CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 22, 2011 |
After receiving a complaint from an atheists' organization, Marine brass at Camp Pendleton are reviewing whether to permit a cross atop a hill on the base to remain. The 13-foot cross was erected on Veterans Day as a memorial to four Marines killed in combat in Iraq and to veterans in general. Three of the four dead Marines had been part of a group that had erected a cross on the same spot in 2003 before deploying to Iraq. That cross was destroyed by a brush fire in 2007. After an article about the new cross appeared in The Times, the Military Assn.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 3, 2012 |
In the early days of the U.S. battle with the Sunni insurgency in Iraq, the four Marines from Camp Pendleton were among those troops on the front lines in Anbar province. The two enlisted Marines would not survive those violent days in the spring of 2004: one was killed by "friendly fire" when a mortar round went awry and one was mortally wounded while hurling a grenade to repel an enemy assault, bravery for which he was posthumously awarded the Silver Star. The two officers survived, only later to be killed in other battles in other parts of the country: one by gunfire while leading a raid in Baghdad to kill or capture a "high-value" target in 2007 and one by stepping on a buried bomb while scouting an attack position near the Syrian border in 2005.
May 12, 2007 |
Maj. Douglas Zembiec, a Marine Corps officer profiled in the Los Angeles Times magazine in 2004, was killed while leading a raid on insurgents in Baghdad, officials reported Friday. Details of his death on Thursday were sketchy. In an age when many prefer military personnel to be diffident and reluctant to engage in violence, Zembiec was proudly a throwback. "One of the most noble things you can do is kill the enemy," he once said.
July 20, 2007 |
Over the four decades Robert M. Gates has worked in the federal government's national security bureaucracy, he has earned a reputation as a cool and analytical operator who keeps his inner feelings from even his closest colleagues. But Wednesday night, at the end of an address to the Marine Corps Assn., the Defense secretary nearly came to tears telling the story of a decorated Marine officer who was killed in Iraq in May after volunteering for a second combat tour.
July 29, 2007 |
I wasn't surprised when I heard that Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates had nearly broken into tears talking about the life and death of Marine Maj. Douglas Zembiec. A lot of us who knew Zembiec felt the same way. I first met him in Fallouja in 2004 and was immediately drawn to him. He was charismatic, courageous and candid -- in all, a reporter's delight. Indeed, some of the passages Gates read during his speech were from my stories, which included a long profile of Zembiec.
May 19, 2004 |
For three weeks straight, the Marines of the 2nd Battalion, 1st Regiment, 1st Marine Division faced daily combat. Seven were killed, more than 100 were wounded and all came away changed forever. In those days of fighting, more than one-third of the 150 Marines of Echo Company were wounded. Purple Hearts could not be ordered fast enough.