With Memorial Day almost upon us, it is only appropriate that we take a look at not only our fallen heroes, but at some of the people who are out there doing the hard work involved with keeping their memories alive and supporting the rest of the troops. This weekend a friend directed me to one such outlet which seems worthy of consideration and praise as you prepare for your own observation of the holiday. It’s the Travis Manion Foundation, and they’re working hard to support our men and women in uniform. The namesake of the group is a hero in his own right, as noted in his biography.
Upon his graduation in 2004, Travis chose to follow his father into the Marine Corps. He finished in the top of his class at The Basic School where he was awarded a regular commission in the Marine Corps. After completing Logistics Officer School, Travis was assigned to the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, CA.
It wasn’t long after arriving to his first duty station that Travis and his unit were sent to Iraq. During their tour, the First Recon Marines were part of many critical events including support of the 2005 election, uncovering weapons caches throughout the region, and assisting with other Iraqi transition missions.
Travis deployed back to Iraq on December 26, 2006, for his second tour as part of a Military Transition Team. He and his fellow Marines worked diligently to change the outcome in Fallujah, building a brotherhood with the Iraqi Army units and setting the example with strong leadership and a passion for their mission. Aggressively taking the fight to the enemy on multiple occasions, Travis and his Marines fought bravely to change the tide in this critical battle ground. As a result of their incredible efforts, Al Anbar Province is now recognized as one of the more significant successes of the surge in Iraq.
During his final patrol mission on Sunday, April 29, 2007, Travis was killed by enemy sniper fire while fighting courageously to defend against an enemy ambush. At his memorial service in Fallujah, an Iraqi Colonel spoke and shared that Travis was his brother, “a brave warrior who never feared the death.” Travis’ mark remains in Iraq and in the hearts of all who honor freedom and service. As a testament to his strong character and leadership, the Iraqis named their operating base Combat Outpost (COB) Manion, one of only a few Iraqi facilities named for an American service member. Travis was awarded the Silver Star and the Bronze Star w/ Valor for his actions in Iraq.
Click through and take a tour of the site to learn more about Travis’ story and see what activities the foundation has coming up. And if you feel so inclined, lend them your support for the good work they do.