By: Michael Logue
UNION TOWNSHIP, Ohio — I lay flat on the rooftop, providing security while mortars came in on my location. I counted the time to impact, praying the Lord’s Prayer as I heard the shrapnel tear into the radio tower above me. I was exposed but had to keep my defensive position for our Marine company’s safety. They were hunkered down below me inside a complex we had just taken. As a trained mortar man, I knew the math and results. I counted down the time of flight that could lead to my severe dismemberment or death. All I could do was keep my gun trained on the road entrance, expecting small arms or a suicide vehicle bomb. I must have watched myself die at least a dozen times, but I kept my duty to my Marines.
During my first mission, a rocket-propelled grenade nearly took my head off, and for the next 240 days, we experienced combat on a daily basis. Our work led to voter turnout in Al Anbar province increasing from 1% to 32% in 2005, but at a great cost. Twenty-three Marines of the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines — based out of Cleveland — were killed in action.
After returning from Iraq, I had survivor’s guilt — why those Marines, why not me? I recognized that my service couldn’t end when I returned home and that I needed to live a life that honored the fallen.
While in Iraq, we fought with sub-par equipment — thanks to Clinton-era military cuts — against terrorists whose training came directly from Iran’s Qassem Soleimani. We’d ride in the open bed of Humvees using sandbags and Vietnam-era flak jackets as makeshift armor. Our aluminum amphibious assault vehicles were from the 1970s and should have been replaced in the ’90s.
Fourteen years later, as I remembered one of the bloodiest stretches in Iraq, I got a call from the White House and was asked to greet President Donald Trump in Cincinnati.
At the base of Air Force One’s stairs, my mind raced through memories. From combat to happier ones, like waiting for my beautiful bride and seeing the birth of my two sons — something I never expected to live to see. I thought of the Marines we lost, and the powerful emotions it invoked.
However, when the door opened, I was overcome with calm, as if my fellow Marines were standing there with me.
I told President Trump about Lima Company, the 3rd Battalion, and the ultimate sacrifice so many made. I told him about Soleimani’s role in these attacks and thanked him for rebuilding the military. Not six months later, President Trump had the courage to take Soleimani out. I was proud.
Just as I was focused on my mission to protect my Marines, President Trump is focused on his mission to protect the American Dream. No president in my lifetime has faced the unbridled opposition that President Trump faces, but he refuses to quit – he is doing his duty.
This president has listened to the military and delivered what they needed. President Trump began rebuilding the military the day he took office, and today, military planes are flying again, and the rate of aviation accidents has come to a stop.
As we approach the 2020 election, it is critical that we live up to our duty of honoring the sacrifices of Lima Company. The best way to do that in this coming election is by voting for the person who will protect opportunity and liberty for all Americans, and that person is President Donald Trump.
In 2004, Cpl. Michael Logue’s reserve Marine infantry unit, Lima Company, deployed to Iraq. The unit spent 210 days of their 240-day deployment engaged in combat. Today, he is a business leader and first-term Union Township trustee in Clermont County, Ohio.