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U.S. Marine Corps Forces Reserve

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Chaplain Called to Action In Response to Tragedies

By U.S. Army Sgt. Andrew Luther | | May 08, 2013

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Chaplain Commander Dale Marta of the 14th Marine Regiment, HQ Battery leads a memorial service, in Agadir, Morocco, in honor of those that lost their lives on April 18 at the West Fertilizer Plant. A similar ceremony was held two days prior in honor of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.

Chaplain Commander Dale Marta of the 14th Marine Regiment, HQ Battery leads a memorial service, in Agadir, Morocco, in honor of those that lost their lives on April 18 at the West Fertilizer Plant. A similar ceremony was held two days prior in honor of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. (Photo by Army Sgt. Andrew Luther)


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AGADIR, Morocco -- Navy Cmdr. Dale Marta, chaplain for 14th Marine Regiment, conducted a memorial service April 17, 2013, to honor those who were killed and injured during the Boston Marathon bombing.

Two days later Chaplain Marta conducted a second memorial service to honor two people killed and the dozen more who sought medical care after a fertilizer plant explosion in Waco, Texas.

"Memorials such as these give us an opportunity to focus on our own mortality,” Marta said. "Not in a morbid way, but as a positive... To teach us to enjoy the love and joy around us."

Marta encouraged the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines present for the services to cherish the time they have with friends and loved ones, and to appreciate the opportunity they have to make both the world and their country a safer place.

Services like these are just one of the duties tasked to military chaplains, who also provide emotional counsel, as well as religious leadership to servicemembers in the field and at their home stations.

The servicemembers held the memorial in Agadir, Morocco, while supporting Exercise African Lion 13. Exercise African Lion is a U.S. Africa Command-scheduled, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Africa- led, joint multi-lateral exercise.

The joint task force consisting of U.S. Marines, soldiers, sailors and airmen were able to conduct modified joint training for Exercise African Lion 13, demonstrating their ability to adapt to unpredicted circumstances, restore mission essential tasks, build interoperability and create friendships during the remaining days of the evolution. The logistics component exercised vigilant, safe and rapid retrograde of almost 1,200 personnel and 250 short-tons of vehicles and equipment while working with Moroccan partners and contractors to sustain the force and redeploy them back to their home stations in a timely and efficient manner.
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