AR RAMADI, Iraq -- It’s a reality of the post 9/11 world – terrorists are out there and they want to attack the United States and the freedom and ideals it represents. Many of the Marines fighting in Iraq today joined the Marine Corps after Sept. 11, 2001 to protect and prevent another attack on their friends, family and countrymen. This desire also led many to volunteer to come to Iraq. Twenty-three-year-old Pfc. Joe Day was one of them.
“I was eager to get my chance to do something about the insurgents and terrorism they are inflicting on the United States and other countries,” said the Princeton, Ind., native. “And now that I am here, it is a great feeling to be doing that while we help the Iraqi people. We are giving them safer streets to walk and offering them the ability to have an ordinary life like we Americans enjoy everyday.”
Preparing to come to Iraq was tough work, according to Day. The training was difficult but prepared him well for the challenges he now faces here.
“At first, I was intimidated a little, knowing that for the first time in my life I would be in a position that I would have to defend myself,” he said. “I knew that the Marine Corps trained me adequately, and I was confident that I would know what to do when the situation arose. And when we got here, the training kicked in as soon as the bullets started flying.”
Now that he is here with Company K, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, Day, along with his fellow Marines, is working to provide freedom and stability in Iraq. One of the ways they are doing this is by training the Iraqi Army so that they can take over responsibility of their own country one day soon.
“At first, it was their enthusiasm that surprised me,” said Day. “However, since we got here in September, it’s the progress the IA has made that surprises me now. Their progress gives us all hope that they are willing to step up and police their own country.”
All their hard work and dedication paid off when the country took part in the Dec. 15 elections to choose their first representative government.
“I know that other Marines have talked with the public and have heard that they are eager to take part in the voting,” he said. “This is exciting to be part of, I mean this is why I wanted to come to help create a stable Iraq and prevent terrorists from attacking my country again. No matter how many shows you see on TV or how many stories you read, it’s totally different when you hit the streets here running. I’m just glad I can say I did my part.”