Between the bombing and the time Marines would be totally pulled out of Beirut in February 1984 (except for 100 at the embassy who left in August 1984), more Marines were killed or wounded. Stories of bravery and combat valor rivaled those of any other in Marine history from the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli.
Take Sgt Manuel A. "Manny" Cox, for example. He was a squad leader in Golf Co, 2/8. His squad manned Observation Post 76 on 4 Dec. 1983. That was the same day the United States lost two fighter-bombers in air strikes against Syrian targets, with one pilot killed and the other captured.
Cox's squad came under fire by Shiites bent on killing them all and stealing their weapons and ammunition. By all accounts the fighting was ferocious. It lasted for hours, and Sgt Cox conducted himself in a manner that was described by one observer as "simply awesome."
"He called for and adjusted artillery fire and mortars, gave fire commands to his Marines, the whole deal. He and his Marines fought like hell that night," said Mike Ettore, a fellow Marine who said he was monitoring the fight on radio. "Somebody got an hour of the fight on a tape recording. I've always thought they should have that tape in squad leader school and say, 'OK, listen to this. Here's how Marines should be led in combat.' "
Tragically, the last enemy round of the night made a direct hit on OP 76, killing Cox and seven of his Marines.