A Marine

This was a very important story to me, on the front page of The Philadelphia Inquirer:


From mourner to Marine


By Tom Infield, Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION NEW RIVER, N.C. – When her Marine boyfriend died in a helicopter crash off the Horn of Africa in 2006, Lesley Reed was lost.

Then a 21-year-old college dropout working at a Target store in Jacksonville, N.C., she had met her handsome sergeant, Jimmy Fordyce, of Newtown Square, Pa., through her brother, also a Marine. The two had been together six months when Fordyce left for his third overseas tour. He planned, when he got back, to quit the service. They’d move to Philadelphia. He’d get a job; she’d go back to school.

Then he was killed.

“I didn’t have any reason to get up in the morning,” Reed said. “I had no reason to live anymore. There was nothing for me to do.”

After a loved one dies, everyone must find a way to cope. Reed immersed herself in Fordyce’s memory — by joining the Marines herself.

To her delight — and the astonishment of his parents, with whom she is close — this 5-foot-3, brown-eyed woman, with her dark hair now in a proper military bun, has been reliving Fordyce’s Marine Corps experience.

He worked on Super Stallion helicopters, so she asked to work on them, too.

Much more at the link. And here’s an interview with SGT Reed:

SGT Fordyce had been deployed with HMH-464, Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 464, Marine Corps Air Station New River, to Djibouti, a terrorist crossroads between the Horn of Africa and the Middle East. And that was where he died, when two CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters collided. There’s a lot in the Inquirer original, but the story is important to me because it looks like SPC Pico will be deployed to that Marine Corps Base in Djibouti sometime around December.

The inquirer article notes that SGT Reed serves not only as an avionics technician for the CH-53Es, but is an aerial observer in flight, and is stationed at the .50 caliber machine gun behind the pilot’s seat when in a combat zone; the article does not say that SGT Reed has had combat duty.

SPC Pico would be pretty unlikely to see combat duty in Djibouti. If that’s where she is deployed — four members of her unit, the 476th Engineering Detachment, left for Afghanistan at the end of July, and the rest are expecting Djibouti — she’ll be working as part of an Army surveying team on the Marine base.

I honor SGT Reed, for turning her grief into something great, and for her service to our country. And I’ll cross-post this on Truth Before Dishonor, where Mr Hitchcock will probably reply, very briefly, Semper Fi!
_______________________________
Cross posted on Truth Before Dishonor

18 Comments

  1. Pingback: A Marine « Truth Before Dishonor

  2. Funny, a friend of mine’s husband is in Djibouti now. Not a lot of fighting, but Yemen and Somalia are close enough to keep us worried.

  3. After a loved one dies, everyone must find a way to cope. Reed immersed herself in Fordyce’s memory — by joining the Marines herself.

    Well, that’s only fair – a lot of people have coped with Americans murdering their kinfolk by becomeing insurgents.

  4. Great comment Pho. It displays a great depth of character, compassion and empathy. Just what we’ve come to expect from a narcissistic sociopath. You know, if you could harness all that hate and envy you harbor inside for America and Americans and turn it outward into something constructive you could become the next Steve Jobs. Naah, that ain’t gonna happen. You’re too wrapped up in self-pity, contempt and loathing to ever do anything positive.

  5. Hoag, sometimes it’s better to just ignore him, like you would a six-year-old throwing a temper tantrum.

    Phoe is still trying to get over his race’s collective guilt for what they did — and do — to the Maori. That’s all.

  6. Great comment Pho. It displays a great depth of character, compassion and empathy.

    Thank you, Hoagie. Most right-wing Americans don’t seem to get that the families of teh people they murder are human beings too.

    Maybe there’s hope for you yet.

  7. “Great comment Pho. It displays a great depth of character, compassion and empathy. Just what we’ve come to expect from a narcissistic sociopath. You know, if you could harness all that hate and envy you harbor inside for America and Americans and turn it outward into something constructive you could become the next Steve Jobs. Naah, that ain’t gonna happen. You’re too wrapped up in self-pity, contempt and loathing to ever do anything positive.”

    The point that PiaToR was trying to make, which you did not get Hoagie-John, is that we Americans would do well to put the shoe on the other foot. After all, our declared enemies are humans too, with regard to bullets through the hearts of family members in Iraq and Afghanistan. Spewing hatred at the political opposition at almost every opportunity hardly enables peace and prosperity for all!

  8. John Hitchcock says:
    23 August 2011 at 19:36

    Spewing hatred at the political opposition at almost every opportunity hardly enables peace and prosperity for all!

    Progressives can go straight to Hell!

    Hell wouldn’t want them, they would piss Lucifer off demanding entitlements like ice cubes, cold water and cold drinks. The only reason they would be there would be someone else’s fault.

  9. John Hitchcock says:
    23 August 2011 at 21:40 )

    Heh, Yorkie, you should try the link I provided in that, because as usual, Perry left the irony on.

    I saw it, and heard Maxine. But Maxine also ripped BO a new one for being all talk and no action. At least BO practices Equal Opportunity. So far he has pissed off everyone.

  10. The point that PiaToR was trying to make, which you did not get Hoagie-John, is that we Americans would do well to put the shoe on the other foot.

    Who’s more a hero – someone who gets paid to put on a uniform, go overseas, and shoot at people politicians tell him are the enemy, or someone who picks up a gun and hist back when his country is invaded by a foreign army?

    I wonder what makes these w1ngnuts think other people in the world have the same slavering worship for the US military they do? You might find this book interesting, Perry.

  11. The Phoenician actually thinks he’s got a point:

    Who’s more a hero – someone who gets paid to put on a uniform, go overseas, and shoot at people politicians tell him are the enemy, or someone who picks up a gun and hist back when his country is invaded by a foreign army?

    The problem is that the enemy our soldiers face are the people who sneak around and try to blow up school buses and shopping malls.

    The people you see as heroes are the ones defending tyranny and oppression. But, then again, we always knew you loved you some dictators.

  12. “Who’s more a hero –….”

    I don’t know Pho, but it would seem to me that if they actually put on a phuckin’ uniform then they too could be heros. But when they hide among us and their own people in civilian dress they are cowards. Kinda like the marxists among us who use the lifestyle which capitalism affords them to bash the very capitalists who provide that lifestlye. Cowards.

  13. A lifetime ago there were two VC in civilian clothes cornered between two houses by American troops. These two pigs were holding three young boys (about 7-12 years old) hostage to gain their release. I was summoned as a sniper to target the two creeps if they made a move. After being repeatedly told to surrender do you know what these worthless commies did? They retreated between the buildings and machine-guned the children. Suffice it to say I never let them leave. My only regret is I didn’t take the shots earlier. And the only reason I didn’t was because we ugly Americans were trying to save all five lives.

    There’s your heros, Pho. Not wearing uniforms, neither were those kids. But I was. But to you I was the big, bad American. Had I killed those pig communists immediately, those kids might have kids of their own today. Heros, you wouldn’t know a hero if you life depended on it.

  14. A lifetime ago there were two VC in civilian clothes cornered between two houses by American troops. These two pigs were holding three young boys (about 7-12 years old) hostage to gain their release. I was summoned as a sniper to target the two creeps if they made a move. After being repeatedly told to surrender do you know what these worthless commies did? They retreated between the buildings and machine-guned the children.

    Uh-huh:

    Iraqi school children killed in US air strike

    Wednesday, May 9, 2007
    Map highlighting Diyala province in Iraq.

    At least 7 school children are dead and 3 more injured after a United States military helicopter opened fire on a school in the Diyala province of Iraq. The helicopter was supposed to be firing upon militants located near the school.

    “A U.S. helicopter shelled Al-Saada primary school, killing seven students and injuring three. The Mindli hospital received seven bodies and three wounded of a primary school’s students,” said an unnamed hospital official in Iraq.

    According to reports by Baghdad police, militants on the ground began to fire at the helicopter. The helicopter then returned fire, hitting the school in the process.

    Lt. Col. Chris Garver, a spokesman for the U.S. military in Iraq said that an investigation was going to be conducted and that the incident is being taken seriously. Garver also said that the soldiers in the helicopter attempted to do whatever they could to avoid civilian deaths.

    Face it, Hoagie – your “heroes” don’t give a shit about killing children, paying only lip-service to the idea of respecting civilians.

    It’s obvious that Iraqis in Iraq or Afghans in Afghanistan attempting to shoot or blow up Americans are patriots bravekly resisting a massive occupying army – which is why you have to point at those targetting their own people instead.

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