Their fathers paid the ultimate price, and on June 9, 2012, the St. Louis Police SWAT unit played 100 innings of softball to benefit the “Lima Kids.”
MarineParents.com was honored to be part of the event.
Ohio-based Lima Company, part of the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines, suffered one of the heaviest casualty rates during the Battle of Haditha in 2005 in Iraq. The reserve unit was called up in January, had a refresher course at Twentynine Palms and by March its Marines were involved in a full-scale war.
By the end of September, 23 from Lima Company were dead, including 10 in one roadside bombing in August. The fallen heroes were 22 Marines and one Navy Corpsman, and combined they left 15 kids behind and scores of family members.
The St. Louis SWAT team played 100 innings, facing 10 teams for 10 innings each at Aviation Fields in Forest Park. Proceeds from the $250 entry fees, concession and T-shirts all went to the “Lima Kids” benefit.
MarineParents.com donated more than 50 items to be raffled off or given away that day. Included in our donations were five Gold Star sun catchers and 16 Gold Star pins to be given to Lima Company family members who were present. We also sent items including a Marine Corps bible, a USMC bulldog, Semper Gumby, can and bottle koozies, and Red Friday bracelets.
Click here to watch a video about 100 innings
Since the deaths, a traveling painting exhibit called The Lima Company Memorial, The Eyes of Freedom, has traveled around Ohio and other states to honor the Lima heroes. Ohio artist Anita Miller, as the story goes, awoke one night with a vision of the completed paintings, and during the next two and a half years she worked to finish the nine life-size panels.
The exhibit was unveiled in 2008 in the Ohio State House Rotunda, where it stayed for six months.
To learn more, visit The Lima Company Memorial website at http://www.limacompanymemorial.org/