CAMP BLUE DIAMOND, RAMADI, Iraq -- Lance Corporal Jesse D. Glennon isn’t the biggest Marine on the camp, nor the strongest, but if something needs to be moved or lifted, they call him.
The 21-year-old Jacksonville, Fl., native is a heavy equipment operator with Combat Service Support Detachment 28 deployed with the Camp Lejeune, N.C. based 2nd Marine Division. Glennon, a Marine Reservist, volunteered for the assignment.
“Like everybody else out here, I’m just the average Joe doing my job. They asked me if I wanted to go and I said yes,” Glennon said. “I didn’t want to sit around and miss all the fun.”
Since his arrival in September, Glennon said he’s definitely been having fun and staying busy. He has been involved in numerous improvement projects, including leveling several hundred yards of earth around the camp; the construction of more than a hundred protective barriers composed of sand and dirt, providing protection from mortars and rockets; and the creation of a large drainage ditch aboard the camp in an effort to stave off flooding as Iraq moves into its rainy season. All of these projects are developed and planned by the Camp Commander, Colonel David Hough, Commanding Officer, Headquarters Battalion, 2nd Marine Division.
“We’ve made a lot of improvements since September,” Glennon said. “The [barriers] are a top priority for safety on the base. For a while there, dirt was an everyday thing.”
In addition to the camps improvements, Glennon and his fellow Marines provide the lift during the daily loading and offloading of supplies and equipment for the Marines living and working on the camp. The camp houses more than a battalion of Marines, which requires a constant re-supply of food, water and equipment to keep the Division headquarters element functional. Headquarters Battalion for 2nd Marine Division arrived here nearly nine-months ago and has since been actively engaged in improving both the camp’s safety and efficiency.
“When I got here there was already a lot of work that had been done,” Glennon said. “But I think now you can really tell it’s a Marine base. Everything is in order. I take a lot of pride in that and I like when things are in order.”
According to Glennon, he has learned a lot since arriving here and is glad that he volunteered to come on active duty and deploy.
“This has been a great experience and it has taught me a lot about my [military occupational specialty],” Glennon said. “I’ve had a chance to get a lot more time operating the equipment out here than I ever would back at my reserve unit. I was pretty good as an operator before I got here, but this has definitely made me better. It’s also given me the opportunity to see how things work in a real world operation.”
Glennon’s job as a Marine is a far cry from what he does as a civilian working as an installer on an assembly line for a large company. He installs radios, speakers, transmission coolers and air conditioners into oversized trucks. Glennon left his job to come here and is now thinking about making the Marine Corps his permanent employer.
“I’ve already talked to my wife Lydia about it and I’m seriously considering going on active duty,” Glennon said. “Part of the reason I came on this deployment was to see what active duty is like and to see what the Marine Corps has to offer on the active side. I think active duty will help me set-up my future a lot better. I like the stability, the medical and dental benefits and the retirement.”
Whatever Glennon decides, the time he has spent here will leave an indelible mark on history.
“Everyone who is out here now and was out here before has played a part in history,” He said. “We all just fill the shoes of the guys who came before us. Everyone here has worked hard. So I’m looking forward to going home and playing hard. I can’t wait to get back and see my wife and my family.”