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WOUNDED WARRIOR REGIMENT NAMES 2012
ALL-MARINE TEAM


Fifty active-duty and veteran Marines will compete in the Warrior Games Chairman's Cup April 30-May 6. Selected based on the Wounded Warrior Regiment's Marine Corps Trials in February, the All-Marine team will defend its title as reigning Warrior Games champions against the other branches of the Armed Forces and Special Operations Command. The Warrior Games is a Paralympic-style event for wounded, ill and injured service members in Colorado Springs, Colo. Participants compete in archery, cycling, wheelchair basketball and swimming, among other sports. One Marine named to the team, Cpl. Josue Barron, lost a leg and his left eye in a roadside bomb explosion in Afghanistan in 2010 and hadn't expected to be able to play sports again. "I took shrapnel to my right eye, too. I was blind for the first two months and I thought I was never going to see. I never thought I would be where I am right now: playing wheelchair basketball and being independent," he said.
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For more information on the USMC Wounded Warrior Regiment and to download the app for the iPhone, Android and iPad, visit: www.woundedwarriorregiment.org, or call the Sgt. Merlin German Wounded Warrior Call Center 24/7 at 877-487-6299.


HEROES

3/5 SQUAD LEADER TO RECEIVE SILVER STAR


Sgt. Ryan Sotelo, a squad leader with Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, will receive the Silver Star medal March 30 at Camp Pendleton, Calif., for courageously leading his men after an insurgent ambush killed platoon commander 1st Lt. William Donnelly. The award citation states that Sotelo "immediately took charge of the unit, moved them to a nearby canal and then sprinted through heavy fire across the open ground to retrieve the body of his fallen lieutenant. As insurgents began to assault the position, he fearlessly led his squad as they repelled the enemy." In addition to the Silver Star, Sotelo has received two Good Conduct Medals, the Marine Corps Commendation Medal and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, since joining the Marine Corps in August 2005.
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MARINE RECOGNIZED FOR HEROISM RESPONDING TO FATAL CAR ACCIDENT


Sgt. Stephen N. Sanchez, a Marine recruiter and combat veteran, received the Navy and Marine Corps Medal March 21 for his actions following a tragic auto accident last year. Sanchez was one of the first responders on the scene after two tractor trailers collided, pushing two cars into a ditch. He rushed to provide aid, disconnected the truck's battery and kicked sand on leaking diesel fuel to prevent a fire. "He's just another example of a Marine running to the sounds of chaos when everybody else is running away," said Col. Samuel T. Studdard, commanding officer, 8th Marine Corps Recruiting District.
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NEWS

OPENING DOORS TO EDUCATION IN AFGHANISTAN


The newly constructed Safar School is a stepping stone for the growth of education in southern Helmand province's Garmsir district. Approximately 40 elders and 150 students met with Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and U.S. Marines with 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment March 18 to discuss the crucial role of education to the future of Garmsir. The expansion of education in Garmsir has been a challenging yet continuous process. Upon the arrival of coalition forces here in 2006, the government and ANSF began working with coalition forces in the northern portion of the district to strengthen its infrastructure. "Education is the light of prosperity in Safar," said Safar elder Haji Khan Mohammad. "Only through education will our children be able to pull through their poverty and illiteracy."
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REJUVENATED BAZAAR A SIGN OF PROGRESS


When Maj. Joseph R. Jackson arrived in the Helmand province in October 2011, the Tangye Bazaar in Kajaki was almost completely abandoned. More than 400 stalls lay empty except for a lone bakery supplying bread to the Afghan Uniformed Police and local nationals. Since then, businesses have began opening in the bazaar as Kajaki residents felt safe and optimistic enough to return for the first time since 2006. "The Tangye Bazaar is in a state of rejuvenation," said Jackson, the lead governance and development advisor with 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment. "Right now...there are shops reopening in the Tangye Bazaar, and this is an incredibly encouraging sign. The people are slowly coming back to the bazaar. It has tremendous potential, and we're seeing people come back, reopening shops, and doing this on their own. It's showing us that the economy has a chance of revitalizing itself."
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JAPANESE STUDENTS SAY THANKS, PRESENT 4,000 ORIGAMI CRANES TO U.S. FORCES


Japanese students at Gakushuin Women's College presented each service branch of the U.S. military with 1,000 paper cranes March 16 at Yokota Air Base as an expression of gratitude for assistance since the March 2011 tsunami. A total of 4,000 cranes were given to the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps at the United States Forces Japan headquarters. In Japan, it is said that folding 1,000 paper origami cranes makes one's wishes come true. Each paper crane took about five minutes to fold, with precision, by the Gakushuin students. "On behalf of the people of Japan, it's our way to show our deep appreciation," said Yuri Nakamura, a student at the college who was involved in the project.
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PARRIS ISLAND COMMANDING GENERAL SAYS WOMEN FILLING NEW ROLES WITHIN THE MILITARY


Brig. Gen. Loretta "Lori" Reynolds, commanding general at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S.C., discussed women's expanding roles in the military at the Cleveland City Club March 22. In conjunction with Women's History Month and as part of the Marine Week Cleveland 2012 Speaker Series, she offered her experience as one of two female one-star generals in the Corps and also highlighted the success of the Female Engagement Teams in Afghanistan, which provide a vital link in communication between the Marines and the women of Afghanistan. Reynolds said the military is realizing the value of women as a result of these successes.
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Read More: Marine Week to Rock Cleveland June 11-17


TRANSITION

FREE JOB HELP FOR MARINES EXITING CORPS


The Unseen Wound, an organization created by veterans and based in southern California, is a new resource for Marines who have recently left the Corps and are looking for civilian jobs. The organization aims to guide Afghanistan and Iraq veterans from the potential pitfalls of post-military life into stable and productive lifestyles. The program is free of charge, teaching student veterans job-hunting skills and pairing them with military-friendly organizations that can help them find work. Additionally, there is a special emphasis on avoiding substance abuse. The two-month program is open to any veteran service members who left the military in the past six months and are not full-time students or undergoing medical treatment.
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THANK YOU

MICHELLE WIE, KIA MOTORS DONATE TO OPERATION HERO


Professional golfer Michelle Wie with Kia Motors America presented the Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) of Camp Pendleton, Calif., with a $50,000 donation March 22. The donation will go toward the ASYMCA's Operation Hero program, which provides free after-school mentoring and tutoring to elementary school-aged children. "We are most grateful to Michelle Wie and Kia for giving such a generous donation," said George Brown, executive director of the Camp Pendleton ASYMCA. "Operation Hero is a critical program, and this donation will go a long way to ensuring its success."
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PURPLE HEART HOMES, CONNECTICUT TOWN BUILD NEW HOUSE FOR WOUNDED WARRIOR


Cpl. Manny Jimenez lost an arm and much of his vision and hearing due to a mine explosion in Afghanistan in 2010. That same year, Purple Heart Homes, a nonprofit group that builds or refurbishes houses for disabled veterans, became the beneficiary of a former Marine Corps League property in the town of Glastonbury, Conn. Recently, the organization determined that Jimenez would be the recipient of a new house, and the town's 34,000 residents leapt to action, with local students raising funds for the project through bake sales and more than 40 businesses donating services or materials. An army of volunteers wasted no time constructing the 2,600-square-foot, three-bedroom house in a single weekend. "I'm surprised by everything," Jimenez said. "It's not just a house. It's an acceptance." By the time Jimenez receives his medical discharge in June, the house will be ready for him to call home.
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71-YEAR-OLD TRAVELS COAST TO COAST FOR INJURED MARINES


Rick Hermelin still has a Marine's toughness 50 years after enlisting. The former aviation communications technician is undertaking a 100-day, coast-to-coast journey on an ElliptiGO, a bike that mimics a running motion, to raise money for Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund. "I never got injured," said Hermelin. "It was a relatively peaceful time. I've been very healthy all my life, nothing hurts even after all those runs. This is my opportunity to give back and help." Hermelin began his trek on March 23 at Parris Island, S.C., exactly 53 years after he reported for Basic Training at Marine Corps Recruiting Depot (MCRD) San Diego in 1959. He will end his run 3,000 miles later on June 30 at MCRD San Diego where his Marine career was launched.
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