Marines Serve In Afghanistan With Pride
(December 30, 2009)
Marine Corps Cpl. Jonathan Lehman, a combat engineer, cuts
down a tree to make room for the construction of an observation post in Helmand
province, Afghanistan, Dec. 18, 2009.
||HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan, Dec. 28, 2009
2nd Combat Engineer Battalion are serving in southern
Afghanistan with pride, despite the hardship of being away
from their families during the holidays.
The Marines are working hard, building observational posts,
searching for improvised explosive devices and providing
“I didn't join the Marine Corps during a time of war not to
fight,” said Cpl. Aaron A. Bennet, a heavy equipment
“It was time to do my part,” he said.
Marines deploy to Afghanistan knowing they may not see loved
ones for up to a year. Yet, the positive is found.
“My wife and I say it's not going to kill us, only make us
stronger,” Bennet said. “Some relationships get stagnant.
But we know what it's like to truly miss each other.”
Bennet said he got married knowing the possibility of
spending long periods of time away from his wife.
“My wife understood why I wanted to deploy,” the Spring,
Texas, native said. “She told me, ‘I know you joined the
Marine Corps to fight. Who am I to tell you not to fight?'”
Some Marines subscribe their own meaning to the word
“Sacrifice isn't a real sacrifice unless you believe in the
people you're with and the mission at hand,” said Cpl.
Jonathan Lehman, a combat engineer.
No doubt the Marines in Afghanistan will miss their families
this holiday season. But, they are with a different kind of
family in Afghanistan, said Col. Randall P. Newman,
Regimental Combat Team 7's commander.
“My fellow Marines get me through this, along with mail from
home,” Newman said.
Receiving mail from home, Newman said, “makes me feel closer
to my family.”
Lehman has his plans set for next year's holiday season, he
“Next year's Christmas will be quite the experience,” he
said. “It will be me and my wife's first Christmas as a
Lehman also said he looks forward to next Christmas as a
time to spoil his 4-year-old daughter.
Article and photo by USMC LCpl. Walter Marino
1st Marine Division's Regimental Combat Team 7 public
American Forces Press Service
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