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Supply convoys answer mail for Marines at outposts

2 Aug 2006 | Lance Cpl. Ray Lewis

Forget rain, sleet and snow. Try roadside bombs, searing heat and the occasional small-arms attack. Even that can’t stop Marine deliveries to outlying posts.

The “Betio Bastards” of L Company, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, resupply their Marines daily despite the constant enemy activity in the area. It’s a vital part of the mission to keep the grunts on the line fed, stocked with ammunition and every now and then, a letter from home.

“Resupply has to be done,” said Cpl. Mark S. Lotthammer, a rifleman with L Company.

The 29-year-old from Tampa, Fla., said Marines and sailors who walk urban terrain and keep Iraqis safe depend on the resupply of chow and mail to keep their “pistons pumping.”

Lotthammer said exhausting patrolling and trying to reassure Iraqis they’re safe and keep insurgents at bay go around the clock. When he rolls into a combat outpost or observation post, eyes get wide and stomachs start growling.

“It’s a morale booster,” said Lotthammer who usually drives one of the humvees that carry Marines’ resupply.

He said it makes them feel better to get hot chow now and then.

“It’s a change from eating MREs (meals ready-to-eat),” said Cpl. David A. Pape, a rifleman with L Company and a vehicle commander.

The 21-year-old from Rossiter, Pa., said if he was out there at an observation post, he would want the same done for him.

So with that, the Marines snapped on their flak, strapped on their packs and hit the sandy roads just outside Habbaniyah.

When the resupply arrived, Marines were between patrols.

The “Bastards” were delighted to see each other, even in the 100-plus degree heat.

And so were the sweat-drenched Marines who trudged back from patrol.

“It’s always good to see your Marines,” said Cpl. Casimero C. Tanseco, a rifleman with L Company.

The 22-year-old team leader from Piscataway, N.J., said seeing them come out to the observation post helps motivate him through the long days in Iraq.

Tanseco didn’t mind the chow and mail they brought either.

Lotthammer says it’s no problem. He’d do anything for his Marines.

“I’m glad to do this, because when my Marines are happy, it makes me happy.”