Monday, 09 June 2008
Camp Cropper, Iraq – Semper Fidelis is Latin for “Always Faithful”. It is the Motto of the United States Marine Corps and a way of life for every Marine. Corporal Adam Green knows this all too well. He has shouldered this ‘Creed’ as a United States Marine, and continues to live it diligently as a member of the Oklahoma Army National Guard.
Adam’s military career began 11 years ago as one of the “Few and the Proud”. He served 4 years as a Marine and was stationed on the USS Constellation as an Aviation Ordinance technician for an F-18 Hornet Squadron. During his tour in the ‘Corps’, he saw two Combat tours to the Persian Gulf. Adam is now on his third combat deployment, this time with the Oklahoma Army National Guard.
“My first two deployments [with the Marines] were for ‘Operation Southern Watch’ where we patrolled the No Fly Zones around the Gulf.” he explains, “Our mission was to ensure they remained “No Fly Zones” as well as engage and eliminate hostile anti-aircraft threats in the area.”
Now Adam finds himself “land based” serving as a “Zone Rep” at the Camp Cropper Detention Facility in Baghdad Iraq. As a Zone Rep, Adam carries a huge responsibility as the First-Line Supervisor who ensures the safety, health and welfare of detainees. He, like the other soldiers on his team, maintain security as well as facilitate the smooth operation of the Internment Facility in which he is posted.
“I enjoy it.” Adam states, “I like what I do. I’m right there in the mix and a part of what’s happening. All the jobs here are important but I really feel like I can make a difference where I’m at.” He qualifies himself by adding, “I’ll take this place over a ship any day!”
After his tour in the Marine Corps, Adam was compelled to join the Army National Guard for two reasons. First, a continued desire to serve his country while affording himself the freedom to pursue other goals. And second, the Army National Guard’s Tuition Assistance Program which is enabling Adam to pursue his degree in Criminal Justice.
Outside of school and the Army National Guard, Adam makes his living as a Supervisor at Home Depot. Adam’s experience in managing personnel and customer service has helped him hone his skills to deal with the dynamic situations he must navigate on a daily basis. His ability to deal with varying personalities, manage multiple tasks, and maintain a calm disposition in the face of stressful demands are just some of the qualities that have earned Adam the respect of his peers and distinguished recognition by his command. For his dedication to duty and outstanding performance, Adam was awarded “Non-Commissioned Officer of the Month” for the month of April, 2008 by his Company.
It’s All About Perspective…
Like so many of the soldiers stationed here, Adam chooses to channel his thoughts and focus on the positive aspects of his circumstances. While it might be tempting to dwell on the negative surroundings, Adam recognizes that focusing on the good things in his life promotes a healthy state of mind and helps the time pass more smoothly. It’s not hard for Adam. It’s his nature to remain positive and focused.
“When we first got here, our company was split up and assigned to different areas.” Adam explains, “It irritated me [at first] but I quickly saw the need for it. People were placed in areas where they were needed, I was no exception. As a result I’ve now had the opportunity to meet and work with other people I might not have ever got to know.” He continues, “It’s been a great experience. I’ve built several new friendships and trusts. I’m going to miss these people when the time comes for us to leave.”
Adam reflects on past experiences to quantify his perspective on his current situation.
“My last two deployments, we had email and that was it. Here, we’ve got internet, webcam, phones… I can [webcam] and see my wife and my parents. My parents live in Salt Lake City so I usually don’t see them very often. Now I see my family all the time because of that webcam!” He continues, “When you’re on a ship there’s not much you can do. There’s no where you can go. Here, we can walk to a Burger King or to the PX. There’s a lot more options to do here than there ever was on a ship!”
Something To Hold On To…
When I asked Adam what he missed most about home, his answer was without hesitation.
“My wife.” he resigned. “There’s always one thing to miss and she’s mine.” He explains, “That’s the only really hard part. If I wasn’t married, this deployment would be easy.”
Adam met his wife while getting his hair cut. She was a Hair Stylist at the salon he would frequent. They dated and, over time, he proposed. Five days prior to Adam being mobilized, they were married. Despite the painful separation of the deployment, Adam still has an uncanny sense of humor about it.
“They say the first year of marriage is the hardest so I told my wife we would just skip it! After this deployment the first year will be behind us and we can get on with the good years!”
Joking aside, Adam takes a solemn tone, “You learn to let the little things go.” he explains, “There’s a lot of things here that can cause you to lose focus and it’s very easy to let little things get you upset. You’ve got to get past that and really start to talk about things. Despite the distance between us, we still grow closer.”
Adam now looks forward to getting through this deployment and finally going on a long overdue Honeymoon in the romantic tropics south of Cancun. He explains, “Well, if it all works out for us I should be returning about the same time as my 1-year anniversary so we’ll be celebrating that and our Honeymoon at the same time.”
Adam’s devotion to his wife is all too evident as he speaks of her. The very thought of her brings a smile to his face and, for a moment, a brief escape from this place.
He summarizes his feelings by simply stating, “She’s the first thing I think about when I wake up and the last thing I think about when I go to sleep… she’s what get’s me through.”
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 11 June 2008 )