Archive for June, 2013
Marines, standing at the poolside, stare into unforgiving training grounds. Yesterday was not easy, and today will be no better. The frigid water below taunts them, as if to say “I am going to kick you in the face.” The Marines take one last breath, jump feet first and begin their grueling one-mile warm-up exercise to start another challenging day.
Overcoming more than fatigue and cold water, they swim to try and become one of fewer than 600 who hold the title of Marine Corps Instructor of Water Survival. (continue reading…)
The violence in Iraq was reaching its pinnacle in 2004 when Chris Taylor received his deployment orders to Al-Anbar province. Marines had just bloodied their way through the first Battle of Fallujah and insurgency within the country was beginning to expand as sectarian clashes divided the nation.
At the time, Taylor was newly married and just learning how to balance his life with his wife Angela. He had recently graduated the Defense Language Institute as an Arabic linguist and was just getting settled into their new home in Jacksonville, N.C., when he found out his unit, 2nd Radio Battalion, was to deploy.
Angela was speechless. Taylor comforted his wife the best he could, but anticipation, fear, and excitement gripped his own thoughts. As a corporal, Taylor had never deployed before and didn’t know what to expect. But as a young noncommissioned officer, he knew he needed to be in Iraq. (continue reading…)
When shots rang out and flames burst through the Afghan sky over Camp Bastion last September, a lot of things changed for many people.
Marines who thought they might never see combat from their flight line roles as fuel specialists, mechanics, information technology specialists, engineers and myriad support jobs suddenly found themselves under attack and engaging the enemy.
Sgt. Efrain Melecio, an aviation logistics information management support specialist, then with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 16 (Forward), was walking out of the showers after a long day at work when he and his fellow Marines saw the attack.
“It was the biggest flame I’ve ever seen in my life,” said the Chicago native. “We had a lot of Marines who were involved in combat. Seeing the affect it had on them, I wanted to one day be able to help somebody who is going through something like that.” (continue reading…)