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Remembering Chattanooga Fallen, Marines Pushing Forward
by U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Sara Graham - August 24, 2015

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - In the wake of the recent, tragic loss of their brothers, the Marines of Battery M, 3rd Battalion, 14th Marine Regiment are back in business. They have found strength in each other and have harnessed the drive to continue their work, inspired by the need to return to their home ground and carry on, not only in honor of their fallen brothers, but for the Marine Corps mission.

Marines of Battery M, 3rd Battalion 14th Marine Regiment, Marine Forces Reserve, march together at the Methodist Church in Hixson, Tennessee, July 24, 2015. The Marines attended the funeral of their fallen brother, Staff Sgt. David A. Wyatt, one of five service members killed by a gunman at the Naval Operational Support Center and Marine Corps Reserve Center on July 16, 2015. Wyatt was taken to the Chattanooga National Cemetery after the church service to be laid to rest with full military honors. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Sara Graham)
Marines of Battery M, 3rd Battalion 14th Marine Regiment, Marine Forces Reserve, march together at the Methodist Church in Hixson, Tennessee, July 24, 2015. The Marines attended the funeral of their fallen brother, Staff Sgt. David A. Wyatt, one of five service members killed by a gunman at the Naval Operational Support Center and Marine Corps Reserve Center on July 16, 2015. Wyatt was taken to the Chattanooga National Cemetery after the church service to be laid to rest with full military honors. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Sara Graham)

“It's a victory for the guys to get back in the facility. They wanted to come back. This is their home, and they wanted to make sure everyone knows it is their home,” said Capt. Chris Cotton, inspector instructor of Battery M. “It wasn't an option of whether or not we would come back, it was when they would let us come back.”

The Marines have shown they are eager not only to return home and come back to work, but additionally to direct all of their efforts to bringing the battery back up to speed and ready for any challenges to come.

“It was essential that we get back in here and that we get back to what we need to do. We are part of the nation's force in readiness and we need to make sure our Marines are trained and continue to prepare for combat,” said Cotton.

According to PFC Aaron Noyes, a supply specialist with Battery M, the Marines are picking up where they left off and are back to the daily grind of a Marine artillery battery.

“We are mourning our losses but at the same time we are pushing forward to honor the guys we lost,” said Noyes. “Every day I am back here, my mind set is trying to do the best I can to make sure these guys didn't lose their lives for nothing.”

Gunnery Sgt. Matthew Doll, communications chief of Battery M, said the Marines are coming together as a team to accomplish all these tasks; they are making sure everything is ready to go in case they need to deploy or are called to fight.

“Everyone is helping out, they are filling those billets they don't normally fill and continuing where they left off,” said Doll. “We are all working together and pushing forward.”

Battery M not only has leadership who has stepped up during this challenging time but the junior Marines have gone above and beyond to help the battery return to its mission.

“The junior Marines' individual actions and the courage they're displaying to get back in here and own their facility, that's what is amazing,” said Cotton. “It is the individual actions by our young devil dogs; those are the guys that are making it happen right now.”

The Marines are not only ready to fight because of personal efforts but they are appreciative to the Chattanooga community for their continual support through this time.

“For the overwhelming support from the city of Chattanooga and the nation we want to say thank you,” said Cotton. “It helps knowing other Marines, prior Marines, other service members and the community members support us.”

With the support from the community and each other, the Marines of Battery M are pushing forward with their mission in mind. They exhibit the warrior spirit of our Corps; the unique drive and bond that Marines have with each other and with those who have fallen. They are part of a force in readiness who strives to fight for their Corps and their comrades in arms. No matter the situation, they will accomplish the mission.

By U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Sara Graham
Provided through DVIDS
Copyright 2015

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