30 years ago - Beirut Barracks Bombings

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30 years ago - Beirut Barracks Bombings

My friend Jonn reminds us that today is the 30th Anniversary of the Marine Barracks bombings, and cites to this post he wrote last year:

Twenty-nine years ago today, 220 Marines, 18 sailors and three soldiers, were killed and sixty Americans were injured when a truck bomb disguised as a water truck penetrated superficial security at the Marine barracks in Beirut with about 12,000 pounds of explosives. Two minutes later, French barracks were struck resulting in in the deaths of 58 paratroopers from the 1st Parachute Chasseur Regiment and 15 others were injured. They were Multinational peacekeeping forces that had been in Beirut since the year before when Israeli forces drove Palestinians from it’s frontier with Lebanon.

On February 7, 1984, President Reagan ordered the withdrawal of US forces from Lebanon after some light shelling of suspected Shia positions and some brief French air attacks in the Bekkaa Valley. A raid on a camp where Iranian Revolutionary Guards were believed to be training Shia jhadists was called off by President Reagan because little evidence existed at the time that Iran was involved in the bombing.

I found a fairly decent Youtube video that talks about the bombings.

When I interviewed Ollie North earlier this year (for an article that will be in the magazine I believe next month) we talked at length about the effect that the bombing had on him personally.  I was a bit too young to remember it first hand, but it's just so sad to lose so many good men on one day.

RIP Marines, and Semper Fi.

UPDATE:  Here's video of Ollie discussing some video his people made:

Posted in the burner | 3 comments
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I was a brand new Navy Corpsman stationed at Camp Pendleton and had just finished my 8404 training when the Beirut attack occurred. I remember that morning like it was yesterday, sitting in a room with 200 marines watching the story unfold and contemplating the tragic loss of fellow sailors and marines. We were told that our newly formed unit of corpsman would be heading to ground zero at Beirut...We made all the preparations but the situation somewhat stabilized and we were never sent..

I am still haunted by the events of that day. I was on the ground in Beiruit sheerly by accident. I was flown off my ship off shore the night before and luckily (for me) offsite when the explosion was set off. We rushed back to the scene to lend assistance. It was a terrible sight to be sure. I was injured later that day when some debris fell on my leg and was sent back to my command off shore. Even today I consider what could have been and think with hindsight about what we should have been doing to protect ourselves.

Sad days..

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.