Happy 230th B-day Marines


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Apr 27, 2005
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I owe my life to you guys, literally.



General John A. Lejeune's Birthday Message (1921)

On November 10, 1775, a Corps of Marines was created by a resolution of the Continental Congress. Since that date, many thousand men have borne the name Marine. In memory of them, it is fitting that we who are Marines should commemorate the Birthday of our Corps by calling to mind the glories of its long and illustrious history.

The record of our Corps is one which will bear comparison with that of the most famous military organizations in the world's history. During 90 of the 146 years of its existence, the Marine Corps has been in action against the Nation's foes. From the Battle of Trenton to the Argonne, Marines have won foremost honors in war and in the long era of tranquility at home. Generation after generation of Marines have grown gray in war in both hemispheres and in every corner of the seven seas [so] that our country and its citizens might enjoy peace and security.

In every battle and skirmish since the birth of our Corps, Marines have acquitted themselves with the greatest distinction, winning new honors on each occasion until the term "Marine" has come to signify all that is highest in military efficiency and soldierly virtue.

This high name of distinction and soldierly repute we who are Marines today have received from those who preceded us in the Corps. With it we also received from them the eternal spirit which has animated our Corps from generation to generation and has been the distinguishing mark of the Marines in every age. So long as that spirit continues to flourish, Marines will be found equal to every emergency in the future as they have been in the past, and the men of our Nation will regard us as worthy successors to the long line of illustrious men who have served as "Soldiers of the Sea" since the founding of the Corps.
Something I just received from a friend in the Army about Marines and a Navy corpsman...

BTW... Happy Birthday, guys!

Corpsman continues to care for Marines after losing leg Submitted by:
2nd Marine Division Story Identification #: 20051131937 Story by Cpl.
Shane Suzuki

AR RAMADI, Iraq (Nov. 3, 2005) -- It is unadulterated courage in the
face of horrifying danger and risk. It is being able to perform under
fire while knowing you are probably going to lose a leg. It is taking
care of your Marines when everything is on the line. It is duty, courage
and love all together. It is what Nathaniel Leoncio showed the Marines
of Company L the morning of Oct. 4.

The mission was to patrol the southern part of Ar Ramadi in support of
Operation Bowie, capturing or destroying insurgents and their weapons.

However, when the convoy made its way to the dirt roads and
unincorporated areas that make up the southern part of town, everything

"As soon as we got on the dirt roads, four (Improvised Explosive
Devices) went off about two feet from our vehicles," said Cpl. Jason
Luedke, a Humvee driver with Company L. "Our Humvee ended up in a
three-foot crater. I started pulling Marines out of my vehicle and was
trying to find cover when I saw that the Humvee in front of us had been
hit and was flipped upside down."

Another Marine in the second vehicle, Cpl. Neil Frustaglio, a vehicle
commander for Company L, was one of the first people to rush up to the
flipped vehicle.

"After the blast, I looked forward and actually saw the Humvee landing,"
he said. "I was the first person there, and I heard Leo screaming for

Leo is Seaman Leoncio, a hospitalman assigned to Company L.

"When I came around to his side, I saw that he was caught under the
Humvee, that his leg was stuck," said Frustaglio. "I grabbed the edge of
the Humvee and lifted it up. I was yelling at him to pull himself out.
He struggled to pull himself out from under the Humvee with only his
arms. When he got out, that 's when I saw his leg."

Leoncio had suffered an amputated right leg below the knee, a shattered
right femur and serious internal bleeding. However, before he allowed
himself to be medically evacuated from the scene, Leoncio began
directing the other Marines at the scene on how to perform aid on
himself and the other injured Marines on site, including the fourth
Platoon commander, who suffered serious shrapnel wounds and required
immediate surgical evacuation.

"When I got to Hospitalman Leoncio, he immediately began telling me how
to care for him," said Cpl. Kurtis Bellmont, an infantryman in Company

"Before he was even stable, he began asking about the other occupants of
the vehicle and trying to assess their injuries. Before he would let us
move him to the medevac vehicle, we had to tell him that all of the
casualties were receiving medical attention."

The IED completely destroyed the Humvee and resulted in one death,
three urgent surgical casualties and one routine casualty. Despite the
chaos surrounding the attack, Leoncio kept his calm and bearing and
never relented in his duty to his Marines.

"There are no words for what he did," said Frustaglio. "The explosion
was catastrophic, it blew the door off the Humvee and threw it 30-plus

Those doors weigh more then 300 pounds. When I got to (Leoncio) he was
in pain, but he began telling me what to do. He was so calm, he was
injured but he was telling me how and where to put the tourniquet on his

One of the passengers in the vehicle, 1st Lt. Bradley Watson, helped
move Leoncio to the medevac vehicle and provided buddy aid to him while
they were transported to Camp Ramadi for surgical evacuation.

"I helped pull Hospitalman Leoncio into the medevac Humvee and
personally saw him wince in pain as he rolled over, opened his medical
kit and treated (the fourth Platoon commander's) shrapnel wound," said
Watson. "When he saw that the bleeding had stopped, he gave Cpl.
Bellmont and me instructions on how to best care for him. He was calm,
alert and responsive the entire way to Ramadi Medical. The only thing he
asked for was that someone hold his hand to keep him awake and give him sips of water."

Although his courage and dedication were highlighted during the horrible
events of Oct. 4, the Marines of Company L were not surprised at "Doc
Leo's" courage under fire and performance through pain.

"Doc Leo was a real good guy, he was always helping Marines with
anything he could," said Luedke. "He was, overall, the nicest guy I've
met in the military. He wanted to be here, in Iraq. He said before that
the only reason he joined the Navy was to be a corpsman and serve with
Marines in Iraq."

Leonicio was transported back to Bethesda Naval Hospital in Bethesda,
Maryland where he is currently recovering from his wounds.

William K. Fullwood


Branch Health Clinics Headquarters
13 Area Branch Health Clinic
Camp Pendleton, Ca. 92055
(760) 293-2081 pager
(760) 725-6346/7 office
(760) 725-6615 fax
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