On the 30th Anniversary of the Beirut barracks bombing

Closing out today thinking of the 220 Marines, 18 Sailors, and three Soldiers who fell October 23, 1983 in Beirut, Lebanon. I was all of 13 years old at the time. My father had been retired from the Corps for only three years and was half a step away from throwing on his pack and rifle and marching toward the Middle East.

Retired 1stSgt Brian Kilpatrick was a corporal who survived the attack. Over on Marines Blog he shares his memories of that day. 

Every year on October 23rd, Marines take a moment to think of their brethren and the events of that day in Beirut. The Corps has a long memory.

Semper Fidelis,
America’s SgtMaj

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3 comments

  1. I’ve been in a simmering rage ever since that day.

    I had weaseled my way into a pogue MOS a year or so prior due to a desire to see how the rest of the Corps worked, but on that day, I started my campaign of agitprop to get myself back into the infantry.

    It truly broke my spirit when it became obvious that we were going to do absolutely squat about getting payback.

    Then there was that USMC Col., forgot his name, sorry. He was part of the UN Peace Keeper force in Leb. He was snatched off the street, held prisoner, and tortured, for iirc a year or more, then a vid was released of him being choke hanged via a metal cable and electric wench.

    We did squat all about that too.

    Hatred. I has it. And it’s well grown and thorough after the decades its been nurtured.

    I keep working to remind myself that Semper Fi isn’t just a slogan… even though it sure seems so at times.

    – Grimmy

  2. Well spoke Grimmy.
    I was a PFC in a Reserve artillery battery when this happened. Rules of engagement as they were for “peacekeepers” made them lambs tied to stakes and not the jaguars in the night we are supposed to be.

    A little Mad Dog Mattis would have gone a long way back then…
    “I come in peace. I didn’t bring artillery. But I’m pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you fuck with me, I’ll kill you all.”

  3. @ Eric:

    To be fair…

    The muslim terror outfits were all owned and operated, to a very great extent, by the USSR.

    In 1965 or there abouts, the USSR made it set policy to supply, train, support and provide for any and all “anti-western” terror forces.

    This included most, if not all, of the arab/muslim outfits as well as the IRA and various European, Asian and South/Central American (and even a few US) outfits.

    The Sovs used the Norks as a proxy for much of that. The Norks kept a “special actions” outfit along with a “special purpose” brigade in Madagascar at that time expressly to provide training/support cadre to anyone wishing training, supply and/or transport… as well as maintaining several training camps in the muslim AO.

    Imo, the proper response would have been “in kind” operations against the Sovs. They did have barracks of troops at least equal in numbers to the USMC barracks in Leb at various easily reachable AOs around the globe.

    A direct attack would have been “crisis” making. But, proxy attacks were already deemed approp by the precedence set by the USSR, so they could eat pig poop on the exchange.

    But, our “betters” chose to sit on their hands and do the poop eating themselves.

    I’ve had a bit of a grudge against the Reagan admin for both the response to the attack (pull up stakes and run away), and their lack of response for the attack.

    I also give a loud and angry groan anytime some policy wonk from that era is picked to manage things today. The Cold Era policy wonks still hold to their fantasy of containment as workable.

    – Grimmy

    PS. But, at heart, I am and always will be a USMC grunt. Nuance might be approp from REMFs and pogues, but proper grunts aint into that weak sauce.

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