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Remembering Fallen Marine Lance Corporal Osbrany Montes De OcaSpecial for Salem-News.com by Corporal Brandon Rumbaugh, USMC
"Our lives begin to end the day we remain silent about things that matter." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Edited by Coral Anika Theill
(UNIONTOWN, Pa.) - Lance Corporal Osbrany Montes De Oca of North Arlington, New Jersey died February 10th while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C. LCpl Osbrany Montes De Oca, 20, was killed in the most dangerous part of Afghanistan, the Helmand Province, where hundreds of Americans have lost their lives. He had just walked off base when he was shot by a sniper bullet in the back. Many of you might be thinking "who is this Marine?" What happened to this hard-charging young man who wanted nothing more than to serve his country while making his family proud? What about the men and women who serve this beautiful country? What about the war overseas that has been going on for over a decade now? What about US?
Our daily news is often consumed with the passing of a celebrity, a professional athlete who sprained an ankle or the purchase of a ten million dollar home by a wealthy American. It is sad when someone passes away, I am not arguing that. The point I want to make is that the passing of LCpl Montes De Oca received no recognition outside his home town. He was a hero and he gave his life so that people here in the United States can live freely, without distraction. When we fail to acknowledge the sacrifices of our service members, and this happens every week, we are sending a message to those who give up their lives for our freedom, that they are valued less than the celebrities.
These young men and women who serve the United States of America were not drafted, were not forced to face an enemy who hides behind children, they VOLUNTEERED. It was their choice to put themselves in harm's way to make sure their families and friends are safe. Without these brave individuals, celebrities would not have a place to display their talents. Our home here in America would not exist; we would not be able to live as freely as we do.
Our lives are constantly bombarded by television shows, magazines, and newspaper articles about the few wealthy and famous citizens who, in everyone else's eyes, shape our country and make America what it is today. The celebrities in our country do deserve credit; they are famous for a reason. But there is a difference between a hero and a pop star or an athlete.
On Tuesday, February 14, 2012, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey ordered flags be flown half-staff at state government buildings Saturday, the day the funeral services were held for Whitney Houston. Nation-wide this devastating news has made the front page of almost every newspaper across America. I am sorry Whitney died, but she did not do it fighting for you or for me. Our flag stands for freedom and the people who FOUGHT for it.
Those serving in the military go into harm’s way to do battle, not for you, not for the government. They go into battle because every one of them has written a blank check in the amount up to and including their life to protect the American way of life and to give others the chance to experience it. They fight for the brothers and sisters around them. They fight because that is what is asked of them. It is sad that the sacrifices, heroics and hard work by our military members go unnoticed by the media and the American public.
"Sacrifice" by Mike Corrado, a U.S. Marine Video is dedicated to the memories of LCpl Brian Medina, LCpl Nick Kirven, Cpl Ricky Schoener, LCpl BJay Leusink, Sgt David Christoff, and Sgt Ryan Lane; who gave their lives in defense of their country and became true heroes.
EVERYONE WANTS TO BE A HERO, BUT NO ONE WANTS TO PAY THE PRICE
We have members of our armed forces dying every day, yet no one wants to report it simply because people do not find it as interesting as other everyday news. We need to make a change. We owe it to our country and to the brave individuals who give their life for people they do not even know. I want our citizens to take a stand and start recognizing these warriors. We owe it to them to honor their lives and to honor their families for raising such brave hard-working Americans. President Calvin Coolidge once said, "A nation that forgets its heroes is a nation destined to be forgotten."
We must never forget the sacrifices of all the heroic men and valiant women who serve our country. When you see a flag half-staff, remember a fallen hero. When you think about your rights - to say what you want and do what you want - think about your freedoms and thank a vet.
Corporal's Leadership Course Graduation Class - January 16, 2012
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, MD
Cpl Brandon Rumbaugh's Interview
Editor's Note: Corporal Brandon Rumbaugh, 22, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, joined the Marines in November 2007 with only one goal – be the best Marine he could possibly be. He achieved that goal.
Cpl Rumbaugh became a squad leader.
He redeployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan in September 2010, with the 1ST BATTALION, 8TH MARINES. Cpl Rumbaugh, while conducting combat operations, was severely wounded on November 29, 2010 when he hit an IED, suffering one above the knee and one below the knee amputation.
When Lance Corporal Richie Chavis stepped on an IED in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, Cpl Rumbaugh grabbed a stretcher and rushed toward him. Rumbaugh stepped on another IED causing the blast which injured him.
Cpl Rumbaugh is determined to help other Marines prepare for combat and has aspirations to move to North Carolina to help train Marines at the School of Infantry at Camp Geiger. In November 2011, Cpl Brandon Rumbaugh was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation with Combat "V".
Cpl Rumbaugh says:
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