Friday, May 13, 2005

Semper Fidelis

In the Marine Corps, the motto is Semper Fidelis, which in latin means "Always Faithful". The Marines can always be counted on to fight in the worst conditions, giving 150% and tearing up the enemy at every opportunity. And as a Marine, if you are in trouble, you can always count on your fellow Marines to have your back. Unfortunately, some Marines take that motto a bit less seriously than the rest. Those Marines may as well join the civilian world where stabbing someone in the back is not only accepted, but expected. Not in my Corps.

Well, it looks like Lt. Ilario Patano is the latest example of the brotherhood that is the Marines, and how when a good Marine looks like they may be in trouble, the rest of us come to his aid. As you may remember in a previous post, he was on trial for murder of two Iraqi insurgents. The prosecutions main witness, Sgt. Daniel Coburn (who will go down in the history of the Marine Corps as a traitor to his own), accused Lt. Patano of murdering these insurgents in cold blood. However, Sgt Coburn told the story in so many versions, he couldn't quite get it straight. And the court martial looks like it will be agreeing with that assessment and finding Lt Patano innocent of all charges except "administration punishment for firing too many rounds at the two men".

Apparently Coburn was a disgruntled employee. According to an article in the Washington Times, he had an axe to grind as Patano had just fired him earlier in the week as squad leader for gross incompetence. During a patrol, instead of clearing buildings as he was ordered to, Coburn sat his squad down and started to make Gatoraid. Patano apparently fired him on the spot.

This case obviously offended the sensibilities of some of our media and our civilian world. But as a genius of an author, George Orwell once said "Good people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." Marines are those rough men. Fight the good fight LT. We'll be here for you.

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