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Feb-19-2012 18:26printcommentsVideo

Remembering Fallen Marine Lance Corporal Osbrany Montes De Oca

"Our lives begin to end the day we remain silent about things that matter." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Edited by Coral Anika Theill

Marine Lance Corporal Osbrany Montes De Oca
Marine Lance Corporal Osbrany Montes De Oca, 20, died February 10, 2012, while conducting combat operations with Operation Enduring Freedom in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C. He was from North Arlington, N.J.
Courtesy: S.P. Sullivan/

(UNIONTOWN, Pa.) - Lance Corporal Osbrany Montes De Oca of North Arlington, New Jersey died February 10th while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

LCpl Montes De Oca

He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C. LCpl Osbrany Montes De Oca, 20, was killed in the most dangerous part of Afghanistan, the Helmand Province, where hundreds of Americans have lost their lives. He had just walked off base when he was shot by a sniper bullet in the back. Many of you might be thinking "who is this Marine?" What happened to this hard-charging young man who wanted nothing more than to serve his country while making his family proud? What about the men and women who serve this beautiful country? What about the war overseas that has been going on for over a decade now? What about US?

Our daily news is often consumed with the passing of a celebrity, a professional athlete who sprained an ankle or the purchase of a ten million dollar home by a wealthy American. It is sad when someone passes away, I am not arguing that. The point I want to make is that the passing of LCpl Montes De Oca received no recognition outside his home town. He was a hero and he gave his life so that people here in the United States can live freely, without distraction. When we fail to acknowledge the sacrifices of our service members, and this happens every week, we are sending a message to those who give up their lives for our freedom, that they are valued less than the celebrities.

These young men and women who serve the United States of America were not drafted, were not forced to face an enemy who hides behind children, they VOLUNTEERED. It was their choice to put themselves in harm's way to make sure their families and friends are safe. Without these brave individuals, celebrities would not have a place to display their talents. Our home here in America would not exist; we would not be able to live as freely as we do.

Our lives are constantly bombarded by television shows, magazines, and newspaper articles about the few wealthy and famous citizens who, in everyone else's eyes, shape our country and make America what it is today. The celebrities in our country do deserve credit; they are famous for a reason. But there is a difference between a hero and a pop star or an athlete.

On Tuesday, February 14, 2012, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey ordered flags be flown half-staff at state government buildings Saturday, the day the funeral services were held for Whitney Houston. Nation-wide this devastating news has made the front page of almost every newspaper across America. I am sorry Whitney died, but she did not do it fighting for you or for me. Our flag stands for freedom and the people who FOUGHT for it.

Those serving in the military go into harm’s way to do battle, not for you, not for the government. They go into battle because every one of them has written a blank check in the amount up to and including their life to protect the American way of life and to give others the chance to experience it. They fight for the brothers and sisters around them. They fight because that is what is asked of them. It is sad that the sacrifices, heroics and hard work by our military members go unnoticed by the media and the American public.

"Sacrifice" by Mike Corrado, a U.S. Marine Video is dedicated to the memories of LCpl Brian Medina, LCpl Nick Kirven, Cpl Ricky Schoener, LCpl BJay Leusink, Sgt David Christoff, and Sgt Ryan Lane; who gave their lives in defense of their country and became true heroes.


We have members of our armed forces dying every day, yet no one wants to report it simply because people do not find it as interesting as other everyday news. We need to make a change. We owe it to our country and to the brave individuals who give their life for people they do not even know. I want our citizens to take a stand and start recognizing these warriors. We owe it to them to honor their lives and to honor their families for raising such brave hard-working Americans. President Calvin Coolidge once said, "A nation that forgets its heroes is a nation destined to be forgotten."

We must never forget the sacrifices of all the heroic men and valiant women who serve our country. When you see a flag half-staff, remember a fallen hero. When you think about your rights - to say what you want and do what you want - think about your freedoms and thank a vet.

Honor the Fallen - Military Times

American Heroes:

Corporal's Leadership Course Graduation Class - January 16, 2012

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, MD

Cpl Brandon Rumbaugh's Interview

United States Marine Corps Brings Leadership Courses to Wounded Warriors - Coral Anika Theill

Cpl. Brandon C. Rumbaugh rolls down the
graduation line at the Walter Reed National Military
Medical Center Bethesda, Md., Jan. 16. Rumbaugh
was the distinguished honor graduate for the first
Wounded Warrior Detachment corporals course.
Photo by Lance Cpl. Daniel A. Wetzel

Editor's Note: Corporal Brandon Rumbaugh, 22, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, joined the Marines in November 2007 with only one goal – be the best Marine he could possibly be. He achieved that goal.

Cpl Rumbaugh became a squad leader.

He redeployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan in September 2010, with the 1ST BATTALION, 8TH MARINES. Cpl Rumbaugh, while conducting combat operations, was severely wounded on November 29, 2010 when he hit an IED, suffering one above the knee and one below the knee amputation.

When Lance Corporal Richie Chavis stepped on an IED in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, Cpl Rumbaugh grabbed a stretcher and rushed toward him. Rumbaugh stepped on another IED causing the blast which injured him.

Cpl Rumbaugh is determined to help other Marines prepare for combat and has aspirations to move to North Carolina to help train Marines at the School of Infantry at Camp Geiger. In November 2011, Cpl Brandon Rumbaugh was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation with Combat "V".

Cpl Rumbaugh says:

I have no regrets. Both of us lived. If I had hesitated, my friend may have died. I wouldn't take any of it back. I believe we have to live our lives, with all that is hard and painful, even though you can never know why things happen. The important task is to still find a way to choose life, every day!

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

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Dark Night of the Soul June 6, 2012 11:36 am (Pacific time)

Corporal Rumbaugh,thank you for the article honoring Marine Lance Corporal Osbrany Montes De Oca, and thank you as well for your own service and sacrificial love for your comrades. "Greater love has no man than he lay down his life for his friend". That's speaks volumes for the comaraderie and self sacrifice between men involved in active combat.Each and every life is of inesteemable value precious. I agree that the American public needs a wake up call and reality check about whats really important and meaningful in life. Thank you for reminding people of that.

Dark Night of the Soul May 29, 2012 10:08 pm (Pacific time)

So young to have left this live so soon. Thanks to Ms. Theill for speaking the words in behalf of Corporal Rumbaugh that announce to the world his life had real meaning, even apart from his military career, as brief and short lived as it was. RIP Corporal.

LtCol R. L. Cody, USMC (Ret) February 28, 2012 11:40 am (Pacific time)

Thank you, Corporal Rumbaugh. Your article is inspiring. SEMPER FI! LtCol R. L. (Bill) Cody, USMC (Retired)

Col & Mrs Stowe USMC(Ret) February 26, 2012 6:51 am (Pacific time)

Outstanding article. Keep up the good work. God Bless you and Semper Fi Marine.

Art Warren, MSgt USMC Retd February 25, 2012 8:11 am (Pacific time)

Outstanding!!!!!!!!!!!!! SEMPER FI 

Mark Painter February 21, 2012 7:28 pm (Pacific time)

Thank you Corporal Rumbaugh. Thank you for your loyality to the Corps and Country, Thank you for your loyality to your brothers and thank you for a very well written article that will surely make its way across our great nation. Maybe it will help get this country's priorities straight. Semper Fidelis, brother!

Patty February 21, 2012 4:48 pm (Pacific time)

Good Work! Keep on writing, Corporal! Thanks for your service.

Jess Phillips Jr February 21, 2012 12:30 pm (Pacific time)

Corporal Brandon Rumbaugh, thanks for your Salem News article. Your article reminds me (us) that our priorities in this country are misplaced.

I, like millions of Americans, loved the way Ms. Houston sang; she had a special talent that will not be soon forgotten. But when I heard that Governor Christie had ordered flags in New Jersey be flown at half-mask in honor of Ms. Houston, I was surprised. I could not recall any state governor honoring a pop star in such a way. My surprise turned into to disappointment when I also learned that Lance Corporal Osbrany Montes De Oca of North Arlington, New Jersey who died on February 10th was not granted the same honor by Governor Christie.

Where are our priorities? We send these young men off to far off lands to fight for our freedom and then when they're killed or wounded they barely get a mention from state governors. These comments are not intended to take anything away from Ms. Houston. Its intended to reminded all of us to give these young men and women who give their limbs and lives for us more respect and support.

Corporal Rumbaugh, its too late to thank Corporal De Oca for his sacrifice on our behalf, but its not too late to thank you. So on behalf of all of us... Thank you! Your service and your sacrifice on our behalf are much appreciated.

You are a talented writer. I hope you consider writing a book about your military experiences over the past few years.

Thanks also to Tim King and Coral Theill.

Jason Monroe February 21, 2012 9:42 am (Pacific time)

Well done, Cpl Rumbaugh. You speak for many. Thanks for bringing the nation's attention to this matter.

Nina Jasmann February 20, 2012 7:01 pm (Pacific time)

Thank you for putting into words (and sharing them with others) the troublesome reality of a country so tuned out on our military’s dedication and sacrifice. It has been said that “Our military is at war; America is at the mall”. In your article, you have skillfully expressed what many people feel...that our leaders have failed to acknowledge the courage and backbone of our troops. I applaud your spirit in going forward with your life in such a meaningful way. God bless you. - Nina Jasmann 2/20/12

William Wood February 20, 2012 3:35 pm (Pacific time)

Excellent article. Patriotism expressed in word and deed.

stephen February 20, 2012 3:29 pm (Pacific time)

my posts are not showing up..I give up...I tried. ah well, lets move on I suppose. I thought what I posted was important, I can share other places I suppose..but grr. :-)

DJ: Stephen: I just counted 16 of your comments over the last few days under three different IPs. I think your problem is you lose track of what you post and where you post it.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       TK: Stephen, I am going to be very careful about all comments on this story, I want everything to stay on topic, thanks.

Jayne Devlin, Montana February 20, 2012 3:00 pm (Pacific time)

Thank you, Thank you, Thank You for expressing so eloquently my feelings on service to our country and flying the flag at half mast. Two of my sons served in Iraq and I am very proud of them. I am also very glad to have them home and feel great empathy for those who cannot see or talk to their loved ones again.

Anonymous February 20, 2012 2:15 pm (Pacific time)

My God people, you bring tears to my eyes!  I often insult veterans but this time I have to say, I am humbled.  I wish I had lived my life differently, but I evaded the Vietnam War and sometimes wonder if it was a good idea. Later I became successful and a big supporter of the Bush administration, which I still am.  He was a draft dodger too but became the president, so I don't feel that bad. 

amandablack February 20, 2012 11:01 am (Pacific time)

"Our lives begin to end the day we remain silent about things that matter." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. No further coment neccessary

Jayne February 20, 2012 9:53 am (Pacific time)

Thank you, Thank you, Thank You for expressing so eloquently my feelings on service to our country and flying the flag at half mast. Two of my sons served in Iraq and I am very proud of them. I am also very glad to have them home and feel great empathy for those who cannot see or talk to their loved ones again.

B. K. Jackson, USMC, SgtMaj (Ret) February 20, 2012 9:49 am (Pacific time)

It is a travesty for sure. People simply are jaded by celebrity status. If you are a rock star, you are golden. If you are a service member protecting the freedoms of the rock star, you are the doormat. That's they way it has always been. - B. K. Jackson, USMC, SgtMaj (Ret)

Vietnam Vet and Retired Police Offic February 20, 2012 9:40 am (Pacific time)

I too was incensed about Gov. Christy's flag order. All my life I believed that was a special honor, reserved for those indivduals that have served our country. Whitney Houston died serving drugs. She never held public office or was in the military. There may come a time when brave young men and women will realize that the people that worship at the feet of celebrities are no longer worthy of their sacrifices and just quit. Atlas Shrugged will come home to roost. Thank you Marine, from a Vietnam vet and retired police officer- We have served.

GySgt. and Mrs. Charles Luedke, USMC February 20, 2012 9:33 am (Pacific time)

What a great article! It is so interesting and we truly learned a lot! Keep up the good work! --Semper Fi, GySgt. and Mrs. Charles Luedke, USMC (Ret)

MSgt of Marines. MSgt Hodges February 20, 2012 7:05 am (Pacific time)

Awesome article! Had me sitting here with tears in my eyes watching the video. You both did a great job and hit the nail on the head and expressed the feeling of so many of us Marines over here in Afghanistan. - MSgt of Marines. MSgt Hodges

Gordon February 20, 2012 4:40 am (Pacific time)

"Greater love has no man than he lay down his life for another." Well said Corporal! S/F

Tim King February 19, 2012 10:21 pm (Pacific time)

One of the media's most significant problems is a distinct and obvious lack of military veterans in its ranks. Another problem is a seeming inability to tell the often uncomfortable truth. This is why Marines make the best writers on this planet and in my book, Brandon- this one's straight to you, you are right there with this pack of 14 former and current Marine writers, I strongly hope you continue writing, you have a group of brothers on this site and the door is wide open. Semper fi Marine.

Robey Gulledge February 19, 2012 8:32 pm (Pacific time)

Like it or not, our military has become the worlds policeman and as a retired police officer and Vietnam vet, you are never appreciated until they need you. Thank you, Marine.

Dawn Thom February 19, 2012 10:06 pm (Pacific time)

Corporal Brandon Rumbaugh, USMC, you did a great job in writing and I think you could very well become an author. Your article brought tears to my eyes and I want to thank you for being a hero and for fighting to save the American way of life. Thank you Corporal!! - Dawn Thom

Eric Ledger February 19, 2012 9:35 pm (Pacific time)

Our Freedoms are protected by so few; while very few others are willing to do the heavy lifting.

Chaps February 19, 2012 8:22 pm (Pacific time)

Great article and all too true. A genuine New Jersey hero is unnoticed outside his home town. That is a disgrace to the State. Thank you, Cpl Rumbaugh. Your thoughts and words show that you are indeed Semper Fidelis.

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

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