A disturbing and infuriating situation has arisen. Apparently, under the “leadership” of CDR Renee Richardson, USN – head of the Department of Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel, the US Navy has decided NOT to repatriate the bodies of US Navy sailors interred in Tripoli. These men were sailors from USS Intrepid who lost their lives in an attack against the Barbary pirates.
United States Navy Master Commandant Richard Somers was one of the first officers to enlist in the new Navy at the turn of the 19th Century. The young officer and his men fought gallantly in America’s first naval war against the States of North Africa. He died with his 12-man crew of the USS Intrepid on September 4, 1804 while engaged in a secret mission during the Battle of Tripoli.
Today the first Navy commandos lie abandoned in mass graves in a foreign land.
When their bodies washed up on the shores of Tripoli, the bashaw – the king of the pirates – invited a pack of dogs to devour them as American prisoners of war looked on. These 13 naval heroes remain buried today in mass graves in Libya.
This nation has ample resources to repatriate the remains of these brave sailors to their United States, and see them buried with full military honors. Yet, our own Navy, under the leadership of CDR Richardson, has chosen to abandon their bones to the soil of a foreign land, a land that has, more often than not, been hostile to our nation.
That this slight to these sailors should take place should not surprise anyone who has seen the demise of tradition and honor under recent CNO’s. Those Navy leaders placed diversity above warfighting, and have chosen to expand their own “diversity enterprise” at Millington while discharging competent Petty Officers from the fleet to “trim the budget”.
This Navy has chosen to also abandon the former USS Olympia, the last surviving warship of the Great White Fleet to it’s likely demise of either being sent to the breakers, or sunk at sea.
We are throwing good money down the black hole of shipbuilding on such un-needed and inefficient platforms as LCS & DDG-1000, yet we can’t find the funds to bring a few good men home. Big Navy has more admirals per sailor than at any point in our history, more staffs and Make-Work commands than ever before, yet we can’t save USS Olympia, the last of her kind.
CDR Salamander has an excellent piece about this, and I encourage all of you to take a few minutes and read his article. When you’ve finished, call your Congress Critter(s) and give them a piece of your mind regarding this situation.
The men of USS Intrepid have lain in foreign soil long enough. It’s time to bring them home.