to find out more about the history of the 3/8.


to find out more about the history of the 3/8.
 “3rd Battalion 8th Marines Veterans of Fallujah and Ramadi”, or “3/8
VFR,” is dedicated to support and assist unit’s veterans who served
during two major deployments in Operation Iraqi Freedom,
specifically in cities of Fallujah and Ramadi. The men who deployed
suffered heavy losses during these deployments and still are dealing
with many physical, mental and emotional conditions as a result of the
heavy combat.
 This is our 8th straight reunion, which is special as it marks the 10th
year anniversary of these deployments.
 The battalion was activated on November 1, 1940 and assigned to 2nd
Marine Division. Our motto is “Fortuna Favet Fortibus" which means
"Fortune Favors the Strong."
 During World War II 3/8 participated in the action at the Battle of
Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan, Tinian and Okinawa.
 Since 9/11, the Battalion took a major role in the Global War on Terror.
Including participation in Operation Enduring Freedom in Kabul,
Afghanistan, December 2001 to September 2002.
 Two of the most defining deployments for 3/8 were Fallujah 2005 and
Ramadi 2006
 From January to August, 2005, 3/8 was deployed to Fallujah, Iraq,
where most of its members experienced combat for the first time. 3/8’s
mission was to stabilize and pacify the region which just went through
a major U.S. offensive in Fallujah. In Fallujah 3/8 faced a resilient
insurgency that coordinated attacks on Abu Ghraib Prison and other
Forward Operating Bases in the Area of Operations. Most importantly,
the battalion helped defend polling sites for Iraq’s first democratic
 During this deployment 3/8 lost 8 Marines, Killed in Action (KIA),
and sustained over 114 casualties.
 After a short turnaround following the operation in Fallujah, 3/8 was
deployed from March to October, 2006, to Ramadi, Iraq. As many units
that preceded 3/8, they quickly learned that Ramadi was one of the
worst places on earth.*
 Assigned to U.S. Army’s 1st Armor Division, 3rd Battalion 8th Marines
were charged with securing the center of the city. This deployment
quickly became a constant, day to day, urban combat battle against a
well supplied insurgency.
 In less than 6 months the Battalion lost 17 Marines and Sailors, KIA,
and sustained over 240 casualties.
*Michael Ware, “The Most Dangerous Place,” Time, May 29, 2006, p. 34-42.
 During these two deployments 3/8 was awarded Navy Unit
Commendation, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal,
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Iraq Campaign Medal.
Members of 3/8 also became highly decorated with over 25 Navy and
Marine Corps Commendation Medals, 40 Navy Achievement Medals,
350 Purple Hearts and 1 Bronze Star.
 The highest award, Bronze Star with a V for Valor, went to a member
of 3/8 Weapons company, awarded posthumously.
 On June 8, 2006, PFC. Sanchez’s section came under heavy enemy fire.
An enemy RPG hit under the Humvee that PFC. Sanchez, a turret
gunner, was in. As the stopped patrol came under small arms fire
Sanchez continually returned fire suppressing 2 enemy positions while
his vehicle, and him, caught fire from the RPG. His actions allowed the
rest of the platoon to take cover which in turn saved Marine lives. He
was able crawl out of the vehicle, after he sustained 2nd degree burns.
He was killed a month later in another attack.
 In 2008 we started an annual reunion for men of 3/8 Weapons
Company with no more than 20 attendees. Since then we held this
reunion every year and each year we grew bigger, over 80 guests last
year. These reunions are held in remote areas all over U.S., mainly in
secluded cabins. In this privacy we participate in unit events and
games and provide dining to the guests. These reunions are open to all
members of 3/8 who served during these deployments and in the past
few years they included members of other Companies from 3/8 and
parents of lost brothers.
 Many of these veterans have suffered injuries from Improvised
Explosive Devices (IEDs), RPGs, and Small Arms Fire. Some of these
injuries are visible, however, there are many invisible ones such as
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
 Many of these veterans do not have an opportunity to connect with
other combat veterans, not to mention their brothers from 3/8, in their
daily lives. Many are still emotionally suffering and coping with the
experiences from the war. Some cannot get government support as they
are still pending VA claims.
 These reunions serve as an emotional support and healing network for
our brothers where they can feel normal and connect with their brothers
in arms.
 Even though we have grown in number of participants since 2008,
there are many that still cannot make it due to lack of financial means
for travel fare and food purchase. Some that do make it often do so at
financial expense they cannot afford. Due to this our mission is simple
but hard to achieve.
 As an organization, 3/8 VFR, we are working hard to provide a safe
environment and support network for our brothers. We are currently
filling paperwork to become a federally incorporated non-profit 501(c)
and as we grow we want to assist these men through financial and
support means. Currently we are fundraising through various means,
including crowd funding sources such as GoFundMe Campaign.
 This year’s reunion will be held on August 13 to 16, 2015, in Poconos, PA, will
cost about $6,000.
 This amount includes:
 Cabin rental, $3,000
 Reunion t-shirt, $25 each
 Catered Dinner, $50 each
 Currently there are 40 members of 3/8 attending with spouses and partners, and
12 family members of the fallen. However, there are many more that cannot
afford to attend.
 Any donation would first go to assist members of our unit that do not have
financial means to pay for the trip. Then the rest of the money would go to
expenses for the reunion.
 On Saturday, August 15, we are holding a reunion dinner catered by one of the
local restaurants. During this dinner we will have presentations from LtCol.
Liston and Sergeant Major Dagenhart, memorial video and team activities.
PFC. Stephen Baldwyn
LCpl. Robert Mininger
LCpl. Jacob Beisel
LCpl. Nicholas Whyte
Cpl. Timothy Roos
LCpl. Adam Murray
PFC. Enrique Sanchez
PFC. Chase Edwards
LCpl. Marcus Mahdee
Cpl. John Olson
GySgt. Terry Ball
LCpl. Michael Postal
LCpl. Taylor Prazynski
LCpl. John Schmidt III
SSgt. Eric McIntosh
Cpl. Scott Procopio
HN. Genovani Padilla
LCpl. Kun Young Kim
LCpl. Justin Sims
LCpl. Richard James
LCpl. Kevin Lucus
Cpl. Riley Baker
Cpl. Julian Ramon
Cpl. Joseph Tomci
Cpl. Christopher Warndorf