June 05, 2012

Name: America's 1st Sgt.
Returned from: Bahrain
Milblog: Castra Praetoria

Sandra Mendez is a Gold Star family member. Her brother Lance Corporal David Mendez fell November 12, 2005 in Amiriyah, Iraq while assigned to 2d Battalion 7th Marines. The Mendez family immigrated from Guatemala City to Cleveland in 1991. From the early age of six young David knew he wanted to be a U. S. Marine. A portion of United States Route 42 and State Route 3 is named in his honor.  

In her desire to remain connected with her Marine family, Sandra maintains close ties to her brethren here at 3/25. She is no stranger to the Marines and Sailors of our battalion. This week she paid us a surprise visit and brought chow! She really is family!

Just getting back from a vigorous session of light body maintenance, I joyously greet Sandra in the galley.


Young Marines attack the chow line while it is still hot.


Chicken in mushroom sauce, spanish rice, salad, fruit, and lumpia (yay!) were all on the menu for lunch. The ladies had slaved away all morning in our galley so they could serve up a treat for their Marines.

America's SgtMaj samples some lumpia. Quality Control is important!


When everyone had gotten a heaving plate of home made goodness, Sandra asked to speak to assembled Marines.

"You guys are my family."


She told us about her brother and how as soon as their family settled in America he had wanted nothing but to be a Marine. As she now considers all Marines her family she chooses to honor his memory, particularly on Memorial Day week, by doing something for her extended family in his name. Knowing her tribe well she cooked up a storm of grub and we spent the afternoon greedily stuffing ourselves like pigs.

Aargh! Gold Star cupcakes! Who can resist?


Gastrointestinal jollification aside, Sandra's visit was a welcome treat. I haven't often had the opportunity to rub elbows with my extended Marine family, my people, my tribe. It was a great way to kick off the Memorial Day work week and I am honored the likes of the Mendez family would name a jarhead like myself one of their own.

Semper Fidelis!


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