April 4, 2012 - Marine Corps Sgt. Marc
Orgeron, an intelligence surveillance reconnaissance collection
manager with Regional Command Southwest stationed at Camp
Leatherneck, Afghanistan, said pride in country, state and family
have helped shape him into the Marine he is today. Photo by Army
Spc. Chelsea Russell
HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan (4/9/2012) - The sound of the National
Anthem fills the air and young Cpl. Marc Orgeron holds a microphone
in his hand. He stands rigidly at attention, the gleam of
hard-earned medals glinting from his chest as he begins to sing. His
voice booms across the bright green ball field and fills the hearts
of those gathered to witness the San Diego Padres versus Colorado
Rockies baseball game, Sept. 17, 2009, with pride.
sergeant, Orgeron, an intelligence surveillance reconnaissance
collection manager with Regional Command Southwest currently
deployed to Afghanistan, comes from a culture rich with a history of
music, food and pride. He grew up in River Ridge, La., a suburb of
“I tried out for American Idol when I was
sixteen,” said Orgeron. “I was pretty heavily involved in the
community as far as singing whenever I was younger.”
has always had an interest in music. He got his first drum set when
he was 5 years old and has been playing ever since.
always loved music,” he explained. “I started singing
whenever I was in high school. I always knew I could sing, but I was
just really shy about it so I didn't really show anybody.”
One day he decided it was time for him to overcome his
fears of singing in public and began sharing his musical
abilities with others. When he tried out for American Idol
he made it all the way to the executive producers. Even
though he had only been singing for a year, he was both
excited and nervous to try out for the popular reality
television singing competition.
realize whenever you try out for American Idol you don't go
straight to Simon, Paula and Randy,” he said. “You go
through a series of steps of judges before you go in front
Even though he didn't make it past the second round of judging,
Orgeron said it was a great experience.
After graduating high
school, he attended Delgado Community College, but it wasn't long
before Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans.
Orgeron was in New
Orleans when the hurricane stormed its way across Louisiana during
August 2005. After the hurricane passed, he and his family lived
with relatives in El Paso, Texas, for about two months.
went to school for a little while after Katrina and there was so
much going on that I just started working in the community helping
with tree removal,” said Orgeron.
Katrina was one of the
reasons Orgeron didn't stay in college. He got so involved in
helping his local community he just decided it would be best for him
to get a job. He believed it would help him become more mature, plus
he enjoyed working.
“I worked for Northrop Grumman,” Orgeron
said. “They build a lot of Navy ships. Some of the people I worked
with were retired Marines. They were inspiration for me to join the
Soon after making the decision to join the Marine
Corps, Orgeron began work as an aviation ordnance technician.
“I liked it,” he said, smiling fondly as he recalled his years
of working in the field. “There was a lot of camaraderie, but I
wanted something that would better suit me for my transition if I
was to decide to transition into the civilian world.”
exploring the options available to him, he made a lateral move into
the intelligence field.
“There's a lot of pride in the
intelligence community,” Orgeron said. “We're very close knit.”
When he was younger, Orgeron never imagined he would be in the
military. It's been nearly six years since he joined and he said
it's good to know his job in the Marine Corps is making a difference
in the war effort.
“It's really cool to know that what I do
plays a very key part in saving people's lives in the battlespace
and it is also directly contributed to winning,” said Orgeron.
He has learned about maturity and patience since joining the
“I've learned to appreciate the little things
in life,” he said, his eyes alight with sincerity. “That's one of
the biggest things. A lot of people don't appreciate things until
they lose them and then whenever they get them back they learn how
special it is to be an American.”
Master Sgt. Heath Lewison,
collections chief with RC (SW) stationed at Camp Leatherneck, said
Orgeron is a stellar Marine.
“I think the hard part about
this job is it requires you to think on your feet a lot,” said
Lewison. “You have a lot of things coming at you at one time. You
have to be able to have initiative and prioritize what may be the
most important task at hand.”
Orgeron is two months into his
deployment and he said the biggest challenge has been being apart
from his wife, Jennifer. They will celebrate their first anniversary
“Time flies by, really,” he said. “I get to talk to
my wife every day, which is really good.”
Pride in country,
state and family have helped shape Orgeron into the Marine he is
“I've always had pride in the military,” he said, his
voice filled with emotion. “Both of my grandfathers were in the
Whereas they served in the Air Force and Navy,
Orgeron is doing his part in protecting his country by serving in
the Marine Corps. Even though he's only been here a few months, he
is looking forward to the sense of personal accomplishment he'll
feel at the conclusion of his deployment.
By Army Spc. Chelsea Russell
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