Diatribes of a Knucklehead
During February of 2002 Animal Company 1/7 arrived at the Bn HQ, on Cam Schwab (Okinawa) and Marines working for US Customs held an inspection of the Marines and Docs (selected randomly).
On a “dare” one of our knuckleheads decided to remove a flotation device from under his seat of the civilian airliner. Once the military police found this it become a huge deal. This incident would be reported all the way up the chain of command on Okinawa; not a good way to start deployment.
Lance Corporal (LCpl) Javier Bejar was about to be promoted to Corporal (Cpl), but due to his unwise decision, a federal offense, he would not be promoted, in fact he would be demoted to PFC (Private First Class).
I remember this story very well, because I have told it a million times. Every time a Marine or Corpsman got into trouble while under my charge, they got this talk. I will tell you the story, just like I have told many of those who needed to know, it could always be worse.
Let me tell you a story about Cpl Bejar -Rivera. He received Bn NJP (Non-Judicial Punishment) in February of 2002 and was reduced to the rank of PFC. In the next year accomplished the following:
While in Thailand during Operation Cobra Gold PFC Bejar’s Platoon command element were removed (by evaluators) from a helicopter raid; he took charge of the raid and led an entire platoon through the raid and extract. Due to his actions, he was Meritoriously Promoted to Lance Corporal. He continued to excel as shown below:
Company Marine of the Quarter (winner)
Battalion Marine of the Quarter (winner)
Regimental Marine of the Quarter (winner)
Division Marine of the Quarter (second place)
While in Kuwait, awaiting orders to invade Iraq (2003), he was the first Combat Promotion in the First Marine Division; meritorious Cpl.
He became an American Citizen while we were deployed to An Najaf, Iraq. He continued to excel until he was discharged.
After discharge Javier became a police officer with the Reedley Police Department in Reedley, California.
He was killed in the line of duty in March of 2010.
His funeral was conducted by a joint police/Marine honor guard.
Marines and Corpsmen flew in from all over the US to attend his funeral. He had been an illegal immigrant who became a US Marine, then a US citizen and then a Police officer. He gave his life so others may live.
This is a great example of an amazing AMERICAN.
Javier was one of the nicest people I have ever known; he was always smiling. RIP my young warrior friend. Javier is a good example of the type of men we had in Animal Company.
image: Javier’s Funeral Pamphlet.
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