Honoring two veterans on Memorial Day; add your special name, too.

Hey guys,

Since it’s Memorial Day, I wanted to honor two special people who gave their lives in service of our country.

The first one was a big reason I ended up joining the Marine Corps.

Bobby Fisher, who retired as a Gunnery Sergeant in the Marine Corps, was a man I looked up to as a young boy. He was probably the only Marine I really knew before joining, and I recognized and respected how different he was. He was a quiet man, who always stood tall and pulled his share of the load, while never boasting or talking big.

Gunnery Sergeant Fisher served in Desert Shield and Desert Storm and while he survived the combat, he’d struggle with and eventually succumb to a blood disease related to Gulf War Syndrome. (Some may quibble and say he didn’t die in service or combat, but this man left Grainger County a strong man and upon his return, soon found himself struggling with an undiagnosed disease, losing weight and strength and unable to work or do anything physical. He’d die at the young age of 47, and believe me when I say his last years were miserable. I don’t care what anyone says, this man was killed by the war no differently than someone who took a bullet over there.)

The second man I’d like to honor is Lance Corporal Andre Foster, who I served with in Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment. Lance Corporal Foster died in a dangerous stream crossing we were doing as part of our training at the Jungle Warfare Training Center in Okinawa.

Lance Corporal Foster died on April 10, 1999, while Alpha Co., 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment conducted highly dangerous jungle training in Okinawa. Foster drowned while crossing a roaring stream in full combat gear.
Lance Corporal Foster died on April 10, 1999, while Alpha Co., 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment conducted highly dangerous jungle training in Okinawa. Foster drowned while crossing a roaring stream in full combat gear.

I’ll post a tribute one of his close friends wrote about him below. But just like with Gunnery Sergeant Fisher, I can say I knew Lance Corporal Foster and he was a great man.

Finally, I wanted to end by saying that one of the reasons I felt compelled to write this post is that a quick Google search barely turned up anything online for either of them. (In fact, I happened to search them both after thinking of them on this special day, which is what led to this last-minute, Memorial Day blogpost.) As such, I wanted to write this small tribute to them so that anyone who searches their name in the future will easily find information about their service and sacrifices.

Furthermore, it’s worth noting that though there’s not much written about either of them, both died within the past couple of decades, when the internet was fully alive and should have captured more. But there are thousands and thousands who died in previous wars, whose names probably aren’t recognized or easy to find online.

Therefore, I wanted to offer everyone the opportunity to honor peopleLCPL Foster they knew who died in service to our country. Thanks to the support of so many, this site is ranked well with Google and all the other search engines. Thus, if you know someone who’s sacrifice may have been forgotten, or perhaps their information is online but difficult to find, you can post a comment with their name and branch, as well as rank if you know it. Also, feel free to talk about them some.

It’s not much, but this will help preserve their great sacrifices online, in a way that will benefit future relatives and friends.

I know that Gunnery Sergeant Fisher and Lance Corporal Foster are without question no different than the other nearly two million who have died defending our country, all of whom deserve our gratitude and respect. (Note: Please be respectful in the comments. Any inappropriate comments or political statements will be deleted, and you can be rest assured that I will continue to monitor this page for years to come as a small way of keeping a living memorial up for my two great friends, as well as any others honored in the comments below.)

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell

Marine Corps named most prestigious branch of service in America

So, distinguished members of Mitchell’s Militia…

It appears the Marine Corps has once again earned a noteworthy ranking…

No, this time, the Marine Corps was not ranked the worst branch to join… (See: Marine Corps ranked worst service branch to join, and I love it.)

Rather, it was named the most prestigious.

Continue reading

U.S. Special Forces struggle with record number of suicides

I wasn’t happy to see this story come across my radar.

U.S. Special Forces struggle with record number of suicides.

The U.S. has almost 60,000 service members across the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps special operations commands and the article lists two primary reasons the suicides are so high:

  • “Members of the closely knit special operations community often fear that disclosing their symptoms will end their careers.”
  • “Additionally, the shrinking size of the U.S. armed forces has put additional pressure on soldiers, whose sense of community and self-identity is often closely tied to their military service.”

Keep the faith,

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

P.S. If you enjoy fast-paced books, you just might like my works. “Sold Out” tracks the life of a legendary Marine Sniper after a CIA unit decides to kill him for reasons of national security. “Little Man, and the Dixon County War” tells the uphill fight a young deputy faces after surviving three years of war only to find himself in the sights of a mighty cattle baron. And “Soldier On,” a short novel, follows the lives of several German soldiers in a depleted infantry company trying to make it through the final, miserable months of World War II.