News: ‘We are like brothers’: security Marines bond during yearlong Afghanistan deployment
Story by Cpl. Kenneth Jasik
CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – The personal security detachment for the commanding general of 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward), Brig. Gen. Charles L. Hudson, completed its last mission in Afghanistan, Feb. 14, before heading home after a yearlong deployment.
The PSD’s mission is to escort and ensure the safety of the commanding general and other high-ranking personnel as they travel through the battlespace.
“The CG is responsible for doing battlefield circulations to visit the Marines of 1st MLG,” said Sgt. Eric A. Nelson, team leader, PSD, 1st MLG (FWD). “It’s our job to ensure safe travel so [ Brig. Gen. Hudson]’s mission can be accomplished.”
Conducting more than 100 mounted patrols, the PSD Marines traveled all across Helmand province, from Combat Outpost Kahn Neshin Castle in the south to Sangin and the Buji Pass in the north.
“I liked that we visited so many different FOBs,” said Cpl. Richard L. Martin, military policeman, PSD, 1st MLG (FWD). “We got the experience to meet higher-ups and help them get from one place to another.”
Traveling the battlefield was only one of the aspects of the deployment the PSD team enjoyed. They were also glad to be part of a small, elite team.
“I have never seen camaraderie like this” said Nelson, 25, from Seattle. “We became a family in a matter of months, and like any family we fight with each other, but when it comes to getting the job done, we all know that the man next to us is willing to take the bullet for you.”
“I liked the responsibilities we had as the PSD team,” said Nelson. “I also liked having the opportunity to conduct a lot of combat missions.”
During their mounted patrols, the Marines had to engage the enemy three times and struck four improvised explosive devices. Two Marines on the team were awarded the Purple Heart Medal after being wounded on missions. One Marine and one Navy corpsman were recognized for their heroic actions with one earning a Navy Commendation Medal with combat distinguishing device and the other being awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with combat distinguishing device.
“We had some Marines injured due to an IED strike, and we started taking small-arms fire,” said 1st Lt. Mike A. Tozzolo, aide-de-camp for the commanding general of 1st MLG (FWD). “The PSD did extremely well in suppressing the enemy’s attack and [evacuating] out the injured Marines.”
Over the course of the past year, the small group of Marines logged close to 5,000 miles together traversing Afghanistan’s desert terrain.
“The experiences our small group of guys shared were good,” said Martin, 21, from King George, Va. “We’ve been together through so many things, we are like brothers.”
The PSD team enjoyed the experiences gained during their missions.
“I loved being out there, getting dirty and doing things,” said Martin. “It’s exciting, and it gets your blood pumping.”
After successfully completing their mission, the Marines are ready to head back home but look forward to returning for their next Afghanistan deployment in 2012.
“The Marines are glad that they are going home to be with their families, and the majority of them are motivated to be coming out next year,” said Nelson.
This work, ‘We are like brothers’: security Marines bond during yearlong Afghanistan deployment, by Cpl Kenneth Jasik, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.