Even Marines Have a Breaking Point
by James Glaser
Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment is a proud unit. All Marines are proud of their unit, and 3rd Battalion has a great tradition. They have been fighting for our country since Guadalcanal in World War II. They also fought in Okinawa, the Battle of Peleliu. The Inchon invasion in Korea, and they were at the Chosen Reservoir. After that they were in the Vietnam War, Desert Storm, Afghanistan, and now Iraq.
3rd Battalion has a linage to be proud of, but now they have been saddled with the word Massacre, and that is going to be a hard one to shake.
Most people don't realize that many of the Marines in that unit were on their third tour in the combat zone last fall, when if the story is true, and it seems to be, twenty four innocent civilians were killed by members of Kilo Company.
Three tours is asking a lot, in fact we now know it is asking too much. There is no justification for killing innocent people, but when you push your troops beyond their limit, mistakes and crimes happen,
Three tours in the combat zone can turn you into an animal, and having your Commander-in-Chief set the tone with, "Bring it on," you might start to believe you have a free rein.
This crime in Iraq isn't the first and it won't be the last, but it could be a wake up call to the nation. We can only ask so much of our troops, and we now know we have asked too much.
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