interview With Marine Gunnery Sgt. Justin LeHew

Jocko Podcast


This is Jaakko podcast number two, forty, two with Echo Charles and me Jaakko willink. Good Evening Echo, meet evening. The president of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross. To Gunnery Sergeant Justin de la Hugh. United States Marine Corps. For extraordinary heroism. As Amphitheater Assault Platoon Sergeant Company a First Battalion Second Marines. Task Force. Tarawa. I Marine Expeditionary Force in support of operation. Iraqi Freedom. On Twenty three and twenty, four. March two, thousand, three. As regimental combat to attack north towards on Nasariyah Iraq lead elements of the battalion came under heavy enemy fire. When the beleaguered United States Army Five, hundred seventh maintenance company convoy was spotted in the distance. Gunnery Sergeant La Hugh and his crew were dispatched to rescue the soldiers. Under constant enemy fire. He led the rescue team to the soldiers. With total disregard for his own welfare he assisted the evacuation effort of four soldiers, two of whom were critically wounded. While still receiving enemy fire, he climbed back into his vehicle and immediately began suppressing enemy infantry. During, the subsequent. Company attack on the Eastern Bridge over the afraid he's river gunnery sergeant. Hugh continuously exposed himself to withering enemy fire during the three hour urban firefight. His courageous battlefield presence inspired Marines to fight a determined foe that allowed him to physician his platoon's heavy machine-guns to repel numerous waves of attackers. In the midst of the battle and amphibious assault vehicle was destroyed, killing or wounding all its occupants gunnery sergeant La- hugh immediately move to recover the nine Marines. He again exposed himself to a barrage of fire as he worked for nearly an hour recovering casualties from the wreckage. By his. Display of decisive leadership unlimited courage in the face of heavy enemy fire. And utmost devotion to duty. Gunnery Sergeant La- Hugh reflected great credit upon himself. And upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps. And the United States. Naval Service. And That is. A. Citation. About. One episode. In one marine's life. And it doesn't explain everything in that marines life nor does it explain everything about the Marine Corps? But. It does give eight? Glimpse. into. What Marines do? and. What are American servicemen are capable of, but it's only a glimpse. And you know these these citations. Throughout the military when you when you go to different military bases, not been too many many military bases around the country around the world, these these citations of heroic wards. oftentimes, they're they're posted in various places around the based on on the walls in the classrooms on quarter decks. and. Throughout my career starting as a young. Young. Kid I would stop. And I would read through these. These citations and I would always wish to myself. I would always wish that I could meet these men. And I could talk to them. And I could learn from them and I could see what they were. What they were really like. And with that in mind. It is an absolute honor today to have that opportunity as. Sergeant major retired Justin La- hugh is. Joining us. To share the experiences that he had and the lessons that he learned. In his service in his life. Justin. Honor to have year. Thanks for coming out. It's honored to be here with you today Jaakko and you, etc.. I Um. Every every time I get to talk to somebody and just learn from their experiences and man I've had the opportunity in a we were talking a little bit about this. You know the the opportunity, some of the people that have come on this podcast just unbelievable to to capture their lessons from guys that were on Tarawa e Jima. And just incredible and it's an honor for me to sit here and and be able to. Capture some of these lessons for for people not just not just soldiers not just marines. But just people. So, that we can learn from. Let's. Let's start at the beginning. What started let's start at where you came from. So you were born in. Columbus Grove Ohio is that right Columbus, Ohio small little farm community, but two thousand people. Think it's been upper down of one hundred over the past one hundred years does up there. Kinda was like any Norman Rockwell painting that you would ever say and it was a great place to grow up when I was younger, it was a play she didn't lock your doors. It was a place where parents told you to be in by the time the street lights came on. I truly was like the fabric of America You grew up playing Little League Baseball Pony League Baseball You grew up knowing every kid in the two schools that were in town because it was kind of like a little Northern Ireland it was either Protestants and Catholics wasn't anything else. It was kind of those two choices and for grades one through eight there was the Catholic school that was on the other side of the railroad tracks, and then there was the public school and then you knew by sports and buy. Your neighbors you knew everybody and it didn't matter if it was K. through twelve, you knew the kindergarteners because you were school with their brothers and sisters. It was a really tight very hard working community

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