AR RAMADI, Iraq -- Many young men and women harbor dreams of serving their country and enlisting in the Marine Corps. Joe Bier from Centralia, Wash., is following that dream.
Corporal Bier, a 21-year-old machine gunner, is on his first tour in Iraq and looks back on his decision to enlist with pride.
“(Joining the Marine Corps) was something I wanted to do for a long time,” he said. “If I didn’t do it when I did, I would have never joined and regretted it for the rest of my life.”
Becoming an infantryman and deploying to Iraq is what he always wanted to do, it just took a little longer then many of his fellow Company L Marines.
“Coming here was what I originally wanted, but I spent a couple of years with the security force in Bangor, Wash.,” he said. “When I joined, I didn’t see the point in doing any other job. Infantry is what the Marine Corps is.”
When the order finally came down for the corporal, he was very excited and anxious to finally fight alongside his fellow Marines.
“I thought ‘Finally, I get to do what Marines do,’” he said. “It took me three years to get here, but I am glad to finally deploy.”
Before deploying however, Bier and his fellow Marines went through months of training in order to prepare for the often-difficult situations they are now facing in Ar Ramadi.
“We did a lot of (Military Operation in Urban Terrarin),” he said. “We practiced how to cordon and search a house. I felt prepared to do my job here and be successful.”
Preparation aside, Bier had his own ideas on what life in Iraq would be like, and found them to be a little off when he actually stepped foot on the streets of Ar Ramadi.
“I expected this place to be a little more hectic, to have more enemy contact,” he said. “I’m a little disappointed, I think it’s a little quiet. I expected more to happen here. It’s not like what is shown on TV.”
Despite not living up to his expectations, Bier is glad to have the chance to come to Iraq and take part in his generation’s war.
“If I hadn’t come here, I’d have felt like I had scammed out of something,” he said. “I just wouldn’t have felt right about not coming here.”