Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day

It is Memorial Day in the United States.  It's a three day weekend and Americans traditionally go camping and have BBQs on this day.  It's also the day we honor those who have fought and died for us.  As always today I'll be presenting you with my friend John Maloney.


John and I were Sergeants together in the early 90s.  We were both going to the University of Colorado, earning our degrees.  John was an infantryman, a mortarman.  He came to CU from the 5th Marines, the most storied of all of our storied regiments.

John in Iraq.
John was a leader among leaders.  The force of his personality made him stand out.  His charm, humor and intelligence attracted everyone to him.  We all knew he would be a great officer.  The kind of officer all Marines deserve but so rarely get.

When John graduated he went back to the infantry.  He was eventually assigned back to his beloved 5th Marines.  While commanding C Company 1/5 in Ramadi Iraq, he was awarded the Bronze Star for valor, proving our high opinion of him.

John was killed by an IED on June 16th, 2005, leaving behind a wife a son and a daughter.  John was honored one more time.  He was given one of the Corps' most prestigious awards, the Leftwich Trophy.  It is the only time this award has been awarded posthumously.

His full bio can be found here.

Please take a couple of minutes to read a little bit about John.


So enjoy the day off work.  Enjoy the barbecues.  Take delight in your friends and family.  But also take a few moments to remember the reason for the holiday and to give thanks for those who gave their all for us.

12 comments:

  1. Aaron, that is a very touching tribute to your fallen comrade. The backstory leading up to receipt of both the Bronze Star and Leftwich Award is very interesting. We Americans often lose sight of the meaning of these extended holiday weekends.
    Your tribute brings it home.
    Thank you.

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    1. Thank you for reading it Jonathan.

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  2. He was an honourable and highly decorated soldier who loved his country and who loved his men. It is no wonder that he was so highly decorated and held in such esteem. I think it must be men like these that give their men the courage to get up each day and do their duty. I hope that his family has coped with the loss of him. Remembering him like this on this day is right and proper.

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    1. Thank you Anne. A great leader makes good men excellent. He was well trained, but also a natural leader. Part of the key to his success was that he loved his Marines.

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  3. Thank you for being staunch Allies and friends in good times and bad

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  4. Sounds like your mate was quite a man. Thanks for sharing his memory with us.

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    1. Thanks Michael. He was a great guy.

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  6. nice post. the reasons for bank holidays is often forgotten.

    john

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  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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