Showing posts with label Female Marines. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Female Marines. Show all posts

Monday, March 16, 2020

Female Marine veteran faces charges for VA fraud as business owner

Marine veteran faces federal charges in alleged VA business fraud

Marine Corps Times
Todd South
March 16, 2020

Valerie Gonzalez, of Tucson, Arizona, faces seven counts of wire fraud and one count of making a false statement on a VA vendor verification form.
A 51-year-old Marine veteran was indicted recently on charges she committed fraud to obtain government contracts with the Department of Veterans Affairs for a company providing flooring and furniture over a seven-year period.

Valerie Gonzalez, of Tucson, Arizona, faces seven counts of wire fraud and one count of making a false statement on a VA vendor verification form, according to a justice department statement.

If convicted, Gonzalez faces up to 20 years in federal prison and $250,000 fines for each of the eight counts. The indictment was issued on March 11. There has not yet been another hearing date set, according to court records.

From 2010 through at least May 2017 Gonzalez and The Primus Group allegedly claimed service-disabled veteran-owned small business status to obtain the contracts, according to court documents.

Gonzalez is a service-connected veteran with a zero percent disability rating who served in the Marine Corps from April 1988 to November 1990, according to court documents.
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Thursday, March 5, 2020

Determined Combat Photographer Marine Did Not Give Up

Female Marine combat photographer paves the way

We Are The Mighty
Jessica Manfre
Mar. 04, 2020
The Marine Corps has the longest boot camp out of all of the armed forces and arguably the toughest to graduate from. In 2004 when she wanted to join, only 6% of enlisted Marines were female. Kirk-Cuomo did part of the physical fitness test right then and there in front of that recruiter.

Erin Kirk-Cuomo dreamed of being a combat photographer. She interviewed with multiple companies and publications within the civilian world, but none of them were willing to hire a female photographer for that position.

So, she decided to join the military.

She chose to go into the United States Marine Corps. When she opened the doors to the Armed Forces recruitment office in 2004, she was ready to raise her right hand and do just that. But Kirk-Cuomo was told she couldn't be a combat photographer, because she was female.
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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.
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Thursday, May 30, 2019

Hear a 98-year-old Marine veteran tell her story

'I've been a helper all my life': Hear a 98-year-old Marine veteran tell her story

River Towns
By Hannah Black
May 29, 2019

In 2017, Fremont was honored for her service at an annual Marine Corps birthday ball in Washington D.C. She was the oldest Marine in attendance and shared a piece of cake with the youngest Marine at the ball, a tradition meant to symbolize the passing of knowledge on to a younger generation.

June Fremont is pictured at Woodbury Senior Living on May 9, 2019, in Woodbury. Photo courtesy of Margaret Wachholz1
WOODBURY — Sitting in an armchair in her apartment at the Woodbury Senior Living villas, June Fremont flipped through a scrapbook, landing on a page that featured group photos of four young women. On the bottom left, the women stood in front of a backdrop of palm trees, all wearing grass skirts. In the photo above, they all held coconuts, one jokingly holding it up to her ear as if listening to it.

"When we got off the train, they ... took us all over Hawaii doing publicity shots," Fremont said.

It was 1945 and she was stationed at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, just four years after the Japanese military had attacked the naval base. Fremont, 98, had volunteered to be part of the first wave of U.S. Marine Corps women to serve "overseas," as Hawaii wouldn't become a state until 1959.
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Saturday, January 5, 2019

Female Marines make history again

Female Marines have come a long way

Legend has it that the first woman Marine was Lucy Brewer who supposedly served, disguised as a man, on hoard the frigate Constitution in the war of 1812. While there is no evidence that Miss Brewer ever wore a Marine uniform there can be no question about Opha Johnson, who on 13 August 1918 enrolled in the Marine Corps to become America's first woman Marine. Her enlistment was a reflection of the dramatic changes in the status of women wrought by the entry of the United States into World War I.

All-female Marine platoon will train alongside men for first time in history

CNN News
January 4, 2019

A platoon of female Marine recruits will make history Saturday when they report for training with a historically all-male battalion for the first time in the Marine Corps.

The approximately 50 female Marines will train alongside five platoons of male Marines of the 3rd Recruit Training Battalion on Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, according to a news release.

“The decision was made by Marine Corps leadership in support of training efficiency,” the release says.

The all-female platoon comes three years after the Department of Defense began accepting women for all armed combat positions in January 2016.
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Sunday, March 5, 2017

Naked Female Marine Photos Shake Corps

A nude photo scandal has shaken the entire Marine Corps
Marine Corps Times
By: Jeff Schogol and Andrew deGrandpre
March 5, 2017
There's a "bounty on pictures of my daughter," Brennan told Marine Corps Times. "It has been suggested that my wife should be raped as a result of this, and people are openly suggesting I should be killed. ... Can you imagine being one of the victims?
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Marine Corps is investigating allegations an unspecified number of military personnel and veterans allegedly shared nude photos of female colleagues as part of a perverse social media network that promotes sexual violence.

The allegations were first reported by The War Horse and published Saturday via Reveal, part of the Center for Investigative Reporting. Potentially hundreds of Marines may be caught up in the scandal, which has shaken top Pentagon officials and prompted death threats against the Marine veteran who disclosed it. An undetermined number of nude photos were distributed online by way of a Facebook group titled Marines United, according to the report. The community has nearly 30,000 members, mostly comprising active-duty U.S. Marines, Marine Corps veterans and British Royal Marines.

The unseemly episode, which has played out almost exclusively online, is deeply embarrassing for the Marine Corps and the Defense Department, proud institutions that, like many college campuses around the country, have struggled to curtail widespread problems with sexual assault. At the same time, it exposes an unsettling rift within a segment of American society consistently regarded as reputable, honorable and trustworthy.
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Saturday, March 4, 2017

Super Hero Tiny Marine Takes Tears Away

Face of Defense: Marine Helps Families of Fallen Service Members
Department of Defense
By Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Cody Lemons
Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point
March 3, 2017

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C., March 3, 2017 — Superheroes come in all sizes and all kinds of disguises -- Marine Corps Sgt. Alicia Hojara is living proof of that.
Sgt. Alicia Hojara Superhero Unmasked Marine Corps Sgt. Alicia Hojara, center, an instructor at the Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., holds the flag she received as the Carteret County Chamber of Commerce’s Service Person of the Quarter, Feb. 10, 2017. Master Sgt. Christopher McGuire, left, and Lt. Col. Garrett Randel, right, nominated Hojara for her dedication to giving back to the local community. Randel is the school’s commander and McGuire is the aviation ordnance chief. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Cody Lemons
In mid-December, the diminutive Marine was surrounded by a theater full of children and their families, their expressions changing from anticipation to hope to laughter in the flickering glow of the big screen. The movie, a new animated feature with comical animal characters and lots of hopeful vocals, seemed to be just what some of these families need at the moment: an escape from real-world worries to a place where they could just relax.

Hojara had left her uniform home, replaced by a different kind of camouflage -- casual clothes, hair at ease, and a gentle expression that put her young charges at ease when they need it the most.

Most other days, you can find Hojara at the front of a classroom of young Marines as they navigate their way through the intricate details of aviation ordnance handling at the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit here. There's no kid's play here; this is serious work that will prepare the next batch of aviation ordnance Marines to load teeth onto the modern-day dragons that squat across Marine Corps flight lines around the world.

But, from time to time, Hojara slips away like Clark Kent to take on another heroic mission, volunteering her time to help families who have lost an active-duty loved one. Hojara routinely makes time to volunteer for different organizations, such as local humane societies for the protection of animals; Snowball Express, which provides support to families of deceased service members; and her favorite, the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, otherwise known as TAPS.

As Hojara sat in the shadowy theater on a mission with Snowball Express, draped in her invisible cape of good will, she feels the kind of satisfaction that superheroes must experience every time they swoop down and pull a victim a little further from despair. Chalk up one more for the good guys.
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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

WWII Female Marine "Determined not to stay behind"

Boston honors female WWII marine
Veteran cited as inspiration
Boston Herald
Dan Atkinson
November 25, 2016
Family portrait of World War II veteran Elizabeth Mackay Howden Denekamp
In 1943, Betty Denekamp watched the men of West Roxbury going off to war, and was determined not to stay behind.

Denekamp joined the United States Marine Corps Women’s Reserve, and more than 70 years later, friends and family are going to see her service permanently commemorated outside the house she lived in nearly all of her life.

“That was the thing I always admired about her, she couldn’t hang around doing nothing,” said Edwin “Bud” Waite, a fellow World War II veteran and longtime friend of Denekamp who led the charge to memorialize her. “She had to do something.”

Her daughter Linda Denekamp said, “I thought it was so outstanding that a woman in those times would leave home at her age and go off and join the Marines. Everyone said the Marines were the best and that’s what she wanted to be.”
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Friday, October 21, 2016

Flesh Eating Bacteria Took Three Limbs But Not Marine's Spirit

Veteran who lost 3 limbs to flesh-eating bacteria trains to become Crossfit warrior
Associated Press
October 19, 2016

“I’m here for my kids, my husband and I want them to see I can still do things with them.”
DACULA, GA. A year ago, Cindy Martinez was struggling to walk even just a few feet and lift just five pounds.

A flesh-eating bacteria had ravaged the 35-year-old Marine veteran’s body. She had a grim choice: Amputate both legs, an arm below the elbow, and parts of the fingers on her remaining arm – or face almost-certain death.

The amputations saved her life. And after months of hospitalizations and rehabilitation, she finally found herself back home but alone during the day while her young children were in school and her husband was off at work.

“It kind of takes a toll on you mentally, just sitting there after all that I had gone through,” she said.

In the stillness of her home, she fired off an email to a local gym and asked about joining. When they called back later that night, “I told the lady on the phone, ‘well, there’s a twist to my story.’ ”

She soon found herself sitting in a circle surrounded by trainers at Crossfit Goat – with the motto Be Your Greatest of All Time – in Dacula, about 45 miles northeast of Atlanta. She told them her story and began in February to embark on an unusual quest: becoming a Crossfit athlete. Crossfit gyms are known for high-intensity strength and cardio workout, and their members often consider their “box” to be like a family as they bond over workouts-of-the-day that test their strength and resolve.
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Saturday, January 9, 2016

Marines May Get First Female "Rifleman"

Marine expects to be one of first female riflemen
Marine Corps Times
By Jeff Schogol, Staff writer
January 8, 2016
“There were times where I didn’t think that I could make it to the very end, but I just stuck it out.”
Cpl. Remedios Cruz
Cpl. Remedios Cruz, seen here training at the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, Calif., said she will apply for a lateral transfer to the Marine infantry. (Photo: Marine Corps)
If all goes as expected, Marine Corps Cpl. Remedios Cruz should be one of the first women in the infantry.

Cruz, 24, graduated from the School of Infantry in September 2014. Then in July, she and five other women completed a study, in which male and female Marines volunteered to perform combat tasks. Currently a supply clerk, Cruz plans on applying for a lateral move into the infantry.

“Just being in that study … I definitely enjoyed being out in the field and getting to experience the camaraderie between my brothers- and my sisters-in-arms,” she told Marine Corps Times on Thursday.

Originally from Fleischmanns, New York, Cruz has been overcoming obstacles since she joined the Marine Corps.

“One of the first things that my recruiter told me was, ‘Once you sign on the dotted line, you’re committed,’” Cruz said. “I’ve been loyal ever since.”
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Saturday, August 22, 2015

Camp Pendleton Marine Convicted on Sexual Assault of Female Marine

Man Sexually Assaulted Fellow Marine at Camp Pendleton
Pedro Javier Orellana, 24, said he had received training about sexual assault prevention while stationed at Camp Pendleton
NBC 7 News San Diego
By R. Stickney
August 21, 2015

A Maryland man was convicted Friday of sexually assaulting a fellow U.S. Marine while the woman slept. Pedro Javier Orellana, 24, was serving in the U.S. Marine Corps and based at Camp Pendleton north of San Diego at the time of the attack.

It took jurors just one day of deliberation to convict Orellana.

He admitted to investigators he didn’t really know the woman and had only seen her in passing a few times. However, on Nov. 2, 2014, Orellana took advantage of the active-duty Marine who was “too drunk to know what was going on” as he explained to Navy investigators.
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Monday, July 13, 2015

Marine Lt. Col Relieved of Her Command at Parris Island

Controversy Sparks at Firing of Marine Female Recruit Battalion CO
FOX News
July 13, 2015
Lt. Col. Kate Germano, ousted commander of Marine female recruit training on Parris Island. DoD photo

The Marine officer who made female recruits better shots at boot camp has been relieved of her command, igniting controversy.

Military Times reports that Lt. Col. Kate Germano served only a year as the head of the 4th Recruit Training Battalion on Parris Island, S.C., before her dismissal.

She got bounced June 30 after a command investigation accused her of "toxic leadership" by berating and showing contempt for subordinates in public. The 300-page report found her to be "hostile, unprofessional and abusive " and told recruits that sexual assault was preventable, and that those who drank put themselves in a position to be assaulted.

She also told recruits male Marines would never take orders from them and would see them as inferior if they couldn't meet men's physical standards.

But, according to the Times, her supporters say she was a blunt reformer only trying to make the unit better by holding women to tougher standards.

"What she did when she came is she changed the mentality of the Marines in the battalion and the recruits to not expect a historically lower performance than the male recruits at the battalion," a female Marine officer stationed at the recruit depot told the paper.

Parris Island officials admitted rifle range qualification scores improved dramatically among female recruits under Germano's tenure.
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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Female Marines Pulled Their Weight Plus 220 Pound Dummy

They Survived Training, Now Female Marines Await Word On Ground Combat
Tom Bowman
JULY 07, 2015
Marine Lance Cpls. Julia Carroll (left) and Paula Pineda lift "Carl" — a 220-pound test dummy — during training in March in California. Female Marines have completed months of training and are now waiting to hear whether they will be allowed to serve in combat roles.
David Gilkey/NPR
Lance Cpl. Paula Pineda relaxes at a picnic table not far from her barracks in Camp LeJeune, N.C. She's in a crisp uniform and has a ready smile. It's one of the few breaks she's had in months — and she can finally laugh about Carl.

"Carl — our special, heavy, unique dummy," she says.

It was back in March, in the heat of the Mojave Desert in California, that Pineda — sweaty and grimy and just 5-foot-2 — struggled to help pull Carl the dummy out of her armored vehicle, along with another Marine, Julia Carroll. It was part of an exercise to rescue an injured crewman.

Carl weighed 220 pounds.
They also changed tires weighing 170 pounds on the armored vehicles, and hitched up heavy chains and hooks to simulate a towing operation.

The women proved something in their months of tough training, says Pineda, who wore a helmet with the words "Mad Max" taped on the back.

They're ready to serve in ground combat.
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Monday, May 18, 2015

Second Marine Died After Nepal Crash

Family mourns 'angel' killed in Marine helicopter crash 
Chicago Tribune
By Linda Girardi
Aurora Beacon-News
May 17, 2015
She was engaged to a fellow Marine from Colorado, and they planned to marry in August, her brother said.
It was Mother's Day when Carlos Medina teased his younger sister, Marine Cpl. Sara A. Medina, about her not being able to join in for a family photo because she was overseas.

The Facebook message to her that day included a picture of their mother, Cecilia Lopez, along with himself and his two young sons.

"I told Sara, 'We miss you' and that 'The only person missing is you,'"Carlos Medina said Sunday. "She told me that she would be with us very soon."

But instead of a reunion, the family is experiencing heartbreak. Sara Medina, 23, of Aurora, was killed in a helicopter crash last week during a relief mission in earthquake-hit Nepal, along with five other Marines and two soldiers from Nepal's army.
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Friday, May 8, 2015

Female Marine Found Dead At Camp Hansen Barracks

Marine pronounced dead after being found in Okinawa barracks
Stars and Stripes
Published: May 8, 2015

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — The Marine Corps is investigating the death of a Marine who was found unresponsive in her barracks room early Friday at Camp Hansen.

The 9th Engineer Support Battalion Marine, whose name was not released pending next-of-kin notification, was pronounced dead at U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa around 1:06 a.m., according to a Marine Corps statement.
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Saturday, December 6, 2014

Marine 1st Sgt was "small and kind of wimpy"

Patriot Profiles: ‘You wouldn’t last five minutes in the Marine Corps’ 
First sergeant went from ‘small and wimpy’ to becoming senior enlisted adviser in a supply battalion
Del Mar Times
By Jeanne McKinney
Dec. 4, 2014

USMC 1st Sgt. Christina Grantham at Camp Pendleton. — Jeanne McKinney

This column presents “Patriot Profiles” to provide readers insight into the lives of our country’s heroes.

Although the world may take little note of one Marine, his or her role is no less diminished. Willing to lead and be led, learn, toil — even wash themselves in combat’s blood — each Marine is an integral cog in the human freedom machine.

First Sgt. Christina Ann Grantham had no intention of fitting into that. She was her high school salutatorian, and a local news reporter asked her, “You’re so accomplished — what are you going to do?”

“I’m going to go out and enlist in the Marines,” she said jokingly, because her father was a Marine and she thought that would be funny.

Grantham went on to college to be a teacher. After her first year, she found it boring — not challenging or interesting, and no laughing matter. The mid-’90s Marine Corps advertising campaign worked on her. A knight wielding a sword and a guy climbing a mountain appealed because she saw herself as “small and kind of wimpy.” She thought, “You wouldn’t last five minutes in the Marine Corps.”

“Maybe you can be one of us,” said an ad slogan. She said, “Oh, yeah.”

On Nov. 10, 1997, the Marine Corps’ anniversary, Grantham signed up. Now a first sergeant in Ammunition Company, 1st Supply Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 15, Grantham is a senior enlisted adviser to the Company Commander (CO).
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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Gunnery Sgt. Monica Plank killed in street by hit and run driver

Marine Killed In Hit And Run
ABC 22 News
February 17, 2014

BELLEFONTAINE -- Police are asking for your help to track down a hit and run suspect who ran over a U.S. Marine. Gunnery Sgt. Monica Plank and her husband were in Bellefontaine visiting relatives this weekend, when she was killed.

Bellefontaine police say Monica Plank, 34, was walking along South Main St. when she was struck and killed by a car. The driver sped off. Police say she was on the street because the sidewalks are covered in snow and ice.

Plank was a wife, a marine, and a mother. She was struck and killed near Michael's Pizza just after midnight Saturday.

"It's terrible, it's unfortunate. This weather doesn't help," said Bellefontaine resident, Paul Anderson.

"Very tragic. We are really searching for this vehicle. hoping that someone comes forward. Someone knows something," said Bellefontaine Police Chief Brandon Standley

Police say Monica and her husband, Gunnery Sgt. Chris Plank were at Route 68 Grill in Bellefontaine with some friends Saturday. But for some reason the couple had a disagreement, and Monica decided to walk back to the hotel room.
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Monday, January 20, 2014

Female Camp Pendleton Marine hospitalized with stab wounds

Woman Stabbed Multiple Times at Camp Pendleton
NBC San Diego
The victim has been ID'd as Emily Hammonds
By Christina London and Omari Fleming
Monday, Jan 20, 2014

A female Marine was stabbed at Camp Pendleton in San Diego County on Saturday, U.S. Marine Corps officials confirmed.

Public Information Officer Lt. Savannah Moyer said two Marines were involved in an incident with a deadly weapon on Saturday. Earlier, Marine Corps officials confirmed it was a stabbing and that the victim had been stabbed multiple times.

According to Moyer, the victim was flown to Scripps Mercy Hospital.

WAVY, the NBC affiliate in Norfolk, Va., confirmed that the victim is Lance Cpl. Emily Hammonds (pictured.) Hammonds is from the Virginia Beach area.

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Marine in hospital with stab wounds, incident under investigation
Los Angeles Times
Tony Perry
January 19, 2014

Military officials are investigating an incident at Camp Pendleton that left a Marine lance corporal in the hospital with stab wounds, officials said Sunday.

She was taken to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, where she was treated for "moderate" injuries, official said.
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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Female Marine finds support after deplorable treatment customer in New Jersey

Online donations pour in for waitress who was refused a tip because she's gay
By Kristina Sgueglia
November 16, 2013
Instead of a tip, customers left Dayna Morales a note criticizing her for being gay "I feel bad for their children because that's how they are going to be raised," she says Online tips totaling more than $2,000 have poured in from around the world

(CNN) -- A New Jersey waitress who served in the Marine Corps for over two years told CNN Friday she is now getting tips from all over the world after she says a family refused to tip her because she is gay. "I'm sorry but I cannot tip because I do not agree with what your lifestyle and how you live your life," a family member wrote on the receipt for $93.55 at Gallop Asian Bistro in Bridgewater, New Jersey.

"I was offended. I was mad at first, and then I was more so hurt," 22-year-old Dayna Morales told CNN. Morales, who did a tour with the Marine Corps between 2009 and 2011, said she has been "out open and proud for years," but "never discussed with them (the family) anything; it was their pure assumption." "It's disrespectful and it's hurtful," she said. "I feel bad for their children because that's how they are going to be raised."

She says the trouble began when she approached the table of four -- a man, wife and two girls -- at around 7 p.m. Wednesday. Morales said that when she introduced herself as Dayna and told them she was going to be their server, the older woman "looked at me and said, 'I thought you were going to say your name is Dan.'"
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Monday was Veterans' Day. Nice thing to do in front of her kids to a Marine willing to die to give her the right to be a jerk.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Marines warned over what they post but not what they think

Some may think this disgraceful Facebook page was rightly taken down but as the heads issued warning over what they post, the factor they did not address was that the thinking was already there. What good does it do to watch what they post when they have not changed the way they think?

Until the military treats sexual assaults and attacks like crimes, hold the individuals accountable and charge them with committing crimes, nothing will really change.

Marine Corps called to task for Facebook pages
By Jennifer Hlad
Stars and Stripes
Published: May 8, 2013

WASHINGTON — After a congresswoman sent a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to alert him to derogatory Facebook pages — including one that uses as its profile photo a shot of two female Marines with the caption “Coming soon to a unit near you, Combat Action Mattress” — the Marine Corps is warning Marines to watch what they post online.

“Marines must use their best judgment at all times and avoid inappropriate behavior that could bring discredit upon themselves, their unit and the Marine Corps,” Capt. Eric Flanagan, a Marine spokesman, said in a written statement. “This includes posting any defamatory, libelous, abusive, threatening, racially or ethnically hateful or otherwise offensive of illegal content.”

Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., first learned about the pages on Tuesday from a former Marine. Wednesday, she sent a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Commandant Gen. James Amos and DOD Principal Deputy Inspector General Lynne Halbrooks to bring their attention to the page, “F’N Wook.”
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