16.2.10

U.S. Marine Walks Away From Shot to Helmet

...Marines took cover after coming under attack during the Marjah offensive Monday.

..The men had served together in Afghanistan in 2008, and Lance Cpl. Koenig had survived two blasts from roadside bombs.

"We've got each other's backs," Lance Cpl. Gabrian said, the explosion still ringing in his ears.

Word of Lance Cpl. Koenig's close call spread quickly through the outpost, as he emerged from the shock of the experience and walked through the outpost with a Cheshire cat grin.

"He's alive for a reason," Tim Coderre, a North Carolina narcotics detective working with the Marines as a consultant, told one of the men. "From a spiritual point of view, that doesn't happen by accident."

Gunnery Sgt. Kevin Shelton, whose job is to keep the Marines stocked with food, water and gear, teased the lance corporal for failing to take care of his helmet.

"I need that damaged-gear statement tonight," Gunnery Sgt. Shelton told Lance Cpl. Koenig. It was understood, however, that Lance Cpl. Koenig would be allowed to keep the helmet as a souvenir.

Gunnery Sgt. Shelton, a 36-year-old veteran from Nashville, said he had never seen a Marine survive a direct shot to the head.

But next to him was Cpl. Christopher Ahrens, who quietly mentioned that two bullets had grazed his helmet the day the Marines attacked Marjah. The same thing, he said, happened to him three times in firefights in Iraq.

Cpl. Ahrens, 26, from Havre de Grace, Md., lifted the camouflaged cloth cover on his helmet, exposing the holes where the bullets had entered and exited.

He turned it over to display the picture card tucked inside, depicting (St.) Michael the Archangel stamping on Lucifer's head. "I don't need luck," he said.

After his moment with Lance Cpl. Gabrian, Lance Cpl. Koenig put his dented helmet back on his head and climbed the metal ladder to resume his rooftop duty within an hour of being hit.

"I know any one of these guys would do the same," he explained. "If they could keep going, they would."
The original article is here.

Semper Fidelis
Jhesu + Marie,
Brantigny

The 6th Marine Regiment (6th Marines) has a long and glorious history dating back to the 1st World War where it was given the privilege of wearing the green and red Fourragère of the Croix de Guerre for the action at the battle of Belleau Wood, renamed Wood of the Marine Brigade. A partial list of battle honours of the 6th Marines is listed below.

World War I
* Battle of Belleau Wood
* Battle of Blanc Mont Ridge
World War II
* Battle of Guadalcanal
* Battle of Tarawa
* Battle of Saipan
* Battle of Tinian
* Battle of Okinawa
Operation Desert Storm
Operation Enduring Freedom
Operation Iraqi Freedom

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