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Marine's Dad: My Son and His Navy SEAL Pal Made Ultimate Sacrifice

By    |   Thursday, 28 May 2015 04:53 PM

If any story can tell of the ultimate sacrifice today's young soldiers are ready to give in the service of their country, it's the heart-wrenching tale of U.S. Marine Travis Manion and U.S. Navy SEAL Brendan Looney.

And Manion's father tells Newsmax TV that Travis and Brendan represent "an entire young generation of men and women" who made the commitment to selflessly fight terrorism following the after the 9/11 attacks.

"Both these guys inspire me to get up every day and continue to try to do something in honor of them, to try to make the world a better place and turn a horrible negative into a positive," Tom Manion, a retired Marine Corps colonel, said Thursday on "The Steve Malzberg Show."

Story continues below video.

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Manion is co-author of "Brothers Forever: The Enduring Bond between a Marine and a Navy SEAL that Transcended Their Ultimate Sacrifice," written with Tom Sileo and published by Da Capo Press.

The book follows Travis and Brendan — both former high-school football players — who met in 2001 when they served as midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy, and quickly became best friends and roommates.

Travis went on to join the Marines like his dad, while Brendan opted to become a U.S. Navy SEAL — and both paid the ultimate price in defending freedom.

Travis died on April 29, 2007, at age 26, while fighting in Iraq; Looney was killed in a chopper crash in Afghanistan on Sept. 21, 2010, at age 29. Both are now buried next to each other at Arlington National Cemetery.

"I know Brendan and Travis would agree that their story is just a representation of all the incredible things that are being done on our behalf by these brave men and women," Manion said.

"These young men and women are volunteering and we've been in … conflict longer than any time in our nation's history. [It's been waged] since 2001 and we still have men and women in harm's way in Afghanistan and Iraq and who knows where else. We ask a lot from them.

"They're in the combat zone one day, the next day, they're home, and then we ask them to go back and we ask them again and again and again."

In honor of his son, Manion has created The Travis Manion Foundation to "support our military, the families of the fallen and to help create the next generation of leaders."

"We work with our veterans, the families of the fallen, and we have a character program where we get out to schools with veterans and talk about character and leadership," Manion told Steve Malzberg.

"What better group than this group today? They talk about all the challenges they have and there are a lot of challenges there, but they're also an incredible inspiration."

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If any story can tell of the ultimate sacrifice today's young soldiers are ready to give in the service of their country, it's the heart-wrenching tale of U.S. Marine Travis Manion and U.S. Navy SEAL Brendan Looney.
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2015-53-28
Thursday, 28 May 2015 04:53 PM
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