COMBAT OUTPOST SHIR GHAZAY, Afghanistan (11/12/2012) – After a
troubled past, Lance Cpl. Christopher Souder knew a change had to be
made for him and his family. Wanting to serve his country, he joined
the Marine Corps in hopes of a better life.
November 12, 2012 - Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Christopher Souder knew a change needed to be made
for his daughter and future wife. Now, the father of two daughters
with a third child on the way, Souder, an armorer with Bravo
Company, 2nd Tank Battalion, Regimental Combat Team 7, from
Rockville, Md., volunteered for and is currently serving on his
first deployment to Afghanistan. Photo by USMC Cpl. Mark Garcia
Souder, now an armorer with Bravo Company, 2nd Tank Battalion,
Regimental Combat Team 7, decided to join the Marine Corps to
support his first child and his wife.
“Before I joined, I had
one kid. My wife and I had just gotten engaged and my life wasn't
going the way I wanted it to,” said Souder, from Rockville, Md. “I
had gotten in a little bit of trouble, so when I had the chance to
enlist, I took the opportunity.”
Souder joined the Marine
Corps Nov. 1, 2009, to better his life and has no regrets about the
decision. He volunteered for his current deployment and hopes to get
another deployment before his time is done.
happens for a reason,” Souder said. “I mean it led me here, so
although some of the decisions I made weren't the right ones, I'm
glad I was able to learn from them. I begged to come on this
deployment. I saw the old commanding officer for Bravo Co., and he
was like, ‘Hey, I've been hearing your name a lot, you still want to
deploy?' I told him, ‘Hell yeah I want to deploy,' and here I am.”
Souder said he is motivated to deploy again by what his
grandfather, a former Marine, told him as a child.
“The one thing my grandpa told me was ‘Don't go through
life with any regrets cause that's the worse thing,'” Souder
said. “Many people have come over here three or four times.
If I don't try to get on another deployment after I'm
already done with this one, I think I probably would regret
it later on in life. I don't want to have that, so I'd like
to deploy with the next company when they come out here.”
Although Souder's grandfather passed away, he still
takes the knowledge his grandfather passed on to him to
“My grandfather died when I was 10,
but he told me a lot of stuff as a kid. A lot of it has
stuck with me to this day, and I try to live up to it all
the time,” Souder said.
Souder currently has two
daughters and is expecting a third child. He will be able to
enjoy the birth of his third child after his deployment is
To cope with being away from his family,
Souder writes music about his experiences in Afghanistan.
Before joining the Marine Corps, Souder had built a little
name for himself in music in his hometown under the stage
name of Drew Gutterz.
“My oldest daughter is my angel
and my youngest melts my heart every time I see her, so I
hope I get another daughter,” Souder said. “But I miss my
wife and kids pretty much equally. I write music to kind of
just take me away from everything. I write music out here
all the time, and I like to put some of the different
experiences from out here into my music.”
John Ramson, a section leader with Bravo Co., 2nd Tank Bn.,
has been in two companies with Souder and noted his
professionalism throughout that time.
makes sure he does his job the way he's supposed to and
doesn't care if he gets the credit or not,” Ramson said.
“He's just a hard worker and wants to make sure everything
is done right. He's pretty funny and is really dedicated to
what he does. He really cares about making sure whatever
he's doing he's doing it right. He was my armorer back in
Delta Company, and he was my go to guy if there were any
Souder plans on re-enlisting and working
on his musical career, but until then he will continue to
ensure Bravo Co., 2nd Tank Bn., has functioning weapons
while deployed to Afghanistan.
By USMC Cpl. Mark Garcia
Comment on this article