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"Helping women & children is what we're all about"
Capt James Lubin, USMC (ret), in 1991 when the Marines landed in Somalia

Death is always ugly, and especially in wartime, but nothing prepared me for Port-au-Prince, Haiti, a week after their terrible earthquake. I flew into the city on a Puerto Rican Air National Guard relief helicopter, and as we flew over the ruined presidential palace the smell of 200,000+ trapped corpses hit us at 700.

I was embedded with 3rd Bn, 2nd Marines, in Leogane, the earthquake's epicenter. The ground force of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, 3rd Bn, 2nd Marines was commanded by LtCol Rob Fulford, who spread his Marines west from Leogane, along a several mile stretch of Rt. 200.

The Marines were all about relief and rebuilding: from Civil Affairs under Capt Rebecca Popielski, to Capt Dave Beere in Headquarters & Supply to the battalion's Executive Officer Maj Chris Wills; every day the Marines were handing out M.R.E.'s and water at the U.N. refugee camps to providing a quick "Med-Op" at a local orphanage.

There's an old expression worth remembering: "The Marines have landed and the situation is well in hand." It's still true today.

Beirut:

As Israel and Hezbollah began fighting each other in July 2006, the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit were called to evacuate the American citizens caught in the shelling. Thousands of men - women-children-elderly made their way to Beirut in hopes the American government would rescue them.

I flew from Cyprus to Beirut; one of only five journalists on the beach. As the line of Americans seeking safety grew to longer than a half-mile, the Marines worked around the clock in supplying water, food, and any necessary medical care in Beirut's 104' summer heat and humidity.

As the Marines and sailors off the USS Trenton packed thousands of refugees on board as the LCU's endlessly shuttled the American's on board. Our Marines and sailors were at their finest; and I was there to record it for ABC, FOX, and Military.com


Outside a ruined village west of Leogane


Ready for a relief flight from the USS Bataan to shore


Outside the American Embassy as the medi-vac loaded the elderly and sick


With the refugees loading onto an LCU; the USS Iwo Jima was less than 3/4 mile offshore



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