A U.S. Marine Corps athlete participates in the 2019 Marine Corps Trials track competition at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, March 4, 2019. (U.S. Marine Corps/Cpl. Samantha Bray)
CAMP PENDLETON — Gunnery Sgt. Steven McKay spun his wheelchair around amid a sea of swarming defenders to score from the paint.
With spectators screaming "Go Marines!" from the bleachers at the field house, wheelchairs clashed, arms tangled and the race was on to the other side of the court where a player from the Defense Forces of Georgia scored a quick basket.
After two 20-minute halves, the Georgian wheelchair basketball team reigned supreme, winning 27-19 and securing the gold medal in the ninth annual Marine Corps Trials.
"It's disheartening," McKay, 33, of Fallbrook said Wednesday, March 6, after losing the game as a member of Wounded Warrior Battalion — West at Camp Pendleton. "At the same time, it was a good competition. They made better decisions. We made some mistakes and they capitalized on that and the score shows it."
A Native American veteran holds an eagle staff, the traditional "flag" of the Yakama Nation, during Lance Cpl. Joe Jackson's funeral May 4, 2011, at Tahoma Cemetery. (U.S. Marine Corps/Cpl. Jad Sleiman)
On a cold February afternoon, a handful of pallbearers pulled the casket of Frankie Reye Alexander from a hearse and placed it over his final resting place at Tahoma Cemetery.
A traditional song, "Soldier Boy," echoed from a pair of Yakamas who sang to the beat of a deerskin drum.
About 20 members of the Yakama Warriors Association stood at attention under a gray sky as they gave Alexander his final salute. Seven Warriors raised their rifles and fired three shots. Other Warriors formed a color guard, and one handed a folded United States flag to a member of Alexander's family.
Alexander, a Yakama, faced combat in Vietnam and later became a Seattle police officer before returning to the Yakama reservation. He died Jan. 12 at age 73.
French Consul General Emmanuel Lebrun-Damiens, left, honors Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler, and Alek Skarlatos during a French Naturalization Ceremony in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019. (Associated Press/Randall Benton)
The three Americans who thwarted a terrorist attack on a Paris-bound train in 2015 were granted French citizenship on Thursday during a special naturalization ceremony in California, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Capt. Rosemary Mariner died Jan. 24, 2018. (Courtesy of Mariner family)
VIRGINIA BEACH -- Navy Cmdr. Stacy "Stigs" Uttecht was 15 years old in April 1993 when the military said it would allow women to fly combat aircraft.
Until this week, Uttecht, commanding officer of Strike Fighter Squadron 32, the Naval Air Station Oceana-based "Fighting Swordsmen," hadn't given much thought to yesterday's policies or women like Capt. Rosemary Mariner who fought for her ability to be there.
"I did not know who was behind it," Uttecht said. "I didn't know what women had been fighting for that."
Mariner, 65, died Jan. 24. A sort of unintentional pioneer whose many firsts helped lay a foundation for thousands of military women, she will be honored with the Navy's first all-female Missing Man flyover during a memorial service Saturday afternoon outside Maynardville, Tenn.