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3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment Memorializes Fallen Marines
(November 5, 2010)

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SANGIN, Afghanistan – Marines and sailors from 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 2, paused to honor their fallen brothers.

Lance Corporals Joseph Rodewald, 22, Phillip Vinnedge, 19, Victor Dew, 20, and Cpl. Justin Cain, 22, with Weapons Company, were killed in action, Oct. 13, and Sgt. Ian Tawney, 25, with Lima Company, was killed in action, Oct. 16.
“These Marines sacrificed their lives in the service of their country, here in Sangin, a place that none of them could find on a map 60 days ago,” said Lt. Col. Jason Morris, commanding officer, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines. “It's my privilege to stand here before you as a commander of this battalion and honor the lives of these five young men.”

The Marines of 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines arrived in Afghanistan just a few weeks prior, assuming authority of the battle space, Oct. 13. They hit the ground running and immediately were seeing results. Unfortunately, those results came with a price.

“Where do we get men such as this? Where do we find men who look death in the face and push forward?” Morris asked. “Fortunately for us all, many Americans understand that freedom is not free and some must stand to defend it.”
Marines with 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 2, salute the memorial of their fallen brothers during a ceremony, Oct. 30. Lance Corporals Joseph Rodewald, 22, Phillip Vinnedge, 19, Victor Dew, 20, and Cpl. Justin Cain, 22, with Weapons Company were killed in action, Oct. 13, and Sgt. Ian Tawney, 25, with Lima Company was killed in action, Oct. 16, 2010.
Marines with 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 2, salute the memorial of their fallen brothers during a ceremony, Oct. 30. Lance Corporals Joseph Rodewald, 22, Phillip Vinnedge, 19, Victor Dew, 20, and Cpl. Justin Cain, 22, with Weapons Company were killed in action, Oct. 13, and Sgt. Ian Tawney, 25, with Lima Company was killed in action, Oct. 16, 2010.
As Morris addressed the Marines and sailors at the memorial ceremony, he acknowledged the fallen Marines for their bravery and warrior ethos.
“Like many of their fellow Americans, Ian, Justin, Joseph, Phillip and Victor yearned for adventure, for challenges, for brotherhood and for the opportunity to serve their country. They found those things in the Marine Corps. All five of these heroes joined the Corps at a time when America had been at war for four years or more."
“There were no surprises. They knew they were going to war and what was at stake,” Morris added. “They were all here, where the fighting is the toughest. They wanted to be here and they wanted to make a difference. I give thanks every day that I have had an opportunity to serve with and lead such men; men who gave their last full measure defending their nation against its enemies and helping the people of Afghanistan.”

The short, quiet ceremony was marked by Bible verses and prayers honoring these five fallen heroes. Final Roll was called three times for each of them only to be answered by silence. Taps followed in a final farewell.

“Although it is difficult to understand why these five young Marines were taken from
 Marines with 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 2, kneel before the battlefield memorials of their fallen brothers during a farewell ceremony, Oct. 30. Lance Corporals Joseph Rodewald, 22, Phillip Vinnedge, 19, Victor Dew, 20, and Cpl. Justin Cain, 22, with Weapons Company were killed in action, Oct. 13, and Sgt. Ian Tawney, 25, with Lima Company was killed in action, Oct. 16, 2010.
Marines with 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 2, kneel before the battlefield memorials of their fallen brothers during a farewell ceremony, Oct. 30. Lance Corporals Joseph Rodewald, 22, Phillip Vinnedge, 19, Victor Dew, 20, and Cpl. Justin Cain, 22, with Weapons Company were killed in action, Oct. 13, and Sgt. Ian Tawney, 25, with Lima Company was killed in action, Oct. 16, 2010.
us, I take comfort in the fact that they have upheld our core values of honor, courage and commitment,” Morris said. “They died doing their duty, taking the fight to the enemy and fulfilling their vow to do whatever it takes to defend our nation and their fellow Marines. They died with their honor and their character intact.”
Article and photos by USMC Cpl. Daniel Blatter
1st Marine Division
Copyright 2010

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