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U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Thomas Green
English-born Marine Fights Terror
By Cpl. Joel Abshier
2nd Marine Logistics Group

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C., Oct. 6, 2006 — Growing up in a military household, Thomas Green, gained an early understanding of what the red, white and blue meant to not only himself and his family, but to everyone who served in the United States military.

The former military dependent now walks full stride amongst his brothers-in-arms within the Corps.

Lance Cpl. Thomas Green, a heavy equipment operator with Transportation Support Company, 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward), has led many walks of life, from England to numerous locations within the states, which ultimately led him here.

“I guess you could say I always knew I would be serving in the military,” Green said. “I was originally born in Essex, England, and lived there until my stepfather, who was in the U.S. Air Force at the time, moved my family to Griffis (Air National Guard Base, Rome,) New York in 1991.”

Continuing the inevitability of relocating within the military, Green and his family moved to many air bases, including Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota in 1992, then back to England at the Royal Air Force Base in Mildenhall, United Kingdom in 1995, and finally to Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma in 2004.

Green said he always knew that the military life was something he wanted, partly because of the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, and also because his family has an unwavering military background.

“Because I grew up and lived on Air Force bases my entire life I always thought I wanted to join that branch,” he said. “But then I got (into some trouble) and was told by the Air Force recruiter that I would have to wait a year until I could enter. So, I walked up to the Marine Corps recruiter and he explained I could be in boot camp in three months.”

In May 2005, Green placed his feet on the famed yellow footprints of Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. However, while still in recruit training status, another historically tragic event occurred reinforcing Green’s decision to serve.

At 8:05 a.m. on July 7, 2005, during London’s morning rush hour, three bombs exploded within 50 seconds of each other on three London Underground trains. A fourth bomb exploded on a double-decker bus nearly an hour later at 9:47 a.m. in Tavistock Square. The bombings killed 52 innocent people.

“When I first heard, my drill instructors let me call my family in England,” he said. “Thankfully, they were okay. If anything happened to me that day, it was my mentality of someone’s got to do something. I was pissed off and was glad I was in the Marine Corps during this time of war.”

Once he graduated from Marine Combat Training at Camp Pendleton, Calif., he attended the Heavy Equipment Operator’s Course at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., for his military occupational specialty.

“The school teaches the basics of our job field,” Green said. “I learned everything from the basic operation to maintenance of the vehicles we use every day within our job field.”

His first and current duty station is Camp Lejeune, N.C. Immediately upon arriving, he realized how much a Marine Corps base differed from the bases he grew up on.

“All the places I have been to before were never this big,” he said laughing. “(Camp) Lejeune is much larger than I originally thought. But it all makes sense because we need the space to train before deploying.”

Green’s unit was informed shortly after he arrived that they would be deploying for Iraq early next year.

“I’m not scared to go, but I am definitely worried,” he said with a smile. “But this is why I am in the Marine Corps.”

Marines deploying for their first time are usually in the dark about what to expect once they step foot in country, however, because Green and his family have experienced deployments in the past, he understands the limitations placed on troops while deployed.

“The only thing I am worried about is not being able to pick the phone up whenever I need to talk with my family,” Green said. “My wife Erica and I have been married nearly a year and we have a baby due in January. Missing that is not something I am looking forward to.”

Although he is preparing himself for war, Green said his decision to join the few, the proud, is something he has not regretted.

“When I think of the Marine Corps, I think of the famous quote from (President) Ronald Regan,” Green said. “‘Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem.’ He couldn’t be more right.”

Last Updated:
10/06/2006, Eastern Daylight Time
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