The necessary ingredient
This Obituary was in this morning's paper:
ALEXANDRE, RICHARD H. went to be with the Lord February 3, 2006. He died peacefully at home after a brief battle with cancer. Born December 20, 1916, he served honorably as a corporal with the First Marine Division during World War II. He saw combat on the islands of Guadalcanal, New Britain, New Guinea, Peleliu and finally Okinawa. At Shuri Castle on this island, his company pinned down by heavy enemy machine gun and mortar fire, he volunteered to go behind enemy lines with a demolition charge which he successfully delivered sealing off the enemy bunker, saving many of his fellow marines. For this heroic action, he was awarded both the Silver Star and Purple Heart. Five years later in Korea, he was in combat again where he fought at the infamous battle of the "Frozen Chosin" Reservoir where he received a second Purple Heart. He was preceded in death by his first wife Lynne "Nana" Alexandre and son Ronald Lee Smith. Survivors include wife Lois, daughters Charlene Jones and Barbara Murdock.An old breed Marine and a true American Hero, he will be greatly missed. Published in the San Diego Union-Tribune from 2/14/2006 - 2/15/2006.
From another source:
Generation after generation of American men and women have given special meaning to the title United States Marine. These same men and women live by a set of enduring Core Values which forms the bedrock of their character. The Core Values give Marines strength and regulate their behavior; they bond the Marine Corps into a total force that can meet any challenge.
The Marines have the edge on any of the other military branches in several ways.
One big edge that they give themselves is that they both honor those who have went before, and EXPECT present day Marines to live up to the deeds, traditions, and performance of those who have gone before. While other Services talk about career possibilities after separation, and correct job planning, the Marines talk about:
"Manila Joe" Basilone, who could have stayed home after earning a Medal of Honor, but chose to lead Marines onto Iwo Jima. He died there as a casualty.
They talk about Sgt. Dan Daly, a 5 foot, 6 inch, 132 pound Marine Sergeant, who uttered those famous words," "Come on, you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?" Sgt. Daly earned TWO Congressional medals of Honor. Daly was a strict disciplinarian, yet fair-minded and very popular among both officers and enlisted men. He was noted not only for his reckless daring, but also for his constant attention to the needs of his men. Offered a commission on several occasions, he is said to have declined on the grounds that he would rather be "an outstanding sergeant than just another officer."
They talk about General John Lejeune. He is perhaps best remembered as a wartime commander after being the first Marine general to command an Army division in combat during World War I.
As a peacetime commander, he was responsible for Marine Corps institutions and traditions such as the annual Marine Corps Birthday, the Marine Corps League and the Marine Corps Gazette.
As commandant, Lejeune is credited with saving the Marine Corps from budget cuts and consolidation during the period of disarmament and trend toward isolationism after World War I.
He promoted the Marines' uniqueness as an expeditionary force and geared it toward amphibious warfare, which became important during World War II.
So, when Marines go to the Field, or deployed to some Third World septic pool, they are concerned with living up to people like these, and not their Ipods.