On Memorial Day, Camp Pendleton unveiled a Vietnam Memorial honoring 2,706 American heroes killed in action (KIA) during the Vietnam War.
The memorial came after Vietnam veterans Steve Colwell and Nick Warr walked the 5th Marine Regiment Memorial Garden over five years ago and found monuments to Iraq and Afghan veterans but none to those from the Vietnam War.
The Orange County Register reports that Colwell, now 72, and Warr, now 74, both fought with the 5th Marines during Vietnam and undertook efforts to make sure a monument for their fallen brothers was added.
The monument was unveiled on Memorial Day 2018, and Warr spoke:
The legacy of the Fighting Fifth Marines during the Vietnam War is unmatched. This new monument is a testament to all those who did not come home, and will serve as a legacy, going forward into the future, for all those wonderful young Marines on active duty. Today you will see that the Marines and sailors on these stones are assembled in their last battalion formations. They fought together in units, and they will stand guard over this place as a unit. We will never forget them.
He asked all Marines and Sailors who served in the 5th Regiment to stand, then called out the name of Staff Sgt. John “Mother” Mullan.
Warr explained, “John single-handedly saved three of our Marines by rushing out in the street under heavy enemy fire and dragging them to safety one at a time. As he then began to assess the situation, a rocket-propelled grenade missed his head by just a few inches, detonated against the wall behind him, throwing him out in the street. An NVA sharpshooter immediately shot John in the head.”
That was February 13, 1968, and Mullan’s wounds were believed to be mortal. Yet, he not only survived, but “raised a wonderful family, went back to college and got his degree, and enjoyed two post-Marine Corps careers.”
He attended the unveiling of the Camp Pendleton memorial, carrying flowers toward the monument’s wall and saying, “This is for the 16 men killed under my command.”
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.