Showing posts with label Camp Lejeune. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Camp Lejeune. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Female Marines make history with howitzers

Two female Marine cannoneers are now howitzer section chiefs

Military Times
Phillip Athey
March 3, 2020
The two trailblazing cannon cockers join a long line of female Marines who continue to break barriers in jobs they were once barred from
Two female Marines have passed the Corps’ howitzer section chief course ― accomplishing another milestone for female integration in the Marine Corps nearly four years after combat jobs were first opened to women.
Cannoneer Marine Cpl. Shannon Lilly is bitten by military working dog, Robby, during a bite demonstration on the flight deck of the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship Kearsarge (LHD 3) in May 2019. (Sgt. Aaron Henson/Marine Corps)
A howitzer section chief is the artillery equivalent of a squad leader, responsible for maintaining, aiming and firing the Corps’ M777 155 mm howitzer along with leading a crew of eight to 10 Marines required to fire the gun.

The first female Marine to pass the demanding course was Cpl. Shannon Lilly with with Gulf Battery, 2nd Battalion, 10th Marines, based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, a Marine Corps spokeswoman told Marine Corps Times on Monday.

Lilly passed the course in December 2019, according to 2nd Marine Division spokeswoman Sgt. Gloria Lepko.
read it here

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Traffic stop suicide claimed life of young Marine after 3 tours

Marine who fatally shot himself during Chesterfield traffic stop had struggled with alcohol use

Richmond Times Dispatch
Mark Bowes
Jan 14, 2020
Childress, who joined the Marines after graduating from high school in 2013, had served three deployments overseas, according to his obituary notice. It couldn’t immediately be discerned where overseas he served.
Sgt. Shawn Childress, 24, graduated in 2013 from Manchester High School.
Family photo through Bliley Funeral Home
A young Marine sergeant from Chesterfield County who fatally shot himself early New Year’s Day during a traffic stop in Midlothian had been struggling with alcohol and was detained previously for a mental health commitment order, according to his wife and the authorities.

Sgt. Shawn Childress, 24, a Manchester High School graduate who was stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C., pulled a handgun and shot himself about 1:15 a.m. Jan. 1 after a Chesterfield officer stopped him for suspicion of drunken driving on Midlothian Turnpike near Courthouse Road, police said.
read it here

Sunday, August 11, 2019

FBI Agent thanked by Camp Lejeune Marine for his life

Marine kidnapped as baby reunites with rescuer 22 years later

ABC 13 News
By Brittany Tarwater
Aug 09, 2019

"I think that is the perfect bookend. I think to end seeing him again, it really just puts the final touch to a career.” Troy SowersTroy Sowers

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT/Gray News) - A reunion outside the Knoxville FBI headquarters was the second time Stewart Rembert and Troy Sowers have met.

Rembert doesn’t remember the first time, reports WVLT, but FBI Special Agent in Charge Sowers will never forget that day.

Rembert was two days old in 1997 when he was kidnapped from a Washington state hospital by a woman claiming to be a nurse.

It was one of Sowers’s first cases with the FBI. He found baby Rembert in a box behind a dumpster.

“I pulled a baby out of a box,” he recalled. “That was tough. I had to take a couple deep breaths before I started talking.”

Rembert was then reunited with his family. The kidnapper pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

After graduating high school, Rembert joined the Marines and is now stationed at Camp Lejeune.

"Without him, I wouldn't be where I am today, a United States Marine," he said.

Friday was Sowers’s last day with the FBI. He ended his career with one of the first people he started it with. Cpl. Rembert surprised Sowers at his retirement party.
read it here

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Will Senate back building the wall or rebuilding military bases?

Camp Lejeune is still a mess 6 months after Hurricane Florence. Where's the money for repairs?

NBC News
By Courtney Kube and Mosheh Gains
March 30, 2019

The Marine Corps' top general says one "negative factor" delaying repairs is the diversion of resources to the military mission at the U.S.-Mexico border.

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — More than six months after Hurricane Florence ravaged North Carolina, hundreds of buildings at Camp Lejeune and two other nearby Marine Corps installations remain frozen in time, with walls still caved in and roofs missing.

The Marines say they need $3.6 billion to repair the damage to more than 900 buildings at Camp Lejeune, Marine Corps Air Station New River, and Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point caused by the storm and catastrophic flooding in its aftermath. And while they have torn down soggy, moldy walls, put tarps on roofs and moved Marines into trailers, so far they have not received a penny from the federal government to fix the damage.

Now the Marine Corps' top officer is warning that readiness at Camp Lejeune — home to one third of the Corps' total combat power — is degraded and "will continue to degrade given current conditions." In a recent memo to Navy Secretary Richard Spencer, Commandant Gen. Robert Neller cited, among other "negative factors," the diversion of resources to the border, where the Trump administration has sent active-duty troops to patrol and plans to use military funding to pay for a wall.
"Mister Secretary, I am asking for your assistance," wrote Neller in his memo, his second this year requesting that Spencer push Congress to provide more funds. "The hurricane season is only three months away, and we have Marines, Sailors, and civilians working in compromised structures."

Neller wrote that the lack of the money needed for repairs, and unexpected expenses like the U.S. military mission at the southern border, are "imposing unacceptable risk to Marine Corps combat readiness and solvency."
read more here

But it is not just Camp Lejeune 

Air Force Needs Almost $5 Billion To Recover Bases From Hurricane, Flood Damage
The U.S. Air Force says it needs $4.9 billion in new funding over the next two and a half years to cover the costs of rebuilding two air bases hit by natural disasters.
About one-third of Offutt Air Force Base, in eastern Nebraska, was underwater earlier this month as flooding hit large swaths of the Midwest. And Tyndall Air Force Base in the Florida Panhandle was hit hard by Hurricane Michael in October.
The Air Force is asking for $1.2 billion in supplemental funding for fiscal year 2019 and $3.7 billion for fiscal years 2020 and 2021. Congress would need to approve the funding.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

WWII Veteran's Son, John Mayer, has foundation for veterans

John Mayer launches foundation for veterans’ health

Press Herald
February 28, 2019
Mayer, whose father was a World War II veteran, said part of the reason he started The Heart and Armor Foundation came after he visited the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in 2008.
John Mayer, a Grammy-winning singer, has started The Heart and Armor Foundation, which plans to focus on veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and meeting the needs of women veterans. Photo by Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP, file

NEW YORK — John Mayer is launching a foundation focused on improving the health of veterans through scientific research.

The Grammy-winning singer announced The Heart and Armor Foundation, which plans to focus on veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and meeting the emerging needs of women veterans.

John Mayer, a Grammy-winning singer, has started The Heart and Armor Foundation, which plans to focus on veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and meeting the needs of women veterans. John Mayer, a Grammy-winning singer, has started The Heart and Armor Foundation, which plans to focus on veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and meeting the needs of women veterans. Photo by Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP, file Though he publicly announced the foundation Friday, Mayer has been working on the organization since 2012 alongside veterans, scientists and clinicians.

“We’re going to the public with things like published research papers and having raised enough money to really build some pilot programs. We have some really great data and … we want it to be working first so that a lot of the questions were answered before we brought things to people by way of awareness,” Mayer said in an interview. “I think it just makes it that much more compelling and much more concise to bring it to people with the message being, ‘Hey, this is not taking something that is zero to try to get it to five. This is something that is at 50 and we want to get it to 100.'”
read more here

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

North Carolina Veteran Population Dropping, VA Enrollment Growing

Veteran Population In NC Steadily Declining

Jay Price
November 26, 2018

Despite the downturn in the number of veterans, the VA here has been seeing its enrollment grow, as a higher percentage of veterans sign up for VA care.

North Carolina is home to two of the world’s largest military bases — the Army’s Fort Bragg and the Marine Corps’ Camp Lejeune — but the state’s population of veterans is steadily declining.

Last year the number of veterans in North Carolina dropped to about 656,000. That’s down nearly 90,000 from a decade earlier, according to US census bureau estimates.

The number has steadily fallen from a plateau a decade ago. That’s despite the substantial rise in the state’s overall population, according to a new report from UNC.

A big reason that the population is falling off so much is that the veterans of the draft-fueled buildup during the Vietnam War era now dominate the veteran population, but are “aging out ” said Rebecca Tippett is the director of Carolina Demography at the Carolina Population Center.

The veteran population is older than the average, she said.

“The result of that is that you’re going to see much higher mortality rates, and overall population decline because young veterans are not replacing older veterans at a fast enough rate and are not likely to,” Tippett said.
read more here

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Ellen DeGeneres sent Marine couple on honeymoon

Camp Lejeune Marine couple get $20,000 after being on 'Ellen'

WCTI News 12
by Jason O. Boyd
October 13th 2018
Cpl. Brandon Crespo and wife Francis (EllenTube via Facebook photo)

LOS ANGELES — A reunion video that has netted over 17 million views on social media landed a Camp Lejeune Marine couple a special gift when they appeared on "Ellen" on Friday.

Cpl. Brandon Crespo and wife Francis shared a video of his return from a six-month deployment. In the video, Crespo got to meet his son, Noah, for the first time. Francis was pregnant during Crespo's sea deployment.

The video has racked up over 17 million views, which got the interest of Ellen DeGeneres. She invited the couple onto her show Friday to discuss the deployment and pregnancy process.

Crespo stayed on the phone during Noah's birth and said he "was filled with anxiety. I couldn't believe it was happening."

DeGeneres gave the couple $20,000 from Shutterfly so they can go on the honeymoon they were unable to have so far.
go here for video

Monday, October 1, 2018

Motorcycle accident claimed life of Camp Lejeune Marine

Camp Lejeune Marine killed in motorcycle accident
September 30, 2018

SNEADS FERRY, N.C. (WITN) - A Camp Lejeune Marine was killed in a motorcycle accident Saturday evening, Highway Patrol Troopers said.
The accident happened along Old Folkstone Road near Scuba Drive in Sneads Ferry around 5:55 p.m., Trooper Adam Hostinsky said.

The motorcyclist, Trevor Richardet, 19, had been traveling east on Old Folkstone Road at a high rate of speed when a pick-up truck pulled out of a driveway in front of him, Hostinsky said.
read more here

Sunday, September 30, 2018

After Hurricane Florence, Camp Lejeune families living with mold!

At U.S. Marine base, families plead for housing help after Florence
Andrea Januta
September 29, 2018
Most of Camp Lejeune’s housing is run by Atlantic Marine Corps Communities, or AMCC, a partnership between Australia-based Lendlease Group, Boston-based WinnCompanies and the U.S. Navy. All the homes profiled in this article are managed by AMCC.
Jennifer Maher, pregnant in her third trimester, prepares cleaning supplies in an attempt to clean up mold after suffering severe damage to her home post-Hurricane Florence at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, U.S., September 27, 2018. REUTERS/Andrea Januta
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. Two weeks after Hurricane Florence deluged the U.S. East Coast’s largest Marine Corps base with raging waters and dangerous winds, some military families say they are still residing in unlivable conditions and awaiting help from the base’s private housing manager.

Some, like Jennifer Maher, said they feel unsafe in their Camp Lejeune homes but were told they will not be moved because assessment crews determined their houses are habitable.

That did not work for Maher, pregnant in her third trimester and living with her husband and 2-year-old son. When she returned home last Friday, she opened the door to the stench of mold, she said while showing the wreckage to a visiting reporter. Then she saw the ceiling had collapsed in their bedroom and garage.

“I’m pregnant and I can smell the mold,” said Maher, whose husband is a Navy corpsman stationed at Lejeune. “There’s no way I could bring a newborn home and let her breathe this in.”
read more here

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Camp Lejeune Marine's Wedding Military Family Affair

In This Military Wedding, Love Conquers All...And Hurricane Florence
WLTX 19 News
Author: Alicia Neaves
September 21, 2018
The young couple learned they'll never be alone. At every corner of our nation and in many cities around the world, thousands of their military brothers and sisters will be there should they ever need a hand.
Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- When military families need a hand, the entire military community springs into action.

Marine Corporal Jordan Taylor is stationed at Camp LeJeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina. His fiancee Julia lives in Texas.

When Hurricane Florence pounded the Carolina coast, Jordan, 23, returned home to Fort Jackson.

"He was evacuated and he came home to be with us," said Jordan's mother, Stacy Taylor.

Stacy says Jordan is scheduled to report back to Jacksonville in October.

His wedding is scheduled for November.

read more here

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Vietnam veteran Marine's sword returned after 53 years!

Marines helping Marines: Wausau trio return retired colonel's sword, stolen 53 years ago
Wausau Daily Herald
Keith Uhlig
Aug. 9, 2018
"I'm still amazed, that after all this time, that it would show up. And that somebody would take the time and effort to track me down." 
Retired Marine Colonel Kenneth Russom
Retired Marine Colonel Kenneth Russom displays the sword he bought as he was finishing up Officer Candidates School in 1964. The sword disappeared while Russom shipped it to his first post at Camp Lejuene, North Carolina. Above Russom is the sword he bought later, to replace the original. (Photo: Courtesy of Kenneth Russom)
WAUSAU - Retired Marine Col. Kenneth Russom never dreamed he'd see the sword again.

It disappeared more than 53 years ago in early 1965. The sword was almost certainly stolen after he shipped it along with other gear from Quantico, Virginia, to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

Russom was preparing for his first post as second lieutenant with the Eighth Marines. He bought the sword a few months earlier as he neared completion of Officers Candidate School in Quantico because it is a required part of every Marine officer's dress uniform.

Russom, now 76 and living in St. Augustine, Florida, remembers wrapping and taping the sword up and placing it in a box with uniforms and other personal effects for the move. And he remembers his thoughts when opened the box in North Carolina only to discover the sword was gone.

"First thing was, 'Oh my god, I don't have a sword'," Russom said. "Marine Corps regulations call for every officer to have a personal sword. ... I wasn't panicked, but I was concerned that there would be a uniform inspection (with a commanding officer) and I would be, 'Oh, and by the way, I don't have a sword.'"
read more here

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Told he may not walk again, disabled veteran races

Iraq veteran overcomes war injury to race in Wilmington Grand Prix
ByMark Eichmann
May 18, 2018
“The doctors of course were trying to figure out what’s going on, they’re telling me, ‘Just be prepared to never walk or run again, you’re probably looking at a career-ending type of injury.’ And that was really hard to digest,” Tibbits said.
His bike tires slipped as Brian Tibbits made a practice run up the steep, cobblestoned incline of Wilmington’s Monkey Hill Friday morning. After a week of rain and a forecast for more storms this weekend, Tibbits said he expects the weather to offer a more challenging race course than usual.

“I just don’t feel like I’m going to push it as hard and as fast as I can … I just want to stay safe,” he said after assessing the conditions.

But even riding his bike — let alone riding competitively — is something Tibbits’s doctors thought he might never do.

He had just become a Wilmington Police officer when he was called up to serve in Iraq with the 8th Marine Regiment out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
read more here

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Camp Lejeune Marines Comp Benefits in hands of convicted felon?

Dr. who cheated government on taxes helps decide which Camp Lejeune Marines get benefits
By: Steve Andrews
Updated: May 04, 2018

HOMOSASSA, Fla. (WFLA) - A Florida doctor, convicted of cheating the government, is now working with the Department of Veterans Affairs, helping to determine if sick and dying Marines deserve benefits.
Dr. Sheila Mohammed, from the Pensacola area, pleaded guilty to seven counts of tax fraud in 2015. A federal judge sent her to prison. Dr. Mohammed was also placed on supervised release for two years.

She is now reviewing medical records of veterans exposed to toxic water at Camp Lejeune for the VA.

"The idea of a convicted felon reviewing a veteran's claim. I mean, I'm just at a loss for words," said Mike Partain, a Camp Lejeune survivor and spokesman for The Few, The Proud, The Forgotten, a Camp Lejeune support group.

Over the course of decades, nearly one million Marines, sailors, their families and civilian employees unknowingly drank, cooked and bathed in contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.

The water contained four known cancer causing chemicals, creating a health disaster.

Mike Partain was conceived and born at Camp Lejeune. He developed breast cancer.
read more here

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

WPFT 5 News got involved, veteran had claim approved in days!

WPFT 5 News got involved with a veteran about his claim. Suddenly, it was approved. 

One more lesson on the squeaky wheel!
Veterans and their families would be automatically eligible as long as they spent more than 30 days at Camp Lejeune and had one of the qualifying ailments, including kidney cancer. 
“They should be paying me,” he said,

But the VA wasn’t paying him, not until last week when we told them about Tom’s story.

And just days later, they granted Tom his long awaited benefits at an 80% disability rating-backdated to March of last year.

He's due more than $1,700 per month.
click link above for video on this veteran.

Friday, November 24, 2017

USO Gave Homestyle Thanksgiving to Marine Families

USO serves up a taste of home for Thanksgiving
Jacksonville Daily News
By Jannette Pippin
Daily News Staff
Posted Nov 23, 2017
The event, they said, helps bring the comfort of home to military personnel and their families. It was the first year for volunteering for retired Marine Gunnery Sgt. John Rademacher of Greenville, who worked the serving line.

Marine Sgt. Ian King, left, and Sgt. Bryce Duis, center, were served dessert by volunteer Vickie Walker during the USO Jacksonville Center Thanksgiving Dinner. Jannette Pippin/The Daily News

The welcome mat at the entrance of the USO center in downtown Jacksonville reads “Home Away From Home” and for many that was the case as they gathered for food and fellowship at the annual Thanksgiving dinner.

The USO was prepared to feed 2,000 or more military personnel and their families, serving up the traditional Thanksgiving Day meals of turkey, ham and all the fixings.

Trinity Monbeck arrived early with her mother, Tricia Dodds, and two sons, Colby, 2, and Luke, 11 months. Absent was her husband, Marine Staff Sgt. Charles Monbeck, who is deployed overseas for nine months.

“He is the cook in the family and since he’s gone on deployment, we decided we’d come here,” Monbeck said.

While some families had a loved one who was deployed others in attendance included young Marines stationed at Camp Lejeune and far from their home towns.

Marine Pfc. Alex Gutzmer, a member of the Single Marine Program, brought along Pfc. Demond Patton of Alabama and Pfc. Dante Hall of Missouri to ensure they enjoyed a Thanksgiving meal and fellowship with others.

Gutzmer, who is from Wisconsin, said the USO served up a great meal and they appreciate having a place to come to enjoy the holiday.
read more here

Camp Lejeune Marines Homesyle Thanksgiving

Fairfield Harbour continues tradition of feeding Marines at Camp Lejeune

WCTI 12 News
Stephanie Brown
Jason O. Boyd
November 23, 2017

The Obers said they love sharing a space at their table. The Marines said it's nice to spend the holidays with people who make them feel at home.

FAIRFIELD HARBOUR, Craven County - It's a tradition that started in 2006 and was still going strong Thursday.
Families at Fairfield Harbour opened their doors, hearts and dinner tables for Marines stationed at Camp Lejeune. There were 110 Marines that got off buses and, for the first time in a long time for many, got to enjoy a home-cooked Thanksgiving this year.
It's how they've started Thanksgiving in Fairfield Harbour for the past nine years.
"When we lived in Pennsylvania, we had a lot of people, a lot of family, and I always had a full table," said Mary Ann Ober. "When we moved to North Carolina, we didn't have as much family and we still enjoyed the holiday, so we decided we would invite someone that wasn't going to spend time with their family."
This year, they're joined by Austin Sampson and Mikel Harden. It's Mike's first Thanksgiving from home.
"I can handle it, it's easier to understand knowing that my family knows why I'm not with them," Harden said.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Gunnery Sgt. Thought Hating Recruits Was A Good Thing?

‘The more you hate them, the better you train them’: Parris Island’s most notorious drill instructor on trial

Marine Corps Times
Jeff Schogol
November 6, 2017

“You have to hate recruits to train them,” Felix told the investigator, according to Marine prosecutor Capt. Corey Wielert. “They get three meals a day, sleep eight hours. The more you hate them, the better you train them.”

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — ­Gunnery Sgt. Joseph Felix is a 15-year Marine, an Iraq and Afghanistan veteran and the father of four daughters. But he’s also become the Corps’ most ­notorious drill instructor, the Marine at the center of the Parris Island hazing scandal and now the defendant in a general court-martial that began Oct. 31 at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. 

Felix is accused of improperly hazing many recruits — for example, when one recruit puked in his chocolate milk, Felix allegedly made the squad leader drink it.
read more here

Friday, August 18, 2017

Staff Sgt. David Tupper was presented with an all-terrain track chair

Local wounded veteran receives $18,000 all-terrain track wheelchair

Camp Lejeune Globe
Ena Sellers
August 17, 2017

Wounded veteran Staff Sgt. David Tupper was presented with an all-terrain track chair back stage prior to a Florida Georgia Line concert, Aug. 3 at the PNC Music Pavilion in Charlotte.

The gift was made possible thanks to The Independence Fund, a non-profit veteran organization, which provided the Action Trackstander chair and teamed up with super star duo Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard to make the presentation.

“We are thrilled to team up with Florida Georgia Line to change the life of a wounded veteran,” said Sarah Verardo, executive director for The Independence Fund. “As the wife of a catastrophically wounded war veteran, I know firsthand how much these track chairs can change a family’s life.”
read more here

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Marine Killed by Lightning

NC-based Marine killed by lightning strike while working on Osprey

July 17, 2017

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — A Marine stationed aboard Marine Corps Air Station New River died after being struck by lightning while working on an MV-22 Osprey aircraft on July 11, according to the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing.
Corp. James in a WNCT photo. 
Corp. Skyler James, a tilt-rotor mechanic assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 261, Marine Aircraft Group 26, and another Marine were struck by lightning while working on the aircraft.
Following the incident, they were transported to Camp Lejeune Naval Hospital where they were evaluated for serious injuries.
The other Marine was released, while James was subsequently transported to UNC Health Center for further treatment.
Following several days of treatment and evaluation, James was declared dead.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Florida Marine Killed in Plane Crash

Florida Marine among 16 killed in Mississippi military crash