Middleburg Marine vet advocating for bill to help fellow Beirut attack victims

Middleburg Marine vet advocating for bill to help fellow Beirut attack victims

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Middleburg veteran who survived a terrorist attack in Beirut 36 years ago wants to make sure the families of his fallen fellow Marines don’t get left behind.

Henry Linkkila said he’s worried a bill introduced in Congress to help them will be forgotten.

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On Oct. 23, 1983, terrorists suspected of being sponsored by the government of Iran bombed the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, killing 241 American service members.

Linkkila was so close to the explosion, his hearing never fully recovered. He was 17 years old.

“It was tough, I can tell you. Something a 17-year-old man shouldn’t have to go through. It changed my life completely,” said Linkkila.

Now he wants to bring attention to the OORAH Act, which uses the Marines’ chant as an acronym for Our Obligation to Recognize American Heroes.

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Thirty-six years after the bombing, the bill aims to make additional Iranian money available in compensation to the victims of the terrorist attack sponsored by the Iranian government.

“I mean, Congress is doing nothing, ever, anywhere. They’re not doing anything. I mean, this is important,” said Linkkila.

It can't bring his fallen brothers back, but Linkkila said the bill is a step toward justice.
The OORAH Act was introduced in Congress on May 16.

U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz, who represents part of St. Johns County, is a co-sponsor.

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