MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- “Fighting street by street and building to building, the Marines slugged it out, pushing the enemy back and taking losses all along the way.
This is the story of the battle for ‘The Nas,’ as seen through the eyes of those who were there: Marines, soldiers and newsmen who made it through those terrible seven days …”
The prominent military historian, who wrote the book from which this passage was derived, visited with 2nd Marine Division personnel here, June 6.
Richard S. Lowry, Navy Vietnam War veteran and author of such works as the Gulf War Chronicles, spoke with Marines of 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment about his book, “Marines in the Garden of Eden.”
The text tells the story of how the famed fight for An Nasariyah began and the Marines’ subsequent role in the bloody battle during March 2003.
Thirty-three members of the Army's 507th Maintenance Company had unknowingly driven directly through Iraqi defenses in and around the ancient desert city, Lowry explained during the meeting and in his article at www.militaryhistoryonline.com/desertstorm/annasiriyah. It was during this time that Jessica Lynch was taken prisoner.
Soon after, the Marines of Task Force Tarawa from 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment lay siege to the city to secure the path to Baghdad and help liberate their trapped Army brethren.
Several days of bloody conflict ensued, after which many Marines and soldiers walked away wounded but highly decorated for valor.
“Everything went wrong that day, yet 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines accomplished their mission,” Lowry stated upon concluding his narrative of the battle.
Following his remarks, several Marines purchased Lowry’s book and had the chance to meet with the historian during an on-site autographing session hosted by the Marine Corps Association.
“It made me look at Charlie Company (1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment) a lot differently, with a lot deeper respect,” said Lance Cpl. Trevaris Chunn, a squad automatic weapon gunner with Company C. “I had no idea my company had done so much during that battle. I’m glad I learned some more history.”
It was Lowry, however, who claimed to feel the deepest sense of respect and gratitude of any in the room.
“I’ve written this book for you, the Marines who were there, the families and the American public, so they can see that you guys made a difference,” he said to the assembled personnel. “I just want to convey my personal appreciation for what you do for me and my family. Thank you very much.”