By Mike Russell
(Marine Corps Captain Brian Stann receiving his Silver Star in March 2006 for bravery and leadership in battle)
Today marks the 236th birthday of the United States Marines, and as such, I thought it would be fitting to print an outtake quote from an interview I did with Brian Stann earlier this month for a recent Fighters Only Magazine story.
When talk turned to the growing contingent of MMA fans who have publicly blasted “All American” for memorializing his fallen military brothers and sisters, Stann, a decorated retired Marine said that he makes no apologies for paying them tribute whenever he has a public forum to do so.
“They just don’t understand. I don’t like to say it’s ignorance, because I don’t want to insult anybody, but they aren’t educated or informed about the topic. When guys like me and Tim [Kennedy] talk about the military as much as we do, I like to give compare it to the analogy of being in a serious car crash and losing someone you care about in the accident,” Stann explains. “That incident is going to stick with you the rest of your life and you aren’t ever going to forget it. And you’re probably going to memorialize that person or that event in a lot of different aspects of your life. I’ve seen people run marathons for friends or cousins who they’ve lost to regular everyday tragedies and diseases.”
“Tim and I went to war several times and we’ve experienced the loss of people very close to us and of course we’re going to talk about them and memorialize them and pay tribute to them when we get the opportunity on national TV. I don’t care how many people make fun of us on Twitter or make comments on forums about us being too patriotic or overly pro-military. They aren’t going to stop me from doing that. Period,” he says. “I’ve seen a lot of those [derogatory]comments. I try to stay away from reading things like that on forums and social media. The things I do read are what people tell me about. It has nothing to do with what the war was about or any political or moral stance; it’s simply about the young men and women who volunteered to server their country and were put into a war and didn’t survive. Those memories stick with you for a long time.”
We’ll have more from the interview with Stann next week.
Cage Potato would like to wish the USMC a happy birthday and thank the scores of Marines who have fought for the freedom of citizens from countless countries around the world these past 236 years. Semper Fi!