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Semper Fidelis

More than a motto, a way of life that distinguishes the Marine Corps bond from any other. It goes beyond teamwork – it is a brotherhood and lasts for life.

Latin for "always faithful," Semper Fidelis became the Marine Corps motto in 1883. It guides Marines to remain faithful to the mission at hand, to each other, to the Corps and to country, no matter what.

Becoming a Marine is a transformation that cannot be undone, and Semper Fi reminds us of that. Once made, a Marine will forever live by the ethics and values of the Corps.  

There is no such thing as an ex-Marine.

"For 221 years our Corps has done two things for this great Nation.  We make Marines and we win battles."
  ~ Gen. Chalres C. Krulak, USMC (CMC): 5 May 1977  


Honoring and Remembering:

Lance Cpl. Dale W. Means

I Got The News Today (IGTNT) , which began in April of 2004, is one of the oldest continuous series on Daily Kos and provides members of this community a venue to pay their respects to those who have died as a result of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.   The IGTNT title is a reminder that nearly every day the family of an active duty service member receives the terrible news that their beloved has died.
Since 2001 we have lost 2158 American troops in Afghanistan and a total of 3230 American and coalition forces.
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Lance Cpl. Dale W. Means, 23, of Jordan, Minn., died Nov. 18, while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.  He was assigned to Combat Logistics Battalion 2, Combat Logistics Regiment 2, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C   ~ DoD News Release

The Marine Band performing The Marines' Hymn at the Marine Corps War Memorial.
From the Halls of Montezuma
To the Shores of Tripoli;
We fight our country's battles
In the air, on land and sea;
First to fight for right and freedom
And to keep our honor clean;
We are proud to claim the title
of United States Marine.
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Lance Cpl Dale W. Means, 23 of Jordan, MN
Lance Cpl Dale W. Means, 23 of Jordan, Minnesota
On Sunday, Lance Cpl. Means' wife, parents and sister learned that he had died as a result of injuries sustained when he was acting as gunner on board a truck struck a roadside bomb.  Tonight, as they gather for their family meal, they will struggle with finding thanks on this holiday.

Dale Means graduated in 2007 from New Prague High School where he excelled in tech ed classes, especially automotive classes.  Dale subsequently completed an automotive program at Dakota county Technical College and worked at an auto repair shop before joining the Marines. In October of 2011, Dale married his high school sweetheart, Andrea Scheffler, a high school classmate, at St. Patrick's Church near New Prague, Minnesota.

Lance Cpl. Means joined the U S Marine Corps in early 2011.  This was his first combat deployment.

Cousin, Joey Larsen said their grandfather, a Green Beret in the Special Forces during the Korean and Vietnam war era, was most likely an influence in Dale's decision to join the Marine Corps.

He looked up to my grandfather. We all do.

The thought of being sent into war, didn't seem to worry him. There wasn't fear in his eyes. It was about honoring the Corps. Honoring the country.

I feel very empty inside knowing I'll never be able to share another moment with him.  It's tragic.

Brian Tupy, best man at Means' wedding said that Dale was a big influence in his life and made him want to be a better person.  Tupy followed in Dale's footsteps and joined the Marines almost a year ago.
He was in boot camp when he told me that being a Marine is such a great feeling. To call ourselves a United States Marine, well, it's something almost unexplainable.

He's my best friend and he was supposed to come back. We had so many plans, all the snowmobile and four-wheeling we had ahead of us.

Childhood friend, Jason Haugen said that Dale was a gearhead and if a machine had a motor, Means would either be fixing it or riding it.
You have to understand we're from New Prague. We're hillbillies. We love loud trucks, big tires and playing in the mud. We rode four-wheelers. We rode snowmobiles.

He was fearless on anything that had a motor in it. He was an adrenaline junkie. ... There was no hill or snowdrift that he wouldn't jump.

Sister, JoLyn said that Dale wanted to do something important with his life, not just the "same old, same old" and that is what helped shape his decision to join the Marines.
I called one of my friends, crying that my brother was making a decision that would change his life, potentially take his life someday.

Don't get me wrong, I'm proud -- beyond proud. But it didn't make me any less scared.

He had such a love for life. He was always off doing something that he probably shouldn't have been doing whether it was going mudding on a road you shouldn't have been on or high school pranks you got caught doing that you shouldn't have been. Maybe a little reckless at times. But he was with his friends 24/7 and that's what they did. Or, he and I were throwing parties at our house that we shouldn't have been.

JoLyn said she kept close tabs on her brother through letters, texts and Facebook.  She said they were more than just siblings; they were best friends.

Lance Cpl Dale W. Means is survived by his wife, Andrea; mother, DaleLyn; father, John and sister, JoLyn.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

 ~ Source   ~ Source   ~ Source

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About the IGTNT series:

"I Got the News Today" is a diary series intended to honor, respect, and remind us of the sacrifice of our US troops. Click here to see the series, which was begun by i dunno, and which is maintained by Sandy on Signal, noweasels,  monkeybiz, blue jersey mom, Chacounne, twilight falling, joyful, SisTwo, SpamNunn, TrueBlueMajority, CalNM, Wide Awake in Kentucky, maggiejean, kestrel9000, TheFatLadySings, Ekaterin and me, JaxDem.

These diaries are heartbreaking to write, but are an important service to those who have died, and show our community’s respect for them. Diaries about the fallen usually appear two days after their names are officially released, which allows time for the IGTNT team to find and tell their stories.

POW/MIA Banner
POW Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl
Sgt Bowe R. Bergdahl
The only known current Prisoner of War is Sgt. Bowe R. Bergdahl, 26 who was captured by the Taliban in June of 2009.  Five propaganda videos featuring Bergdahl have been released by the Taliban. A website has been established with the most up-to-date information on Sgt. Bergdahl.
 
Please keep good thoughts and prayers for Sgt. Bowe R. Bergdahl.

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Please bear in mind that these diaries are read by friends and family of the service members mentioned here. May all of our remembrances be full of compassion rather than politics.
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