|Wednesday, 2-Nov-2005 00:00
1 November 2005
Warlord Family and Friends,
Following a successful constitutional referendum, 2/2 continued to aggressively pursue the enemy throughout the area of operations. Data received indicates that a significant increase in the percentage of Sunnis voted in comparison to the January 2004 interim government election. Now that the people have accepted the constitution, another election in mid-December will be to elect a new government to serve for the next five years. Whatever final form the government takes, the important point is that the Iraqis are exercising democratic rights.
A big part of counterinsurgency is separating the people from the insurgent, causing them to lose popular support. Our Civil Affairs effort is working to support that goal by identifying needs within each given area, coordinating with the Marine Company Commander and local Iraqi civil leaders and Sheikhs. The ultimate goal is to assist the Iraqis in developing their economy. Long-term employment will improve the lives of the populace and provide hope and reason to pursue peace for all.
Our Iraq counterparts in the Iraqi Army continue to do an outstanding job in their assigned area of operations. Their competency and skill continues to improve and with their ability to conduct operations with minimal or no Marine support has furthered our ability to influence a much wider area. They are a major part of the future success of this country. As well, Iraqi Police forces are developing and will begin to provide the enforcement of laws as the new government develops. The rule of law is vital to achieving peace and security. With Iraqi Security Forces providing security, the people can feel safe to live their lives, educate their children, go the mosque, and work to improve the economy.
Amidst our success, the Warlords suffered very painful losses. From Mobile Assault Platoon White, Weapons Company, SSgt Pummill, LCpl Russoli and LCpl Szwydek were killed in action. Easy Company lost Capt Swisher their company commander, Sgt Hodshire, Cpl Cockerham, HM3 Thompson, and LCpl Butler. We will miss them deeply and will continue to pray for their families that they may find peace and strength. The Warlords will continue the fight against insurgents while improving the daily lives of Iraqi citizens. By continuing to do so, we honor our fallen Marines.
After such sobering and tragic losses the news of newborn Warlords help us recover and find hope in troubling times. I’m pleased to announce the additions to two families in Golf Company.
Captain Joel and Lisa Schmidt Alexander Golf
Corporal Michael and Nichole Donnelly Dylan Golf
More great news for the Donnelly family. Corporal Michael Donnelly (Co G) was selected for meritorious promotion to Sergeant Nov 2nd. He was competing against a very competitive field from several other battalions and independent commands. We are extremely proud of him and happy for his family.
The following Marines were promoted and I want to offer my congratulations to them.
Maj Brandon Conway Weapons Company 1 October
GySgt Keith Harris Golf Company 1 October
Capt Stephen Musick H&S Company, Supply 1 November
SSgt Michael Skinta H&S Company, Sniper Platoon 1 November
GySgt Mike Smith (frocked) H&S Company 1 November
In closing, I would like to express my continued THANKS for the great support our Men are getting from those of you back home. You are truly “force multipliers” as you pump-up the morale with care packages, letters and emails. Special thanks to our Key Volunteer Network, led by Jayme Alexander and her terrific team of coordinators. During these trying times as we deal with our casualties they have been superb. We are half way to the end of our deployment. We remain focused on the mission and each other and will not get distracted by approaching “Homecomings”. We have too much to accomplish. To be sure, we all cherish the day we are home with our loved ones.
I remain Semper Fidelis,
James J Minick