7 Rounds for time:
400 M Run
21 Back Squat (135/93)
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Written by one of our members:
First Lieutenant Travis L. Manion died 5 years ago today from sniper fire sustained while on his final patrol operation in Iraq. He served as the company advisor for the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 1st Iraqi Army Division Military Transition Team, Regimental Combat Team 6 and II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward). He was survived by his mother, father and sister.
On that day, Travis and his combined Iraqi-Marine team were conducting a patrol in a market section of Falljuah on foot with vehicles in support. They were concluding a search of a suspected insurgent house when they came under attack from precision small arms fire. Their corpsman was seriously wounded by sniper fire. The attack quickly escalated to a full-scale ambush. Travis and a fellow Marine raced through the kill zone to retrieve the corpsman and pulled him to safety. Then another Marine advancing to Travis’ position was struck by sniper fire. Travis again moved across the kill zone, under fire by five insurgents, to recover the wounded Marine. Recognizing that they were in a vulnerable situation and needing to establish security, Travis moved from his covered position to engage the large amount of machine gun and rifle fire. Travis maintained his position firing his rifle and grenade launcher as the insurgents grew in numbers, appearing on rooftops directly above his position. Iraqi Army reinforcements were halted by an IED and unable to provide support, leaving Manion and his patrol to take fire from three sides. Through his positioning away from the wounded Marines, he enabled the other Marines and vehicles to establish a more secure position and attend to the wounded. While reloading, Travis was struck directly in the side, severing the main vein to his heart.
Travis graduated in the top 5 of his class from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2004. Wanting to follow in his father’s footsteps, he enlisted in the Marine Corps. He finished at the top of his Basic Officer Training class, and served two tours in Iraq. Travis was a highly regarded soldier. His Iraqi counterparts renamed their operating base Combat Outpost Manion – only two outposts in Iraq are named for Americans. The Basic School in Quantico has dedicated Manion Hall in his honor.
Travis was not the quickest or the most agile athlete, but he was built like an ox, determined to win and lead by example. He was an all-star at every sport he played, an All-American wrestler in high school with the trademark cauliflower ear. He was committed to his studies and was highly driven to succeed. He could have gone to practically any college, but the Naval Academy was his first choice.
What really set Travis Manion apart was the person he was: so caring and outgoing that you might wonder if it was sincere, which it truly, always was. He possessed an infectious warmth; a sort of confidence that wasn’t a swagger – he wasn’t full of himself – but he was proud of who he was and pushed himself to always give everything he did his absolute best. A selfless, charming and natural leader with exemplary character. And above all, brave and fearless.
His family has been very active since in establishing a foundation in his memory that strives to assist veterans and the families of fallen heroes (www.travismanion.com). The motto is “If Not Me, Then Who” which comes from something that he said and no doubt guided him in life. When Travis was on leave, he was leaving an Eagles game in Philly with his brother-in-law who said, jokingly, that if he tripped Travis and he hurt himself Travis would not have to return to Iraq and could stay home. Travis turned to him and said, “Hey Dave, if not me, then who?”
Travis is a hero. His posthumous Silver Star reads “his courageous and deliberate actions inspired the eventual counter attack and ultimately saved the lives of every member of his patrol.”
On Tuesday, April 24th, 2012, after fighting a long battle with cancer, Travis’ mother was reunited with him in heaven.
Thank you for reading Travis’ story and please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers. RIP Travis.