How does a nation thank those in the military for their sacrifices to our country?
James Freeman in the WSJ reported recently on Marine Corps veteran James Kilcer, who thwarted an alleged robbery attempt in Arizona even though he was armed only with two bottles of Gatorade, two cans of Monster energy drinks and a snack.
Coffee or Die
In other beverage-related veterans news, Black Rifle Coffee publishes one of the more interesting house organs in American business, a magazine called Coffee or Die. The title will naturally inspire some potential readers to ask whether they might consider other options.
A Marine Raider was awarded the Navy Cross Aug. 26 for single-handedly assaulting a series of ISIS-held cave complexes in Iraq, in an attempt to rescue three injured teammates. Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. David Berger presented the award to Marine Staff Sgt. Nicholas Jones aboard Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
Jones was shot in the right leg while trying to reach two fellow Marine Raiders and a French (Special Forces) soldier, all of whom were shot while clearing a cave system in the mountains of northern Iraq on March 8, 2020. The French soldier survived; the two Marines were later found dead. Over a seven-hour firefight, Jones assaulted a hardened Islamic State group fighting position three times and called in airstrikes as he tried to rescue the fallen Marines.
Selfless Actions and Decisive Leadership
“It was his quick thinking, his selfless actions, and his decisive leadership, not only that saved the [life] of another team member but kept the rest of the team alive,” said Berger. The Navy Cross is the highest decoration bestowed by the Department of the Navy and the second-highest valor award in the military to the Medal of Honor.
The Marine Forces Special Operations Command details some of Nick Jones’ selfless actions on an awful day in northern Iraq:
Under sustained, accurate enemy fire at close range, he maneuvered to a coalition casualty, suppressing the enemy 20 meters away with his rifle and grenades while helping to move the casualty to a covered position and subsequent medical evacuation. Turning his attention to two fallen teammates in a steep ravine, Jones again exposed himself to the enemy caves, firing his rifle and throwing grenades to drive the enemy back. With rounds impacting all around him, Jones continued to engage the enemy at close range until he was driven back by a heavy volume of accurate enemy fire… Refusing medical treatment and pain medication, he continued to fight until he was medically evacuated.
Nick Jones, reports Mr. Freeman, has undergone numerous surgeries to address the leg injuries and the resulting pain.
As the Coffee or Die story notes, Jones’ wounds were not just physical:
“This medal, to me, reminds me of the day that I failed, the day that I lost two of my teammates, and it’s just a day that my life changed forever. But to everyone else, I’m looked at as a hero,” Jones said.
Nick Jones received the Navy Cross on the same day a suicide bomber killed 13 U.S. service members and over 100 Afghans at the Kabul airport.