CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – Not long after graduating from recruit training, Staff Sgt. Christopher Webb found himself fighting just to stay in the Marine Corps.
While he was at the School of Infantry at Camp Pendleton, Calif., Webb received knee reconstruction surgery twice.
“My first knee injury came from hiking,” said Webb of Warren, Texas. “The second one happened about three months after my first surgery. I was breaking up a fight and got kicked in the knee. It tore everything they had fixed apart.”
Because the recovery time required from the surgeries, he had to stay at SOI for three years. In comparison, most Marines are only there for about a month.
Webb said that he was going to be medically separated from the Marine Corps due to his injuries, but he fought to stay in. He had to stand before a medical board and explain why he should be allowed to stay in the Marine Corps.
“I had to get letters of recommendation from my chain of command and have two people speak on my behalf about why I should stay in,” said Webb, company gunnery sergeant, Headquarters Company, Regimental Combat Team 6. “I fought so hard because being a Marine is what I wanted to do.”
After he healed, he made his way to his military occupational specialty training school in Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. Graduating as a motor transport operator, Webb received orders to 9th Engineer Support Battalion in Okinawa, Japan.
Webb says he reenlisted once he arrived in Okinawa because he felt that he hadn’t accomplished what he joined the Marine Corps to do.
“I didn’t really do anything because I was on (medical) hold for so long. So I figured I’d reenlist to see what the Marine Corps had to offer.”
Since then, Webb has deployed three times to Iraq, in 2002, 2004 and 2006. He volunteered to come to RCT-6 and serve as the company gunnery sergeant because after six years he felt like he had been away from the deployment cycle for too long.
From making sure Marines have a place to sleep to coordinating training so Marines can maintain their combat skills, Webb can be very busy keeping his company running smoothly.
“I provide support to the different sections in the company,” he said. “I assist the executive officer in running training ranges… I’m the point of contact for facilities, and I’m in charge of billeting.
“It’s been different than my first three deployments,” he said. “It’s definitely been beneficial to me. Instead of just worrying about motor (transport), I’ve had to worry about the regiment as a whole. I’ve had to broaden my view and focus on all aspects such as logistics and training in order to support the regiment as best I can.”
Webb says he has enjoyed this time in Afghanistan so far.
“My favorite part is taking care of the Marines, it’s just what I love to do,” he continued. “As a staff (noncommissioned officer), it’s what you’re supposed to do anyway, but I enjoy it. I like being around the junior Marines.”
Webb joined the Marine Corps as a part of a long family tradition of serving in the Marines. His father served for 27 years before retiring in 1997 and his brother is also an active duty Marine who has served for 19 years.
Webb said one of his fondest memories since he first joined 17 years ago was participating with his brother in his father’s retirement ceremony.
“We presented him with an engraved sword,” he said. “I was thinking about how awesome it was that we were all on active duty together, and that one day, I wanted to retire from the Marine Corps too.”
This work, Warren Texas native proudly serves in Marine Corps, by Sgt Ed Galo, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.