Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day everyone! Today is one of the days that America set aside to take a moment to honor our country’s outstanding men and women who bravely serve and protect this nation. More specifically though, this day was set aside for us to honor and pay tribute to those who served with honor, dignity, pride and bravery but did not make it to see the fruits of their hard work and sacrifice. On Memorial Day we should all take a moment to pay tribute to those who gave it all to keep this country free and in my case, those who paved the way for Soldiers like myself.

Memorial Day is one of those holidays that seems to have fallen by the wayside over the years. I understand that there are the many people who consider Memorial Day as “national barbecue day” but I’d like to take a moment to remind you that this day is much more than that. I’m not saying go out and grab the first Soldier or Veteran you see and shake his/her hand and give some bullshit “thank you!” that you probably don’t mean but please, take a moment and consider all that you have in large part thanks to the Soldiers that defend you and in your own way, pay respects to those who gave their lives to keep it all possible. You may dislike the way that a lot of things are handled in this country, you might even hate the fact that we’re still fighting this “war” but I promise my brothers and sisters in arms and I are doing our best to protect and serve you. We don’t do it for the pay, the hype or the bragging rights, we do it because we love our country and want to defend it so that you all can rest easy knowing that your God-given and constitutionally upheld rights will never be compromised; so that you can enjoy freedom of speech, the right to bear arms and my personal favorite, the right to believe, pray and practice religion freely while on American soil. On this day, please, just take a moment to be thankful. It would sure mean a lot to us.

Ok! Now that all of the serious shit is out-of-the-way, I’d like to take a brief moment to thank my outstanding, high-speed, perfectly trained and equally motivated buddies my damn self! I’ve met a lot of Soldiers over the years and no matter what my opinion stays the same; my heart is with the infantry and although I serve with them, I thank those guys for what they do as often as I can. I once thought anything that wasn’t infantry or combat related was bitch work in the Army but boy was I wrong. We all work together with our hundreds of jobs to make the Army system work and of course support our infantry/combat arms and make sure that they are always fit to fight.

Complex did a pretty cool Memorial Day themed list of 21 Awesome Military Patches from the United States Armed Services and I was happy as hell to read it! YAY! For once an awesome magazine that I love showing me some love back! After a few clicks though I couldn’t help but notice that my patch wasn’t on this list; oh hell no! The unit patches seen here are pretty awesome and all, but they’re not my guys. I am a proud wearer of a 2nd Infantry Division patch and in case you didn’t know, we’re the shit! I’m not knocking Complex’ list, but as previously stated I’d like to take a brief moment to say “thanks” to my guys, my way.

4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division Stryker Brigade Combat Team: “Raiders! To the Objective!”. Despite the fact that the Raider brigade has only been active for a few years, we as a collective have completed quite a few missions and have quite the history. My brigade is made up of a number of different units that make this Stryker brigade a force to be reckoned with. The patch that can be seen above (here’s a more traditional one without the “Raider”) is the one all 4,500+ of us wear on the left sleeve of our uniform. The crests seen below can be found on our beretes and dress uniforms that show which part of the Raider brigade we truly belong to. Here’s a short breakdown and a thank you to my fellow troops!

4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment: “Manchu!”. With a proud history dating back to the very early times of the 9th Infantry Regiment, 4-9 INF still continues to strive for excellence and have the most outstanding infantrymen I’ve come across. Their Soldiers train in very harsh conditions to keep them on their toes and for that, we label them among the best. Good job Manchus! Keep up the fire!

2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment: “Tomahawks!”. Although 4-9 INF is number one in our book, 2-23 INF does not fall far behind. It seems like these guys never sleep. These Soldier are almost always in the field, when they are not in the field, they’re at the range, when they’re not at the range, they can be seen all over the brigade area practicing land navigation and other basic Soldiering and combat skills. 2-23 INF is always prepping for their next battle and never quite until the mission is complete. Big ups to 2-23 INF! Keep that motivation!

1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment: “Rock of the Marne!”. Not much needs to be said about 1-38 INF and due to the generally covert way these guys handle everything, I don’t know a whole lot about them despite the fact that I’ve been in this unit for quite some time. Nearly all of my senior leadership (my First Sergeants and Commanders) have come from 1-38 INF and I know for sure that they get it in during physical training every morning so that has to count for something, right? In addition, seldom do I hear any bad reports or have to deal with menacing things like DUIs from this battalion. Also, this battalion has the most supportive Family Readiness Group I’ve come across. The FRG leaders go to great lengths to ensure that their Soldiers in 1-38 INF are happy, taken care of and always fit to fight. All in all, these guys seem to have great discipline and high standards for how a Soldier, especially in the infantry should carry themselves. Hooah to 1-38 INF! Keep making us proud!

2nd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment: “Blackhawks!”. 2-1 CAV holds a very special place in my heart. I’ve always had a thing for the Calvary but after my arrival to Ft. Lewis, 2-1 CAV took that to another level. These guys are simply outstanding! It’s common for you to drive by their area and see them awarding new Scouts their spurs and inducting another Soldier into the cavalry family. Calvalry Scouts are known for their high spirits, professionalism, discipline and very traditional way of maintaining themselves in the Army and my scouts most certainly do it the best. Outstanding job 2-1 CAV! Perfect is standard with you guys and I love it!

2nd Battalion, 12th Field Artillery Regiment: “Vikings!”. Not much needs to be said about 2-12 FA. These are the guys that handle the big guns and these guys are pretty awesome at it! Not too long ago in fact they won a competition based on their skills with those large weapons. Another thing I like about 2-12 FA is the fact that they don’t rest on their laurels. They continue to strive for excellence and have yet to let me down. Great job 2-12 FA! You guys rock!

702nd Brigade Support Battalion: “Forge!”. 702D BSB is our support within the brigade; literally. This gigantic battalion is home to all of our support Soldiers and without them, we would be no where! The cooks are outstanding! The food in their dining facility is always hot and pretty good actually (all things considered :-)). Our mechanics put in long hours alongside the line units they are attached to and go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that our guys are ready to roll. Our supply specialty Soldiers can also be found rolled into this mixed up battalion and just like their counterparts, they’re always on it. On top of all of their awesomeness, 702D BSB knows how to have fun! Remember that Christmas post when I wrote about a unit running with Christmas lights, a guy in a Santa suit and a dog? That was these guys! No matter what you can always find 702D BSB making the best out of the Army. They do many battalion and company runs, take trips together and seem to have a real family like atmosphere. Thank you for all you guys do 702D BSB! I know I tease you all a lot, but what are battle buddies for? 🙂

4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division Headquarters Company: “Second To None!”. This is where I come in! It’s hard to really thank my battle buddies in HHC BDE. We all have very different jobs, very different skills and quite frankly, seldom see each other as a collective or know whats going on between the shops and offices scattered around post. In HHC BDE we are responsible for keeping the Raider brigade afloat. Yes, we know. The infantry fight, the mechanics fix the Strykers and the medics keep us healthy but without HHC BDE, we’d be hard pressed to get a damn thing done. We maintain thankless jobs and ensure that the daunting tasks like scheduling training events, securing flights for the training events, ensuring we have enough Soldiers when the time comes and keeping track of each and every Soldier and their well-being. That in itself is a hell of a job on top of the basics we must maintain just like our comrades in the line units. Just because we have huge jobs does not make us exempt from  basic Soldier duties such as 24-hour guard type shifts, random jobs called details that seem silly and endless, physical fitness tests, marksmanship qualification, drivers training and other courses. Whew! All of that on top of the jobs we maintain? It’s no wonder my comrades are always stressed or amped up on coffee. We’re always behind the scenes pushing things along while still maintaining general combat readiness ourselves. Either way, despite our jobs or positions held within HHC BDE, we could not do any of this without our battalions.Thank you HHC BDE for all that you do and on behalf of all of HHC BDE, I want to give a big thanks to all of the battalions as well as the separate companies. We know we’re always pissed at you guys and telling you what to do, but we are all very proud of you guys and are honored to have you as our Soldiers!

With all of that being said, have a safe and very happy Memorial Day everyone! God bless America! 🙂


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