The “Betio Bastards” are serving eviction notices to unwanted insurgents in Iraqi neighborhoods here.
Marines with “Betio Bastards” of Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment are moving their foot patrols house to house in a continuous effort to kick the insurgency out of local Iraqi neighborhoods.
“We’re dealing with an enemy that disguises themselves within the local populace,” said Sgt. Roberto A. Mendez, Jr., a section leader with 81 mm Mortar Platoon.
So, the 21-year-old from Yonkers, N.Y., and other mortarman under Regimental Combat Team 5 are going door-to-door looking for bad guys. So far it’s sending a message.
“It’s letting the neighborhood know that we’re trying to stop the insurgency and keep them safe,” said Pfc. Ryan L. Ward, also a mortarman with 81mm Mortar Platoon.
The 19 year old from Baxter, Tenn., said Iraqis are also becoming a lot friendlier.
“When we come around, Iraqis come out here more,” Ward said.
He noticed that people are a lot happier since the first day he and his Marines stepped foot into the area. They sometimes wave, smile and greet Marines from their homes.
“We know that we’re winning hearts and minds and they’re winning ours,” Mendez said.
They even invite Marines to stay at their house. Marines talk to them and find out that there are many Iraqis being affected by insurgent attacks.
By Lance Cpl. Ray Lewis