Battle Rattle

National Museum of the Marine Corps exhibit to commemorate one of the Iraq War’s hardest hit units

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One of the Iraq War’s hardest hit units, which lost 22 Marines and a corpsman on a single deployment, is being commemorated by a temporary exhibit at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Va.

The exhibit, which commemorates the dead of Columbus, Ohio-based Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines — known as “Lucky Lima” when it deployed to Iraq in 2005 — will be open to the public from Feb. 20 through March 3. It consists of oil paintings of each of the 23 casualties created by Columbus-based artist Anita Miller. Together they comprise a touring exhibit called The Eyes of Freedom. Each painting is accompanied by the Marines’ names, basic biographical information, a candle for each, boots and space for visitors to leave mementos, according to a museum press release.

The unit suffered a staggering string of deaths while operating near Haditha, Iraq. Its Marines went miraculously unscathed for the first few months of their deployment, but the unit suffered its first of many casualties when two Marines were killed on May 8 of that year by enemy fire. By the end of the month, seven more were dead. In July two more Marines and a Corpsman were killed in action. But the unit’s darkest day came on Aug. 3 when 11 Marines riding in an amphibious assault vehicle were killed in a roadside bomb attack.

When Lima returned to Ohio in October of 2005, the unit was greeted by a 20-mile parade route of cheering supporters.


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  1. Cpl Sekely Says:
    February 19th, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    Wow what a great unit to be part of.

  2. LtCol Moeller Says:
    February 19th, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    The total KIA for that deployment was 48 with over 200 WIA for the whole battalion task force.

  3. Tom Scheib Says:
    February 19th, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    I was with Lima 3/9 in the Nam. We weren’t lucky either; lost almost that many on 30 Apr 68. RIP Marines. Glad you got a commemoration and parade. Semper Fi

  4. Jose Gonzales Says:
    February 19th, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    My son is a marine and I’m a proud dad and he was part of that deployment was a great unit god bless all the marines and family’s great to have had my son be part of that unit

  5. sandra stewart Says:
    February 19th, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    My son, Cpl. David’Bear’Stewart was KIA on August 3, 2005 with the Marines of Lima. It is a beautiful exibit. Wish I could see it at the Marine Corps Museum.

  6. Jason Percell Says:
    February 19th, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    Yes it was very hard to first year the news of the first deaths. It woke us up! We did our best to do what Marines do. I was a machine gunner on the river known as small craft company. I volunteered for that deployment as well as the next when I hit 3 ROAD SIDE BOMBS. THANKS TO THE VA! HELP US VETERANS!

  7. Adianne Baumgartner Says:
    February 19th, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    My son, Sam, along with other Marines from the 4th Marines Amphibious Assault unit from Gulfport served with the 3/25th – we vsited the Museum at Quantico in 2009 – how fitting that the exhibit will be there – it belongs there. Thanks to to all who keep this memory alive

  8. wesley shields Says:
    February 19th, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    Semper Fi brothers. Oorah.

  9. Katrina Graham Says:
    February 19th, 2014 at 11:12 pm

    My son was with 3/25 not Lima though and he lost his life on August 1st. I think he and the others not specifically with Lima that lost their lives that year should have been honored also.

  10. brandi Says:
    February 20th, 2014 at 1:27 am

    My brother was Kia 11/25/2006 and his unit lost 23 marines that deployment but it doesn’t matter what unit or how many or what what year. What matters is that it happened.. and we all wish that our hero’s could be honored at the museum but the way I see it is so many people have forgotten what freedom means, those who lost someone never forget, we are always thinking about it …..but a lot of people in America have. We need to spread the word gain support get attention any way we can to show our respects to ALL who have lost their lives but ALSO to those who made it home. If only our country would do more

  11. Donald Hoikkala Says:
    February 20th, 2014 at 1:43 am

    What a Great Honor for these Marines and there unit Semper Fi. God Speed.

  12. Donald Hoikkala Says:
    February 20th, 2014 at 1:51 am

    I am a.Retired Marine 72-93 I am happy to see these Marines and there unit be honored in this way..America has soon forgot the blood they left in Iraq maybe this is a way We Shall Never Forget what they did and how they died. Gunny Ret..

  13. Thomas Karl Says:
    February 20th, 2014 at 10:49 am

    2\5 here. We took 16 KIA and over 100 WIA in just one deployment in 2004 Ramadi, Iraq. In a single Company. My life will never be the same, but I Thank God Daily. My Faith kept me alive and nothing else. I should have Died numerous times but with my Guardian Angle probably Arch Angel Michael himself… I made it home to my Family. I’m not trying to take away from my fellow Brothers in Arms, Semper-Fi to my Lord.

  14. Charlie Hooah Poulton Says:
    February 20th, 2014 at 11:09 am

    After watching and listening and reading all of the above comments I can only say Semper-Fi and peace be with all of the families and loved ones of all of the above mentioned lost heroes. My son is in the Marines and has been in these areas over the past 17 years. He is still in and serving so I like to keep up with Marine news. I am blessed to still have him. I pray for you loss and deep hurt. May God Bless You all! Freedom Is Not Free!

  15. Duane Barson Says:
    February 20th, 2014 at 11:19 am

    God bless the United States Marine Corps.

    Duane Barson
    USMC ’69 – ’74
    Semper Fidelis

  16. Semper Fi Sisters Says:
    February 20th, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    We shall NEVER FORGET those who have given their lives. God Bless all the men and women who serve our nation defending freedom. For through this beautiful exhibit of Heroes, clearly Freedom is Not Free. Semper Fi

  17. Shawn Says:
    February 20th, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    I will never forget that deployment. Lost too many good Marines. RIP SSgt Goodwin and SSgt Ivey. RCT 2

  18. 81s Says:
    February 20th, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    I believe the final numbers for TF 3/25 per the Marine Corps AAR are:
    KIA 49
    WIA 693 (the latter reflects multiple separate incidents for individual Marines, not 693 Marines).

  19. E Co 4th Says:
    February 20th, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    Grant… I hope you are in a better place.

  20. Doc Holland 2005 Says:
    February 21st, 2014 at 12:17 am

    I was the Corpsman for Small Craft Company 2005 and remember the days that everyone is speaking of…. Losing that many Marines and Corpsman is the worst thing to reflect on when remembering a deployment. I still remember the night we dropped off those 6 Scout Snipers may they rest in peace. Please share this with as many as possible so those that fell are honored and live through us. -Doc Holland SCCO 2005

  21. Cindy Snyder Says:
    February 21st, 2014 at 11:34 am

    My hero is in that unit also thank you lord for bringing my hero home to me and to his little girls also thank you lord for the heroes that didn’t make it back to their loved ones they are heroes in heaven I will never forget them as long as I’m on this earth thank you from the bottom of my heart Lima co love from a very proud mom

  22. Robert Davis Says:
    February 21st, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    You are all my HERO’S. Steve Hooper, you know that. I pray for the families of the HERO’S we lost!

  23. ken melton Says:
    February 23rd, 2014 at 1:15 am

    I served as the Marine journalist (combat correspondent) with 3/25 during this deployment. Glad to see my guys are getting some love and were not forgotten. Semper Fi!

  24. janet byler Says:
    February 24th, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    Any way we can share with the public the sacrifices made by our Marines is good and necessary. im a proud Marine mom from the 3/5 Darkhorse that suffered tremendous KIA and wounded in Sangin AFG in 2010. I remember those men who didn’t come home EVERY DAY and thank God for my Freedom. Good job there. Proud Marine Mom Janet

  25. Thor Wold Says:
    March 13th, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    A very hard deployment, but a life changing experience and one I am grateful to have experienced. I served as a Corpsman in the Haditha BAS and later as a line Corpsman with India Company 3/25. You guys are all the best and I love every one of you to this day.

  26. Barbara Says:
    March 19th, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    I will always remember this day – I’m so indebted to each of you who gave the supreme sacrifice. God bless you all who paid the price – to families, friends, and especially to those fallen warriors – my heartfelt gratitude. My son went to Great Lakes with Travis Youngblood – the Corpsman who was killed in July 2005. Thank YOU – God Bless each and every one of you. I will always remember and appreciate you all!