I'm watching one of the redoubtable [that's a good word, btw] town crew members lower the flag on the green to half mast and getting a little wistful. While the news is still incomplete, I understand two Marines were killed in Libya as well. I guess they will remain nameless in the media. Perhaps they haven't completed notifying their families, or they haven't yet located their remains. Maybe it's because reporters and Marines don't go to the same cocktail parties, unlike reporters and ambassadors. Maybe I'm just a big cynic.
The first land-based duty of the USMC was to protect US embassies; it must be difficult to have to trust that considerable job to the local military, especially in light of the shifting allegiances that are often encountered in some parts of the world. While popular entertainment has made a burlesque out of military devotion, and those who practice such are often lampooned as dullards or fascistic simpletons, the truth [if anyone still cares about such a thing] is that they remind me of the best contractors I've retained during my career: They show up on time and with the right equipment to get a job done. They use every bit of experience, ingenuity, and just plain muscle to complete what it is they have been hired to do. As the military's job is one that encounters mortality and all of its horror, they also tend to form a tight community of trust and mutual respect, common to military members throughout history and across cultures.
In the press they are simply, "...and two others."
Update: This really makes it much worse - No Live Ammo for Marines. Swell.