- George Zimmerman will not be charged in domestic dispute
- Russian officials press bilateral U.S. trade deal
- Selfies at Funerals blog creator retires after Obama flub: ‘Our work here is done’
- New Obama adviser Podesta is against Keystone but will steer clear of pipeline deliberations
- 40 Australian adults, children found in ‘one of the worst accounts of incest ever made public’
- Venezuela’s Maduro calls on student ‘price vigilantes’ to hit the streets, report businesses
- Atheists smug as Hindus join Satanists to demand display at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Bow before Valkyrie, NASA’s ‘superhero robot’ entry in DARPA challenge
- 10-year-old Pennsylvania boy suspended for pretend bow-and-arrow shooting
- Tea partyers turn on Capitol Hill budget deal
SHORTRIDGE: Live fire a necessary part of training
Question of the Day
Twentynine Palms, a remote Marine Corps facility in Death Valley, Calif., was my home for three weeks each year. I remember the days and nights vividly — the intensity, the danger, the camaraderie.
It is where I learned that my death or that of my brother is not some abstract event, fodder for movies and novels.
It is where young soldiers receive the training to prepare themselves, physically and mentally, to charge into a hail of bullets on the beaches of Normandy, screaming their defiance, daring the enemy to threaten their homes, their families.
It is where a young Marine learns what a Marine truly is.
Live-fire training — including traveling through live-ordnance impact areas, both on foot and in vehicles — is just a part of the intense training required to prepare a Marine for what may come. It is the only way to prepare a Marine to be the warrior his country needs in its time of need.
Being a Marine has more meaning than most will ever know: It is not only the ability to storm that beach or take that hill. It is having the discipline, physical and mental, to overcome that most basic of instincts — survival.
Had I never before felt the explosions and been blinded by white phosphorus grenades during training, had I never known that a step in the wrong direction could very well end my life, I could not tell you honestly how I would have reacted when the lives of those I count as brothers to this day needed me to do what only live-fire training could prepare me for.
My heart goes out to the families of the seven brothers I lost in Nevada late Monday.
There is no denying the tragedy of the loss, but one must know that it was not a senseless, avoidable tragedy. It was Marines, making the ultimate sacrifice for that which they valued above even their own lives: ours.
• Mike Shortridge is a former Marine who served in the Middle East.
By Matt Kibbe
- Rand Paul: Budget deal 'shameful,' 'huge mistake'
- Teen thugs in D.C. run wild -- even while wearing GPS ankle bracelets
- KIBBE: Another Republican budget surrender
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- Study IDs reasons for late-term abortions
- CARSON: Why did the founders give us the Second Amendment?
- American bourbon now better than Scottish whisky: U.K.-born expert
- VEGAS RULES: Harry Reid pushed feds to change ruling for casino's big-money foreigners
- Biden guarantees victory on immigration reform
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Interviews and show reviews from the Los Angeles punk scene past and present. Los Angeles has always been rich in punk rock talent since punk rock was born.
Buzz on Bees is a column promoting the love and life of God’s greatest pollinators on earth: The Honeybee
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
A libertarian look at breaking news and political trends by author Tom Mullen.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow