February 17th, 2012
11:36 AM ET

Marines visit wounded buddies

By Barbara Starr and Jennifer Rizzo

"Hey my man! My man! How you doing? "What's up brother?"

A jumble of voices, emotions, hugs and tears fill the hospital room of Marine Cpl. Christian Brown as fellow Marines from his Bravo Company enter. They haven't seen Brown since December when he stepped on an improvised explosive device in southern Afghanistan and was evacuated by helicopter under fire.

CNN was given exclusive access to this reunion of the Marines of Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 6th Marines Regimental Combat Team at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center outside Washington.

Some 170 Marines from the company returned from a seven-month tour of duty last month. During the tour, one Marine was killed and 16 Marines were seriously wounded. Capt. Paul Tremblay, the company commander, organized the reunion because he thought it would help his men, and himself, heal from the trauma of seeing so many injured.

Tremblay talked to CNN just after seeing Brown, describing how the tour of duty flashed before his eyes during the emotional reunion.

"From seeing him on the ground injured, to seeing the medevac birds take off, to seeing multiple casualties on this deployment. It all kind of happened walking through that door," he said.

Lance Cpl. Jake Fox lost his leg when he stepped on an IED. In the rehab workout area, he described what it meant to see his buddies again.

"To let them know that I'm OK and I'm being taken care of. Because when you put me on the bird, you don't know if I'm going to die on the helicopter or what's going to happen to me once I get back here. So I think it's great for them to come up here and see me doing well and see me being taken care of," Fox said.

Brown, still bedridden, expressed relief at seeing his fellow Marines again.

"It's good just to see them and know they are OK," he said.

Other Marines standing in the room echoed Brown's statement when asked what it's like to finally reunite.

"It's amazing. I can't describe it. I heard he got hurt and I was down the whole week, the whole time till I got back and got to see him and I can't even express how it feels to see Brown right now," said Cpl. George Godwin.

It's the simple act of seeing a wounded buddy face-to-face. "You hear about them getting hurt but you don't see them again. It's like he disappeared," Lance Cpl. Dustin Phelps said.

But now the men of Bravo are back together.

soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. jACKSON

    Welcome home boys, and God speed Cpl. Brown. My heartfelt thanks for your selfless service.

    February 20, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Reply
  2. Gop21

    And its great they get to see their buddy. Donate to the Wounded Warrior Foundation

    February 20, 2012 at 8:40 am | Reply
  3. Gop21

    @vance. American's man not America's. Besides everyone forget about terrorists. To everyone who wants to vote Ron Paul DONT. His isolationist policy will leave us with no allies. Hypothetically speaking N.Korea, Iran decides to attack American interests abroad. With China and Russia providing logistical support. Ron Paul would have already effectively burned every bridge we had so we are f u c k e d

    February 20, 2012 at 8:38 am | Reply
  4. mipolitic

    thank you for your honourable brave service

    February 19, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Reply
  5. Ranger830

    Welcome home Bravo co. Semper Fi!!! Unless you have been there done that and got the teeshirt, It is hard for the average civi to understand the bond that is formed in combat! RLTW Former 68/w 1/75th US.ARMY RANGERS!!!!

    February 19, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Reply
  6. RetiredVet

    We need more news like this CNN, not all day coverage of Whitney Houston's death. Servicemen and women have done more with their lives than some has been singer who died in a hotel bathtub from drugs and alcohol.

    February 18, 2012 at 9:49 am | Reply
    • Thirsty

      I agree. We should take a page from the Vietnam era and show the footage of young Americans, writhing in agony as they're loaded onto stretchers and choppers into our homes on a daily basis at supper time.

      February 18, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Reply
    • Vince

      Many America's are not aware: war in Afghanistan, numbers of dead and wounded, the economy is falling, the Nobles (wealthy) continue to leap forward financially, blue collar's continue to slip downward. Thanks for the faithful, those who will never forget true friends in war. those who will remember for a life time those who paid with blood, those who take care of their own. Good job Skipper: Lead from the front, lead by example simple traits of all Marines. Semper Fi from Afghanistan.

      February 18, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Reply
    • J. Edgar Homo

      Yeah, well at least Whitney wasn't a drain on the economy – unlike this limbless gimp. Poor prick was mutilated for nothing.

      For nothing.

      February 19, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Reply
      • Kristina S.

        Are you kidding? You heartless bastard he sacrificed his life and well being for our freedom. Show some respect.

        February 21, 2012 at 11:00 am |
  7. USA Forever

    What a mess.

    Bring our children home.

    Support our troops by not voting for Obama.

    Le't take care of America first!!

    February 18, 2012 at 6:49 am | Reply
    • Beelzabubba

      Hmmmm......I thought Obama was the guy who's bringing them home. What am I missing here?

      February 18, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Reply
  8. ray gibbs

    Bonded Brothers . War . its Costs . Salutes

    February 17, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Reply
  9. Hahahahahaha

    Towel foiled again in the Capitol. Hahahahahaha

    February 17, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Reply

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