. It always warms my heart when I see our Military caring for those in need especially the children of an enemy. Those are the stories we should be hearing about – thank you for a heartwarming story of our US Marines.

    1. I’m sure Tom would have been at the head of line or the first one off a chopper to help, Patty. There were some other Japanese TV footage – much more touching footage of some Japanese crying and bowing endlessly after the Marines off-loaded and started to depart the LZ. Unfortunately, they are on Japanese news sites and I can’t link them.

      1. Now that is what we should be seeing instead of all this hatred. The PDA (Presbyterian Disaster Assistance) was also one of the first on sight. When I saw everyone helping each other both Japan and other countries it just warmed my heart. Why does it take a disaster to unite people?

  5. Since I deleted that video you sent, just wanted to get back with you and say – hooray for the guy who dares to speak our minds!! You and I agree on much!

    You can delete this too – no problem.

  6. You are certainly a wealth of knowledge. It is a terrible shame the way we teach (or don’t teach) in schools. Kids are still taught the myths of the founding of this country. We shouldn’t sugar coat history, nor vilify any participants in conflicts. I can do an entire blog on what war mongers the media are. I absolutely hate CNN. Bottom line, if you want kids to know the whole truth, you have to provide it. Unfortunately, so many people prefer to live in quiet ignorance and let the media make up their minds for them.

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