Ward, Ark., native doubles up in Iraq

25 Sep 2005 | Lance Cpl. Zachary W. Lester

After re-enlisting into a new job field in the Marine Corps, Cpl. Ebern H. Wiley deployed to Iraq where he found himself not only working as a mechanic but also filling a billet from his old field.

Wiley, a light armored vehicle mechanic with Maintenance Platoon, 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, works to repair the battalion’s LAVs and also plays a part in the base’s corrections facility.

As a mechanic, the 26-year-old Marine puts new engines and transmissions in the LAVs and he also runs the parts storage facility that houses all of the parts for the vehicles.

“I make sure all the parts are serialized and in the computer, so they are easy to find.  I make sure everyone gets the parts that they need,” Wiley stated.

As a corrections Marine in Iraq, the Ward, Ark., native handles the detainees that are brought to the camp from the surrounding areas.

“I’ve handled over 300 detainees.  I also make sure that my guys are following the rules to keep them out of trouble,” Wiley explained.  “I also ensure that all the paper work is in order.”

He is also responsible for the well-being of the detainees.

“I make sure the detainees are following the rules and regulations that they are supposed to follow, and I make sure that they are kept clean and have food and water,” he said.

Wiley switched to a career in mechanics after completing his first enlistment as a corrections Marine.

“I started looking around to see what different jobs I could do,” he said.  “Most of my jobs before I joined the military had something to do with mechanics.  I decided to work on LAVs.”

The Cabot High School graduate was a diesel mechanic before joining the Marine Corps and was used to doing small engine repairs. 

“It was a lot different.  I had to get a lot more in-depth into the engine.  Doing this allowed me to get more experience in something that I was always curious about,” he stated.

Even though Wiley is working in two jobs during his first deployment to Iraq, he feels he is making more a difference here than he did back in States.

“Working out here is completely different than back home,” Wiley explained.  “Back there you are watching over other military members that have done something wrong.  Out here you feel like you are doing more and making a difference.” Wiley said.