Photo Information

CAMP AL QA'IM, Iraq (June 9, 2005)- Lance Cpl. David S. Scraggs, 22, an embark specialist with 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team-2 is responsible for the mobilization of the battalion. The Knoxville, Tenn., native has experienced the Iraqi culture first hand and discovered the appreciation they have for U.S. forces. Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Lucian Friel (RELEASED)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Lucian Friel

Knoxville, Tenn., native helps 3/2 move

16 Jul 2005 | Lance Cpl. Lucian Friel

“If your going to do it, do it right, and I figured the Marine Corps is the best,” said Lance Cpl. David S. Scraggs, 22, explaining why he joined the Marine Corps after graduating high school. The Knoxville, Tenn., native said he didn’t know what else to do after graduating and he needed a job, but the reason he joined turned out to be a little more detailed than that. Before joining the Corps, Scraggs participated in drag racing for fun and worked as an auto mechanic at a car dealership. “I made pretty good money, but it was a routine job, and I didn’t really like that. I wanted something more,” explained the 2002 Union County High School graduate. It didn’t take long for Scraggs to decide what to do. He joined the Corps shortly after graduating becoming a fourth-generation Marine. Scraggs eventually became an embark specialist with 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment and is currently serving in the Global War on Terrorism here in the Al Anbar province of Western Iraq. His job as an embark specialist has a tremendous effect on the mobility of the battalion while they are conducting security and stabilization operation during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He is responsible for loading and unloading logistics and combat re-supply convoys and helps handle the logistics within the battalion. “Everything that moves in the battalion, I have my hand in it in some way, shape or form; such as water getting moved from here, troops getting moved to there,” Scraggs said. With the different aspects of his job and his fluctuating work schedule, Scraggs has escaped the routine job-life that he had years prior and has come to understands the importance of his current service. “Everyday is different for me. Without my job people don’t get moved; people don’t get ammo, water or chow; people don’t go to war and people don’t go home. It’s a behind the scene job,” he explained. According to Scraggs, being deployed has been hard on his family, but one thing gets him through this deployment. “Being deployed is really hard on my wife and daughter, but it’s a part of this job, and every time I get a package from them its like Christmas,” he explained. Although being deployed can be hard sometimes for Scraggs, he said he has gained so much more from being out here in the far deserts of Iraq. “It makes you respect life more and respect things you have in America. I appreciate seeing some of things that I’ve seen out here,” he continued. “Being here makes you more responsible, because if you’re not there’s a good chance that people are going to die because of you.” Scraggs, as a part of his job, travels on most of the convoys that leave this base, so he has seen the towns and people in this secluded region of Iraq. This has given him an idea of the bigger picture of why he is here. “It’s kind of hard to see the big picture on our level (lance corporal, or lower enlisted level), but I think it helps you understand the politics of it better,” Scraggs continued. “It makes you feel really good to see grown men, women and children on the street waving at you. I think if you choose to look at that instead of missing home all the time, you can tell that they appreciate us here helping them and I’ve seen it first hand.”