MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Marines accomplish a lot in a small amount of time. That holds true for a young Marine in the 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion who recently finished serving his second deployment in Iraq at only 20 years of age.
Lance Cpl. Randy L. Williamson, a scout/company clerk with Company C, 2nd LAR Battalion, worked hard to fulfill his duties during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
As a scout for Company C’s commanding officer, Williamson was charged with setting up security for a Light Armored Vehicle (LAV) and the commanding officer.
“I set up security for the CO during whatever mission we were on,” Williamson explained. “I did everything I could to keep him out of harm’s way.”
The East Stroudsburg, Penn. native also worked as a company clerk.
“I was in charge of all the company paperwork, awards and anything else to do with administration,” he said.
This second deployment was very different for Williamson, who earned a Purple Heart during his first deployment after being hit by a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device. After taking shrapnel to the leg and being hit in the head by debris, he returned to duty after only a month.
“(This time around) we mostly saw IEDs and mortar attacks,” Williamson stated. “We went on a lot of raids and found some weapons caches. This deployment seemed like the insurgents were more of a hit-and-run type of enemy. The first time I was here they actually stood up and fought back.”
According to Williamson, being deployed was much easier the second time around. Having an understanding of how things worked in Iraq helped him recognize what was going on.
“You kind of take everything with a grain of salt because what is happening has happened before,” he stated.
The young Marine determined that he wanted to be a Marine early in his life.
Williamson decided to join the Marine Corps his freshman year at East Stroudsburg High School South.
“My grandpa and uncles were always proud of serving in the military, and I wanted to feel that proud too,” Williamson explained.
He joined the Marine Corps to be on the front lines of the fight.
“I wanted to be down and dirty and doing all of the hard stuff,” he said.
Now, Williamson enjoys the comforts of being back home, but knows that there will always be places for the Marines to go.
“It is great to be back and to get to live life normally again, but I am always ready to deploy and go fight for the freedoms that we all enjoy so much,” he stated.