Editor’s note: This is the second essay in an 11-part Father’s Day series entitled, Honoring Fathers Who Serve. In May, we asked readers to submit essays about the men who have served our country.
by Lamai Hill
My husband, Lance Corporal John Hill, joined the U.S. Marine Corps when we just began dating in ‘05, at the age of 18. He trained in the School of Infantry where he became a machine gunner and from there, was stationed in Twentynine Palms, California. We got married in January ‘06 and I moved from a small town in Southwest Missouri to California. A place I thought sounded beachy and tropical, I soon discovered that it was indeed sandy, just not the “sandy” I had expected. The dessert was the complete opposite of what I had in mind.
That summer my husband trained to deploy. He trained with his first unit the 3rd Battalion 4th Marines Weapons Company. Then, last minute before Mojave Viper he switched to the 3rd Battalion 4th Marines H&S Company M.A.P. (Mobile Assault Platoon) Platoon. That August they deployed to Al-Qa’im, Iraq on an “extended” deployment for 9 months. I can’t even begin to describe what he and his unit went through, what they saw, and what they did. I just know that they did their job and they did their job well. Something that neither I nor any other civilian would ever understand. What I do understand is that war is something that you must experience firsthand in order to fully know what it means. My husband participated in sleepless nights, illness, missions, patrols, firefights, and was hit by several IED’s.