Lance Cpl. Nicholas Wurst, a team leader with 2nd Platoon, Lima Company, acts as cover man for the sweeper, marking possible improvised explosive devices and helping navigate the squad while patrolling Feb. 27, 2012. Wurst,
currently deployed with 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, is
described by his peers as a jack-of-all-trades being able to fill
whatever role is needed in the squad. Photo by Lance Cpl. Timothy J. Lenzo
PATROL BASE FULOD, Afghanistan (2/27/2012) — Despite it being the
hottest day in months, the Marine patrols with a constant smile,
making jokes with his friends and smiling with the locals, Feb. 27.
Marines with 2nd Platoon, Lima Company, called Lance Cpl.
Nicholas Wurst a jack-of-all-trades.
“I move around a lot
between positions in the patrol,” said Wurst, currently deployed
with 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment.
While deployed to
Sangin, Wurst worked in many billets; navigator, team leader,
sweeper security, marker, rear security and more, Afghanistan.
“I adapt really well,” said Wurst, a native of Lubbock, Texas.
“I'm pretty good at doing what needs to be done.”
ability to adapt made him a valuable asset to his squad and leaders.
“He's my go-to-guy,” said Cpl. Randy Cripe, Wurst's squad
leader. “He makes sure jobs get done. If I have a task to be
completed, I can just let him know.”
Wurst proved on numerous
occasions while deployed that he could handle whatever Cripe asked
“Whether it's being a navigator, picking the routes
or just being in the back as a team leader with a radio, whatever I
need him to do he just does it,” said Cripe, a native of Middlebury
Ind. “It's really the most impressive thing that anyone can do here.
It's very valuable to have someone like that.”
sometimes, as the marker, he discussed route selection with Cripe,
reviewing choke points or risk areas, and the next day, he's rear
security, watching for ambushes.
Cripe said it's nice to know if anything were to happen
to him, Wurst could step in as squad leader and take care of
His playful mentality and unique ability
to play guitar, helped Wurst with keeping spirits up while
“I started out playing bass guitar, but
I've been playing six-string acoustic and electric (guitar)
for the last six to seven years now,” added Wurst.
Wurst developed a reputation to play songs for the Marines
when on base. He relied on his humor and musical skill to
keep the unit together and have fun while deployed.
“I try to keep everyone else in good spirits,” said Wurst.
“I do this pirate thing around the platoon, and different
voices, I play guitar, I do a lot of improvisation stuff on
our off time.”
Wurst kept a guitar with him while
deployed, for the chance to make up his own songs and help
pass the time.
“It's about making people laugh,” said
Wurst. “If other people are happy I tend to be happy, so if
I can put everybody in a good mood then I'm usually in a
While the Marines sat in their tents,
Wurst pulled his guitar out, strummed a few chords and began
singing about a few of the Marines in the squad. The other
Marines noticed and turned as Wurst poked fun at the Marines
with lighthearted lyrics. The crowd laughed at the end of
each refrain, as Wurst smiled before ending the song. with
applause from the squad.
Wurst kept his positive
attitude through the entire deployment, focusing on the good
“I think as time goes by you start to notice
a difference from last year,” said Wurst. “People used to be
afraid to come around the patrols, and now you constantly
have kids coming up asking for candy and wanting to shake
Wurst said last year they were
constantly engaged in firefights, and to see the deployment
almost over and they haven't gotten into a single fight is
Marines with the platoon said they were proud,
knowing they played a role in removing insurgents from the
By USMC Lance Cpl. Timothy J. Lenzo
1st Marine Division
Marine Corps News
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