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What do you call these troops, William Arkin?

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By Michelle Malkin  •  February 10, 2007 12:45 AM

WaPo weasel William Arkin would do well to read page A13 of his own paper published Friday before he smears any more troops as mercenaries. There’s an article there titled “Troops Shared Firm Belief in Iraq Service.”

Meet Marine Sgt. Joshua J. Frazier:

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Marine Sgt. Joshua J. Frazier, 24, from Virginia’s Spotsylvania County was killed by a sniper Monday as he stood on a rooftop in Ramadi, the Pentagon and his family said yesterday…

…Frazier believed so deeply in his mission in Iraq that he ignored pleas from his family and begged, pleaded and knocked on doors to get the Marines to send him back to Iraq. It was his third time in combat after previous tours in Afghanistan and Iraq…

…Frazier wanted to be a police officer after graduating from high school, but after Sept. 11, he decided he was going to join the Marines, Mallin said. His mother, Shelia Cutshall, tried to talk him out of it. So did Mallin. They told him not to make a rash decision in anger. They told him to wait a year.

Ten months later, Frazier told them he was still determined to become a Marine. His elder brother, who works for a defense contractor, also tried to persuade his brother to pursue jobs with the Marines that might reduce the risks of combat. But that was not for him.

“He wanted to be an infantryman. He wanted to be a grunt,” Mallin said. In telephone calls and notes from Iraq, he expressed concern about the men in his unit with wives and children. “You got the sense that if he could, he would send them home,” Mallin said. “He really was quite honorable and passionate about what he did.”

Mallin said his younger brother was “fed up” by the mounting doubts expressed back home. After returning from a seven-month tour in April, he began lobbying to go back.

“He begged. He pleaded. He asked for transfers,” Mallin said. “Everybody in the family wanted to talk him out of it. But they knew they couldn’t.”

More from the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star:

Aaron Mallin, 29, Frazier’s older brother, said Josh was proud of the difference he was making in Iraq. He once told Mallin, for instance, that his unit was serving in what has been described as the most dangerous intersection in the world.

Since Frazier and his fellow Marines moved in, he told Mallin, people could once again cross the street without being killed.

“And he was very proud of that,” Mallin said.

Dad Rick Frazier said his son’s strong will was what made him unique.

“That helped him get through life. He worked very hard at being an individual. But I think the most important thing I can say about my son was that he loved his family and we’ll sorely miss that part of him,” he said.

“He believed in the United States and believed what he was doing was right. He gave his life for what he thought was the right thing to do.”

Now, meet Seaman Manuel Ruiz:

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Seaman Manuel Ruiz, 21, from Maryland’s Eastern Shore was among seven people killed when a Marine transport helicopter crashed in Anbar province Wednesday, his family said…

…In Ruiz’s hometown of Federalsburg, a farm community of 2,600, friends and neighbors tied red, white and blue ribbons to lampposts yesterday, and officials made plans to lower flags in his honor. But the gestures seemed inadequate.

“Our hearts are broken,” said Connie Blanchard, who works in the town hall accounting office. “He was a very brave and courageous guy.”

Ruiz, whose mother, Lisa, also served in the Navy, was 14 days into his second tour in Iraq when he died, said Adam Lusk, a family friend who fought back tears as he described Ruiz’s dedication to his job, helping to save lives. “He pretty much demanded to go back.”

In a small town where young people often seek the military life as a way to broaden their horizons, Ruiz also stood out as a talented and sensitive artist, said Marjorie Scott, who was Ruiz’s art teacher during his four years at Colonel Richardson High School. When he was back from his first tour, Ruiz visited the school in his Navy uniform.

“Any time he talked about the military, his eyes glistened,” she said. She said she had worried about him, but he assured her that he was fulfilling his calling. He was assigned to Camp Lejeune, N.C.

“He was well-trained, and he loved what he was doing,” Scott said.

More from WMDT:

It’s the phone call military parents don’t ever want to get, the call saying their son or daughter has been killed in the line of duty. Last night, a Federalsburg family got that call. Today, they are full of sorrow, but also full of pride as they remember Manuel Ruiz.

Lisa Ruiz, the mother of Manuel Ruiz, says “he was proud of what he was doing. He was happy, he loved his job.”

He was killed in a helicopter crash near Baghdad on Wednesday. He was a helicopter medic and was just beginning his second tour.

“He wasn’t on the list to go back, but he made them put him on that list.”

…”He knew he was serving his country, we’re proud of him.”

And meet Marine Cpl. Jennifer M. Parcell:

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Marine Cpl. Jennifer M. Parcell 20, of Bel Air, Md., died Wednesday in Anbar province in what the Defense Department described as “supporting combat operations.”

Capital News Service reports:

A landing support specialist for 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Parcell often assisted in transferring supplies, food and ammunition.

Wednesday evening, her family was told by Marine officials that she was killed along with other Marines by a suicide bomber during a sensitive mission at a military checkpoint, said Ray Fender, a spokesman for the family.

Though the family does not know the details of what occurred, Fender said they were told Parcell was searching Iraqi women for explosives and had been able to detect a bomber.

The family wishes the Iraqi people no malice, Fender said. Their Christian beliefs dictate reaching out in love to them.

“We do not believe that Jenny’s life was taken. We believe that her life was given,” Fender said. “She was a good kid. Anyone would love to have her as their daughter.”

He called her “a good Marine” and said, “We’re so proud of what she’s done to serve with her country.”

Parcell attended middle school in Bel Air, Atwood said, and graduated from Fallston High School in 2004.

In late June 2004, she followed in the footsteps of her older brother Marine Cpl. Joseph “Joey” Parcell, 24, and enlisted in the Marines. She pursued college courses at Hartford Community College in Bel Air, before departing for boot camp on Jan. 2, 2005.

Determined to complete her college education, Parcell continued online study from her foreign posts, even while in Iraq, Fender said…

…A longtime member of Mount Calvary Free Will Baptist Church in Aberdeen, Parcell often volunteered in the nursery and helped prepare congregational dinners with her aunt, Martha Benton, a secretary in the church, Atwood said.

What do you call these troops, William Arkin?

Not “mercenaries.”

Not “arrogant and intolerant.”

The word is “patriots.”

Patriots.

In our house, we thank God for them every night.

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