HIT, Iraq -- The roster of Marines from 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment is unlike others. It consists of Marines from all 50 states and numerous other countries.
One of these Marines, Lance Cpl. Daniel A. Elborne, an infantryman with 1st Platoon, Company L, was born in a small town outside London and sees his service in the Corps as a way to serve both the U.S. and Great Britain.
“I’ve been in the United States since I was 5, but I still have strong family ties back in London,” the 24-year-old said. “Being apart of the Marine Corps, I know I can defend them both from any enemy.”
Elborne grew up in San Antonio before moving to New York after graduating high school. On Sept. 11, a few miles from “Ground Zero,” his life took a turn that would eventually lead him to join the Marine Corps and serve here in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“I did a lot research on the United States Marines as well the British Royal Marines,” the 1999 Robert E. Lee graduate said. “I have a lot of pride in being a British citizen, but after I saw the aftermath of the attack, I knew then that I needed to be a Marine to try and prevent things like that from happening anywhere.”
Knowing that being in one of the toughest military organizations would take a lot of training, both physically and mentally, he began studying military history and exercising vigorously.
While preparing to enlist, he also had to obtain his citizenship, which until then he had not thought about getting.
“I’m the first member of my family to be a (U.S.) citizen and until that point, I was happy to be an immigrant in this great country,” Elborne said. “I earned my citizenship for America and maintained my citizenship from the United Kingdom two weeks before recruit training. That was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”
After completing his training, he was assigned to the 4th Reconnaissance Battalion in San Antonio and deployed to Iraq this past spring.
In Iraq, he served as part of Camp Al Asad’s base security with Company I, until he was reassigned to Company L to participate in Operation Saif (Sword) and the follow-on missions to establish a permanent presence here.
Recently he helped apprehend a suspected insurgent who had positioned a roadside bomb near a mosque.
“I really felt like I played a part in the war by helping bring this guy in,” Elborne said, smiling. “I figure this is just one more guy who cannot deter our efforts to help the people of this city.”
Elborne expressed his feelings about the recent terrorist attack in London and he uses it as an example of why he is here fighting in the Global War on Terrorism.
“It goes to show that America is not the only country in danger from these guys and that’s why I’m glad both my countries are fighting them together,” Elborne said. “We will continue to fight and win, but I think it’s just wonderful that I have not just the support of my adopted country, America, but my home country of England.”