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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/3/2005 8:31:30 AM EDT
www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1456133/posts

Marine Who Wouldn't Quit Fight'in
U.S. Cemtral Command | July 2005 | Tony Perry

Posted on 08/03/2005 8:52:04 AM PDT by Retain Mike

Marine Who 'Wouldn't Quit Fighting' Is Honored

By Tony Perry, Times Staff Writer

Aaron Austin died in Fallouja repelling an attack. His Silver Star will go to his parents.

On the last night of his life, Lance Cpl. Aaron Austin joined a prayer session with other Marines hunkered down in a bullet-riddled neighborhood in Fallouja, Iraq.

Austin, a 21-year-old machine-gunner, asked God for protection not for himself but for his fellow Marines of Echo Company of the 2nd Battalion, 1st Regiment, 1st Marine Division, based at Camp Pendleton.

The next morning, insurgents attacked from three directions, firing thousands of rounds from AK-47s and other firearms and hurling dozens of grenades.

With the Marines in danger of being overrun, Austin exposed himself to enemy fire in order to throw a grenade at their position 20 meters away. The grenade helped repel the attack, but Austin was mortally wounded.

For those who knew Austin, his action was no surprise. Today, in a simple ceremony at the Texas Panhandle War Memorial in Amarillo, Austin's parents will receive the Silver Star, awarded posthumously to their son.

Sgt. Maj. William Skiles, who was with Austin that brutal morning in Fallouja, will present the award — the nation's third-highest medal for bravery in combat.

"All the Marines stepped up, and Aaron led the way," Skiles said.

Austin's mother, De'on Miller, said she understood her son's actions during the firefight on April 26, 2004. Loyalty, she said, was at the core of her son's personality.

"He loved the people he was with," Miller said from her home in Lovington, N.M. "That was Aaron: When he was loyal, he put his entire heart into it. He wouldn't quit fighting."

Austin's Silver Star is the third for a Marine from the "Two-One," one of the units that led last year's assault on the insurgent stronghold.

Lt. Ben Wagner remembered the prayer session the night before Austin was killed. "Aaron was praying for the safety of the other Marines," he said. "That was his personality, concerned with others, not himself."

The Marines were searching buildings in the war-torn Jolan neighborhood when they came under attack in one of the bloodiest clashes between the U.S. military and insurgents that spring.

Austin helped evacuate the wounded and led other Marines onto a roof to operate a machine gun. When the insurgents kept advancing, he took a grenade from his vest and moved into the open for a better throwing position.

"Several enemy bullets struck Lance Cpl. Austin in the chest," said the official Marine Corps account. "Undaunted by his injury and with heroic effort, he threw his hand grenade at the enemy on the adjacent rooftop."

The grenade hit the bull's-eye and forced the insurgents to halt their attack.

When the battle was over, Marines erected a makeshift memorial to Austin in one of the buildings they had fought to defend.

Austin joined the Marines after graduating from high school, which had been marked by his love of parties and football (although he quit the team in solidarity when his cousin had a run-in with the coach).

His parents supported the decision, deciding the Marines would give him discipline and direction.

When he would call home from Iraq — where he was also part of the 2003 assault that toppled Saddam Hussein's regime — Austin avoided talking about combat and the chances of death. But his voice had a tone of foreboding, his parents said.

"All I ever wanted was for Aaron to come back. That's all I wanted," said his father, Doug, who owns a small grocery store.

Aaron Austin was buried near his father's Amarillo home.

Among fellow Marines, Austin was known for his laugh and his confidence.

"There's no place I'd rather be than here with my Marines," Austin told the Los Angeles Times two days before the firefight. "I'll always remember this time."

Lt. Gen. James Mattis, who commanded the 1st Marine Division during the spring 2004 offensive, said this week that Austin "represented the very best of us."

"They don't write the foreign policy," Mattis said of Austin and other Marines, "but they faithfully serve our country, even at their peril."
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 8:37:07 AM EDT
Freedom is paid for with the blood of these young Americans.



Semper Fi, Devil Dog.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 8:48:52 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 9:37:43 AM EDT


RIP Devil Dog.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 10:06:34 AM EDT
On the wings of an Angel, God Speed and God Bless

never forget!



all gave some, some gave all
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 10:09:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By kpel308:
Why do young men like these die, when thugs, cowards, and criminals walk free?

St. Peter, another good Marine reporting for duty.



I was fine 'til I read that...

God's comfort to that Marine's family.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 10:19:04 AM EDT
RIP Marine, you earned it.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 10:23:58 AM EDT

Austin's mother, De'on Miller, said she understood her son's actions during the firefight on April 26, 2004. Loyalty, she said, was at the core of her son's personality.


semper fi for sure
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 10:47:48 AM EDT
Now that is a guy to be proud of!!
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 1:38:06 PM EDT
God Bless our fighting men.

Semper Fi Marine!

Another fine Marine has turned to, standing guard duty at the gates of Heaven.

Link Posted: 8/3/2005 1:40:52 PM EDT


Link Posted: 8/3/2005 4:20:48 PM EDT

Originally Posted By kpel308:
Why do young men like these die, when thugs, cowards, and criminals walk free?

St. Peter, another good Marine reporting for duty.



Amen!
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 4:57:06 PM EDT
"12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you."

John 15

God, Corps, Country.

Link Posted: 8/3/2005 5:05:17 PM EDT
Semper Fi, and be with God, brother.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 5:08:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:
"12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you."

John 15

God, Corps, Country.


There you have it.

Link Posted: 8/3/2005 5:13:50 PM EDT
I have no doubt about where this brave marine is at this very moment. May God give comfort and understanding to his friends and family.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 5:20:29 PM EDT
SEMPER FI . RIP.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 9:17:24 PM EDT

Semper Fi Devil Dog.


Bigfeet
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 9:28:07 PM EDT

Originally Posted By kpel308:
Why do young men like these die, when thugs, cowards, and criminals walk free?

St. Peter, another good Marine reporting for duty.



Actually, it goes like this:

When I die and go to heaven,
To St. Peter I will tell:
Another Marine reporting, Sir.
I've served my time in Hell.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 9:40:09 PM EDT
RIP, Austin.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 9:53:57 PM EDT
R.I.P. Marine


Link Posted: 8/3/2005 10:03:12 PM EDT
Semper Fi bro, rest easy and find peace.

And thank you.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 10:05:32 PM EDT
Semper Fi my brother , rest in peace now
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 10:33:41 PM EDT
Semper Fi brother!

May you walk in the light of our lord.

Link Posted: 8/4/2005 11:26:31 AM EDT
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