"Every Marine a Rifleman"

by Laura Ehrenberg-Chesler on November 12, 2012

in Tribute,United States of America

From the Wall Street Journal , a story of American heroism.

Marine Attack Squadron 211 (VMA-211) took the brunt of the hit. Upon hearing the initial shots and explosions, Lt. Col. Raible grabbed his body armor and pistol and began to lead the counterattack, which his squadron Marines had already undertaken.

As the night unfolded, the

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insurgents were pinned down in a fight that lasted more than two hours. All insurgents but one were killed. While Marines proudly claim “every Marine a rifleman,” and there certainly is some truth to that, these men were aviation maintenance Marines and attack-jet pilots led by their commanding officer.

They don”t train to this mission. They fix and maintain highly complex aircraft. They fly missions at 500 knots in the skies over Afghanistan in support of ground operations. And yet they performed heroically, killing the enemy on a dark confusing night. But during the course of the fight, Lt. Col. Raible and one of his men, Sgt. Bradley Atwell, were killed by explosions of rocket-propelled grenades.

We have since learned that the insurgents were not only targeting aircraft but also intended to blow up housing facilities in order to kill as many Marines as possible while they slept. Otis Raible and the VMA-211 Avengers, as they are known, thwarted the plan.

The VMA-211 Avengers have had their legacy defined for the past seven decades by their heroic actions in the battle of Wake Island in World War II; now they can add Camp Bastion to that storied legacy.


Crossvault Capital Management would like to thank all of our armed forces for their service to country.


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