CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - In the wake of the recent, tragic loss of
their brothers, the Marines of Battery M, 3rd Battalion, 14th Marine
Regiment are back in business. They have found strength in each
other and have harnessed the drive to continue their work, inspired
by the need to return to their home ground and carry on, not only in
honor of their fallen brothers, but for the Marine Corps mission.
Marines of Battery M, 3rd Battalion 14th Marine Regiment, Marine Forces Reserve, march together at the Methodist Church in Hixson, Tennessee, July 24, 2015. The Marines attended the funeral of their fallen brother, Staff Sgt. David A. Wyatt, one of five service members killed by a gunman at the Naval Operational Support Center and Marine Corps Reserve Center on July 16, 2015. Wyatt was taken to the Chattanooga National Cemetery after the church service to be laid to rest with full military honors. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Sara Graham)
“It's a victory for the guys to get back in the facility.
They wanted to come back. This is their home, and they
wanted to make sure everyone knows it is their home,” said
Capt. Chris Cotton, inspector instructor of Battery M. “It
wasn't an option of whether or not we would come back, it
was when they would let us come back.”
have shown they are eager not only to return home and come
back to work, but additionally to direct all of their
efforts to bringing the battery back up to speed and ready
for any challenges to come.
“It was essential that
we get back in here and that we get back to what we need to
do. We are part of the nation's force in readiness and we
need to make sure our Marines are trained and continue to
prepare for combat,” said Cotton.
According to PFC
Aaron Noyes, a supply specialist with Battery M, the Marines
are picking up where they left off and are back to the daily
grind of a Marine artillery battery.
“We are mourning
our losses but at the same time we are pushing forward to
honor the guys we lost,” said Noyes. “Every day I am back
here, my mind set is trying to do the best I can to make
sure these guys didn't lose their lives for nothing.”
Gunnery Sgt. Matthew Doll, communications chief of
Battery M, said the Marines are coming together as a team to
accomplish all these tasks; they are making sure everything
is ready to go in case they need to deploy or are called to
“Everyone is helping out, they are filling
those billets they don't normally fill and continuing where
they left off,” said Doll. “We are all working together and
Battery M not only has leadership
who has stepped up during this challenging time but the
junior Marines have gone above and beyond to help the
battery return to its mission.
“The junior Marines'
individual actions and the courage they're displaying to get
back in here and own their facility, that's what is
amazing,” said Cotton. “It is the individual actions by our
young devil dogs; those are the guys that are making it
happen right now.”
The Marines are not only ready to
fight because of personal efforts but they are appreciative
to the Chattanooga community for their continual support
through this time.
“For the overwhelming support
from the city of Chattanooga and the nation we want to say
thank you,” said Cotton. “It helps knowing other Marines,
prior Marines, other service members and the community
members support us.”
With the support from the
community and each other, the Marines of Battery M are
pushing forward with their mission in mind. They exhibit the
warrior spirit of our Corps; the unique drive and bond that
Marines have with each other and with those who have fallen.
They are part of a force in readiness who strives to fight
for their Corps and their comrades in arms. No matter the
situation, they will accomplish the mission.
By U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Sara Graham
The U.S. Marines
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