Brotherhood Forged Between Marines In The Field
(December 9, 2010)
|CAMP SENDAI, Japan (MCN - 12/6/2010) — Growing up, I had
always wanted to become a Marine. The tales of what they had
done astonished me, and having multiple relatives that
served in the Marine Corps only added to my fascination. |
My grandfather and one of my uncles were both Marines and
served in Vietnam. My grandfather was in infantry, while my
uncle was in force reconnaissance. Both told me stories of
what they had done and the conditions they did it in. My
father, also a Marine, was in artillery in the 80's, and
would also tell me stories of deployments, and what his job
I joined the Marine Corps not sure what I wanted to do. I
thought about artillery but in the end I allowed the Marine
Corps to choose for me and I became a combat correspondent,
which recently allowed me to follow a group of artillery
Marines on an annual training exercise. For me, being able
to see what my father did, and even do it myself was an
Working with Gun Team Five, Bravo Battery, 12th Marine
Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary
Force, afforded me the opportunity to experience some of
what my father had done. I saw how the crew operated and the
speed at which they did it. I was even allowed to fire a
When my time came to fire the weapon, my heart was racing
with anticipation as I held the lanyard in my hand. I saw
the round get rammed into the chamber, powder bag and primer
inserted, breech closed then I heard it, “Stand by ...
The howitzer jerked back from the recoil as I pulled the
lanyard and sent the round downrange. A shockwave went
through my body as a cloud of white smoke poured from the
end of the barrel, then from the breach as the team prepared
to fire the next round.
Gun Team Five congratulated me on successfully firing the
howitzer for the first time with handshakes and smiles. At
that moment I felt like I was more than just someone telling
their story, I felt like I was part of the story – part of
They treated me like I was a guest in their house. They
ensured I got chow, had somewhere to sleep, and got what I
needed to complete my job.
I became a friend.
The Marines I was with have great personalities and were
willing to explain in detail what their job requires of them
and even showed me how to do it.
Spending time with Gun Team Five allowed me to see the
brotherhood formed between Marines in the field. Out there,
everything is shared and everyone is taken care of by each
Being in the field with these guys made me realize I am not
alone in the Marine Corps. The scenery might seem familiar
to me at times, but sometimes it can be vastly different.
When the weather turned on us, these Marines were there with
me. Some of the jobs and equipment might seem intimidating,
but Gun Team Five was there to help. No matter how bad
things get, when I was living in the field, I knew there
were Marines going through the same thing beside me.
By USMC LCpl Garry J. Welch|
Marine Corps Bases Japan
Marine Corps News
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