You've probably heard about the Marines that were kicked out of Toledo this past weekend when they arrived for scheduled urban tactical exercises?
Well, I took particular umbrage at this story because these same Marines of Alpha Company, 1/24, were the same ones that kept me alive in Fallujah in Nov 2006.
So yesterday, I interviewed their Commanding Officer Maj. Dan Whisnant to find out what the facts were and how he is adapting to the lost opportunity. It's vital to note here that this is a RESERVE Unit - they can't easily reschedule this type of mission-critical training.
In fairness, we invited Toldeo Mayor Marty Finkbeiner to come on the program as well, but did not hear back from his office.
The Mayor's spokesman claimed the decision to give the Marines the boot was based on the premise that "they frighten people."
UPDATE: My sources now tell me that Mayor Finkbeiner is working back channels looking for a way to rectify his national embarassment decision.
I just hope it includes a PUBLIC APOLOGY to the Marines that he sent packing on Friday.
I've also been in touch with local and state leaders who are fuming over this incident.
But while we wait to find out how this story plays out, please take a moment to remember the five Marines that gave their lives fighting for freedom in Fallujah by visiting www.alphaheroes.org.
Sergeant Thomas M. Gilbert, Lance Corporal Jonathan B. Thornsberry, Corporal Jacob H. Neal, Private 1st Class Brett A. Witteveen and Private 1st Class Bufford K. Vanslyke.