October: Deadliest Month in 2010 for the Marine Corps

I read this story from the Marine Corps Times and just had to share it with all of you. Our fellow warriors in the Corps continue to give the ultimate sacrifice, in a war that most people have chosen to forget, to ensure our freedom and safety. But this Marine will never forget his fellow brothers and sisters who continue to serve in harm’s way.  Semper Fidelis.

Eighteen Marines and a Navy corpsman have been killed in Afghanistan this month, making October the deadliest month in combat for the Marine Corps this year.

Three Marines have died in combat this week, pushing October past August and June, each of which saw 17 Marines and a corpsman killed. One hundred thirty-two Marines and four corpsmen have been killed in 2010 in Afghanistan as of Thursday, according to Marine Corps Times records.

The most recent casualties include Cpl. Jorge Villarreal, 22, a motor vehicle operator; and Lance Cpl. Francisco Jackson, 24, a field artillery cannoneer. Both Marines were killed by improvised explosive devices while on foot patrols, with Villarreal dying Oct. 17 and Jackson dying Oct. 19.

The Marines were assigned to 1st Battalion, 11th Marines, out of Camp Pendleton, Calif., an artillery unit that has been assigned to protect the Kajaki Dam, a 320-foot-high, 887-foot-wide landmark in northeastern Helmand province built by the U.S. in 1953 to provide hydroelectric power. The unit has conducted not only artillery operations, but regular foot patrols, too.

The other casualty this week is Staff Sgt. Joshua Cullins, 28, an explosive ordnance disposal technician with Pendleton’s 1st EOD Company. He deployed as an individual augmentee, and worked as a police officer with the Los Angeles Police Department, the department said. He was killed Oct. 19 by an IED in Marjah, the violent former Taliban stronghold in central Helmand province, while working with 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines, out of Camp Lejeune, N.C., police said.

The battalion that has sustained the most casualties this month is Pendleton’s 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines. Ten 3/5 Marines have been killed in October, including nine in a four-day period from Oct. 13-16. The unit is patrolling Sangin, a notoriously violent area in northern Helmand that the Corps took over from British forces in September.

story by: Dan Lamothe photo courtesy of: Sgt. Mark Fayloga

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