Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Royal Marines Group Photo Haunting Reminder

Within four days of this haunting photo, these Royal Marines would ALL be dead, maimed or profoundly traumatised.
THE DAILY MAIL
By RICHARD PENDLEBURY
PUBLISHED: December 2015
No wonder Sergeant Blackman, who took it, cracked
Sergeant Alexander Blackman was convicted of murder in 2013
He was accused of shooting dead a 'mortally wounded' Taliban terrorist
Sgt Blackman took the poignant never-before-published image of heroes
New legal dossier to be handed to the Criminal Cases Review Commission
It follows a fund launched by supporters to cover the costs of his appeal

This poignant and never-before-published image — given to the Mail by the mother of one of the soldiers, Marine Sam Alexander MC — encapsulates the terrible reality of the Afghan war and the long-term consequences for those who fought there.
Heroes: Unobscured faces, from left, L/Cpl JJ Chalmers, (suffered life-threatening injuries), Marine Sam Alexander MC, (killed), Cassidy Little, (lost leg), Lt Ollie Augustin (killed), Abdullah the Interpreter (killed).
Twelve comrades pose for a photograph. Their faces are set, their expressions determined.

Within hours, they’ll be dropped by helicopter into the heart of Taliban-controlled Helmand. The soldiers know it will be a dangerous operation, but they draw strength from their camaraderie and fighting expertise. They are Royal Marines: the best.

But events would soon go against them. Catastrophically so. This band of brothers is doomed. Within four days, all the men you see in this picture would be a casualty of some kind: dead, maimed, injured or suffering, to various degrees of severity, from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
At his court martial — when he was known only as Marine A — he said it was a split-second mistake brought on by the anger and stress of what he had experienced.

The panel heard nothing of the under-manning, equipment shortages and the feeling of ‘isolation and abandonment’ by their commanders that some Marines on the ground say they experienced while fighting a barbaric enemy.
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