Fitz in the Morning: Troop Salute

The 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit

The unmatched effectiveness of America’s Armed Forces requires countless hours of training, and sometimes in conditions that are as dangerous as actual combat. Often, no matter how prepared they are, our service members can lose their lives in these training exercises, a tragic reminder that when you sign on that dotted line, you are living a life in the Line of Duty. Last month our military suffered the loss of 9 brave young men, all between the ages of 18 and 22, following an accident in which their amphibious vehicle sank during a training mission off the coast near San Diego. The 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit lost 8 US Marines and 1 US Navy Sailor that day. Their names are:
Lance Cpl. Guillermo S. Perez
Lance Cpl. Marco A. Barranco
Cpl. Cesar A. Villanueva
Pfc. Bryan J. Baltierra
Pfc. Evan A. Bath
Pfc. Jack Ryan Ostrovsky
Cpl. Wesley A. Rodd
Lance Cpl. Chase D. Sweetwood
Navy Hospital Corpsman Christopher Gnem

Freedom has never been free, and for those who secure that freedom for the rest of us, there can be risk even when they are at home. We are all grateful for their service and their sacrifice. And that is why we honor our troops here. We live in the Land of the Free because of the Brave.