On the deployment again 3rd Radio Bn recieves deployment orders
By Cpl. Danielle M. Bacon
| | January 26, 2004
U.S. MARINE CORPS FORCES PACIFIC, Hawaii --
Many 3rd Radio Battalion Marines received orders to ship out again Jan. 26, after returning home less than six months ago from Operation Iraqi Freedom.
This time last year, approximately 50 of the 150 Marines scheduled to deploy were deploying to Iraq as 1st Radio Battalion.
"I wish I had a little more time. I wanted to get more surfing in and I wanted to take some classes," said Cpl. Israel Campbell, who was a radio operator on the first deployment and is now a systems administrator. "I guess that will have to wait."
For many this is their first deployment and they look forward to it.
"I am very excited. This is my first deployment. I just have to take one day at a time," said Lance Cpl. Charlene Leavitt, an electronics technician from Portland, Maine.
One sailor had reservations about the deployment.
"I'm nervous, because of the environment that we will be in," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Jennifer Haseman, a corpsman. "I feel prepared though - I went to Field Medical School, which helps us deal with anything medically."
The whole battalion has been preparing.
"We are conducting individual training to ensure that each Marine can do their job and accomplish the mission. Logistically, we are preparing the equipment making sure it will work. We are ensuring everyone is physically and medically ready to go," said Capt. Matt Worsham, the detachment operations officer. "We've made sure the families are ready, so when they deploy things are taken care of back here."
For the operations platoon commander, preparing at home goes farther.
"We had a long talk - daddy needs to go and help build schools and medical facilities," said 1st Lt. Joe O'Conner, about his three children, whose ages range 5-3-1-years old. "I explained I needed to be a daddy to other kids for awhile. I asked for their permission."
There are a few details that O'Conner chose to leave out though.
"They don't know that I will be in any danger. In fact, they don't even know that I am taking a weapon," he said.
Although he admits it is hard leaving his children, O'Conner doesn't regret it.
"I feel so strongly about the role we'll play. That's why I came in the Marine Corps - to save lives."
O'Conner's wife is just as supportive.
"I'm scared - not just for my husband, but that nervousness motivates me to pray more everyday," said Kelly O'Conner. "It's going to be tough, but you've got to do what you got to do. I made a commitment to be a Marine's wife."
Other Marines have tried not to give much thought to the deployment.
Sgt. Michelle Maceaastacio, a motor transportation mechanic, says her Marine husband, Pedro, tries to keep things as normal as possible. He added, "We're just try to enjoy the time we have until she goes."