On post atop of the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia, Liberia – Africa April 1996

Arriving at the airport in Charleston, SC, I am greeted by a Marine in his service uniform. Alongside a group of ten or so other young men, we wait at the gate for a few other recruits to land. From there the Marine walks us single file to the bathroom, or head. He stands us in front of the sink and tells us to empty all contraband from our pockets, such as cigarettes, lighters, and knives. He collects them all and takes us through a maze of hallways in the bowels of the airport. We arrive to a room where we are instructed to sit down and lunch was passed out “bag nasties”. After we eat we are told to put our heads on the table and sleep. I was not sure what to expect as my recruiter only told me about island life, not the details of the journey to get to the island. None of us are allowed to look up. Every thirty minutes or so new recruits enter the room and are ordered to do the same, thus beginning our thirteen weeks of having no control.

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Curtis was born in 1984 and grew up near Arlington, Virginia. He grew in a military family and had an appreciation and interest in military service from a young age. Curtis originally joined the Marine Corps with the intention of working as an aviation crew chief but then switched to the infantry occupation field.

After Parris Island and training at Camp Geiger, earning the 0311 MOS, Curtis joined Kilo 3/6 in 2003. Curtis first deployed to Afghanistan, operating in Asadabad and Gardaz, in 2004. Upon his return, he was selected to join Scout/Sniper Platoon, working as a radio operator, and deployed to Al Qaim, Iraq. Curtis again returned to Kilo Company, this time as a squad leader. He deployed near Husaybah, Iraq for a final deployment as a line platoon squad leader.

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GySgt Kenny Goss enlisted in the United States Marine Corps from Orange, Texas and entered recruit training at MCRD San Diego on July 14, 1981. A young Kenny Goss became interested in military service at an early age, inspired by his father’s service in the US Army during the late 1950s. Following recruit training, PFC Goss attended the Construction Drafting School, Defense Mapping School, at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. While at HQ Battalion, 4th Marine Division, Kenny reconsidered his occupation decision and submitted a request to become an infantryman. His request was approved one year after his obligated time on station was complete. He transferred to G 2/8 in January of 1983 for duty as an infantry rifleman (0311).

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