MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - --
Marines with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division returned from an Operation Iraqi Freedom deployment here Feb. 17.
To Lance Cpl. James Hall, a mortarman with Weapons Company, the homecoming held a deep significance not just anyone could share in. He kept a family tradition alive by carrying on their longstanding military affiliation.
His parents stood by as the buses pulled in and Marines piled off. Hall’s father, Tom McDermott, beamed as his son weaved through the crowd toward him.
“Our family has a proud history of military service, so I was very proud of him for choosing to join and go overseas,” said the Elizabethton, Tn., native.
McDermott’s father served in the Navy during World War I, and McDermott also a Navy veteran, served his country in Vietnam.
“It’s just in the blood,” said 20-year-old Hall. “I mean I think our family has a sense of duty and that’s why I joined. I just wanted to serve my country.”
McDermott’s first two sons enlisted in the Army and Marine Corps. Hall the youngest of the three, anxiously waited for his chance to serve and now he has.
“I’m glad that I could carry on this family tradition and I am so glad I got this opportunity,” Hall said. “It was hard being away from family, but I’ll have this experience to remember for the rest of my life.”
In the time he was deployed, Hall participated in foot patrols, mounted patrols, and stood guard regularly at several different combat outposts.
“They kept us really busy over there, moving all the time and always having something to accomplish, so it’s over before you know it,” he said.
After seven quick months, the battalion completed a successful tour and didn’t sustain one combat casualty—a tradition that Hall and his fellow Marines could all live with during the battalion’s future endeavors.