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Two Cobra pilots KIA 7/22

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  • Two Cobra pilots KIA 7/22

    Staff report
    Posted : Monday Jul 26, 2010 18:58:57 EDT

    Two Marine helicopter pilots were killed last Thursday during combat operations in Afghanistan’s Helmand province, the Defense Department announced Monday.

    Lt. Col. Mario D. Carazo, 41, of Springfield, Ohio, and Maj. James M. Weis, 37, of Toms River, N.J., were AH-1W Super Cobra pilots assigned to Marine Light-Attack Helicopter Squadron 369, said Maj. Jay Delarosa, a wing spokesman at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station in San Diego. The squadron is part of Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, and is based out of Camp Pendleton, Calif.

    Military officials have not released details about the incident or said what brought down the helicopter. “The incident occurred as they were engaging in combat,” Delarosa said.

    NATO officials that day reported that two service members were killed in a helicopter crash near Lashkar Gah, Helmand’s provincial capital, and the crash was under investigation.

    Carazo, who was commissioned in 1991, deployed to Iraq in 2006 and 2008, Delarosa said. His military awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Iraq Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Navy Unit Commendation, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Philippine Presidential Unit Citation and Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation.

    Weis was commissioned in 1996 and deployed to Iraq from 2005-06. His awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Air Medal (Individual Action), Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Air Medal (Strike/Flight), Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Navy Unit Commendation, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation and Presidential Unit Citation-Navy.


  • #2
    "I watched a General of Marines cry today"
    Posted By Blackfive

    Below is a report from a Marine Officer witnessing the ceremony for two Marines who fell in Afghanistan. Maj. James M. Weis, 37, of Toms River, N.J., and Lt. Col. Mario D. Carazo, 41, of Springfield, Ohio, died July 22, 2010, during combat operations in Helmand province.

    Friends and family,

    I watched a General of Marines cry today. Along with the General, were hundreds of others who hung on every word of honor that was spoken and every note of remembrance that was played, as we bid farewell to two of our brothers-in-arms who perished due to enemy action in Trek Nawa, Afghanistan on 22 July 2010. The General was unashamed, as were the rest of us. You will often hear average Americans talk of Patriotism and Honor, but many times those terms are used with little regard to what they truly mean.

    In the Marine Corps, we have a simple motto – Semper Fidelis – which means ALWAYS FAITHFUL. We aren’t the first to use that term, but I venture to believe that our adoption and use of it as our motto will endure much longer than any other. I believe that for one simple reason – I saw a General of Marines cry today. His tears were shed as he remembered the service and sacrifice, not just of the two Marines who were honored at this particular ceremony but of all those that bore the title “Marine,” who have given the full measure.

    What makes a grown man of 40 years decide to leave his wife and two young children to travel thousands of miles to a foreign land and risk his life? I can tell you that it is NOT because he believes that our way of life and style of government can be impressed upon a people who have never known anything remotely resembling what we assume is a god-given right. He does it because of his faith. He has faith that each and every man, woman and child on God’s green earth “are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness…”

    That may not sound familiar to some of you, but it is part of the Declaration of Independence. A document that the founding fathers of the United States of America created to communicate that which they believed in so dearly in that they were willing to start a war. That declaration, and the ensuing war, led them to eventually write the Constitution of the United States, the document upon which every serviceman and woman swears (or affirms) to support and defend. If you have never read both of those documents, or it has been a while, I suggest that you go to your local library, check them out and read them. I don’t tell you this to sound “high and mighty,” nor do I tell you this with contempt or disapproval for any one individuals beliefs. I tell you this because the fundamental belief to which we as Marines cling to so dearly, is why you will find a 40 year old man willing to leave his family, travel thousands of miles to a foreign land, and die there.

    I have read recently that the death toll of American forces has soared here in Afghanistan. Almost every major news outlet has focused on the sheer numbers of Americans that have lost their lives here. Politicians and activists have used those numbers to push their own personal agendas and ideas. That is shameful. It is shameful because, by flaunting our loss of life as a reason why we shouldn’t be doing what we are doing, they have lost sight of why America and its allies are here – Faith. Faith that we can make a difference. I have faith that if my presence here can serve to improve the life of one Afghan, then I have done something worthy and good. I have faith that the man or woman that stands beside me would give their life to protect mine. I have faith that I would do the same. I have faith that my family knows me, and believes in me enough to endure the hardships of military life. I have faith that, should I be unfortunate and lose my life trying to improve the lives of others, that the Marine Corps family will take care of My Family.

    Many of you may not understand why we as Marines believe in such things, or why I am sharing this with you now. I can only hope that at some point in your lives, you have felt that unwavering feeling of faithfulness to something. For most, you have that with your family. I hope that everyone enjoys the comfort that faith can provide. Today, we committed to memory the lives and legacies of two phenomenal Marines. Both were husbands and fathers, and both were good, decent Men. I, for one, with be faithful to their memory and strive to protect that which they so dearly believed in. As I watched a General of Marines cry today, through eyes blurred with the sting of my own tears, all I could think of was, “Semper Fidelis.”


    LtCol X

    Godspeed Major Weis and Lieutenant Colonel Carazo..."Weasel" and "Sugar Bear"...godspeed.

    Outstanding video at this link....


    • #3
      Hand Salute

      ......."If the Army and the Navy ever look on Heaven's scenes; They will find the streets are guarded By United States Marines"

      Lt. Col. Mario D. Carazo and Maj. James M. Weis have reported for duty amd are standing their post.