Friday, October 23, 2009

Beirut Bombing, 25 Years Ago

Today is the 25th anniversary of the bombing in Beirut, Lebanon of the Marine barracks by a suicide bomber. 241 Marines paid with their lives trying to bring peace to the fighting in what had once been the "Rivera of the Middle East" but had degraded into the mess that Islamic fascist seem to enjoy.

I was on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower when this happened. It was a ships company assignment for me and I had only recently reported aboard (the 21st in fact). We were anchored off Monaco when word reached the ship in the early morning hours of that day, all shore leave and liberty was cancelled and we executed an "emergency sortie". We left several hundred sailors ashore while the Eike broke all speed records to get off shore of Lebanon to provide the medical support that the CVN carries. We only broke speed to launch the occasional E-2 and pair of S-3's to scout ahead of the CVN. That big ship vibrated horribly but we pulled up and started ferrying doctors and corpsman ashore and wounded back in less than 20 hours after we departed Monaco. I gave blood twice in a 72 hour period along with a lot of other sailors.

The least we could do for our green brothers in arms.

Here is a link to the DOD's 25th Anniversary Page on this event.

BT: Jimmy T sends.


Buck said...

You were in a bad place doing good things. Good On Ya for that, Jimmy.

JimmyT said...

Buck, it was sad to see so many dead and wounded brought aboard. We had converted the hanger bay into a makeshift medical ward and we cleared as much of the flight deck to allow for helo's of come and go. It was an amazing two weeks that we sat there. Another batch of Marines showed up and went ashore, undaunted but I am sure determined to continue where their comrades has been cut short.

I thought back then, where do they come from, but I know that today.

BT: Jimmy T sends.