CAMP RIPPER, Iraq -- Denver native, Sgt. Dorian D. Brown, works in his office surrounded by numerous sacks filled with presents for Marines sent from loved ones. Even though it is a little warmer than the North Pole, the inside Brown’s Iraqi workshop feels like it’s Christmas everyday.
Brown, a well-known mail and administrative non-commissioned officer with Regimental Combat Team-2, has spent everyday since arriving here in early February making sure his fellow Marines receive their packages. He helps sort, distribute and re-route the mail that boosts morale aboard the base.
“I see people around and they ask me all the time if they got any mail. Many times I have to tell them they don’t have any,” the 27-year-old Brown commented. “But the times I get to tell them they do have mail, it’s those few seconds after I tell them, that change of expression on their faces, that makes my time here worth while.”
Boosting morale here isn’t an easy task for Brown and the few Marines who run the mailroom. Each day numerous tasks must be completed to ensure Marines get their mail when it arrives at the base.
First, all the outgoing letter mail Marines send to loved ones must be picked up from mail boxes around the camp. Once that is finished, the outgoing mail and re-routed mail is brought to the main post office aboard Camp Al Asad to be sent to other areas of Iraq and throughout the world.
“The main post office is where we get the mail from as it comes in,” said the recent meritoriously-promoted sergeant. “There are usually two big boxes full of all the RCT-2 mail.”
Once the mail is received, Brown and other Marines sort the mail by section, figure out where re-routed mail goes and conduct mail call.
“This process is repeated everyday of the week,” Brown said. “There is no rest for the weary when it comes to mail.”
Even though his job doesn’t include going on patrols or fighting on the front lines very much, Brown still believes what he is doing makes a difference in the Global War on Terrorism.
“I always think about the saying [Col. Stephen W. Davis, RCT-2 commander] has,” Brown commented. “He says ‘don’t judge your worth by your proximity to the fight;’ and I live by those words.”
Becoming a Marine after graduating from George Washington High School in 1997 wasn’t a hard decision for the former track and cross-country athlete. It wasn’t a matter of if, but when he would join once out of school.
“I always knew I was going to be a Marine. To be honest, the first time I was hooked was when I was 11 or 12 and saw that commercial on T.V.,” Brown commented, speaking of the Marine Corps’ chessboard commercial. “I was just flipping through the channels trying to find cartoons or something, when I stopped on a commercial. It was the one where the lightning strikes the knight and he becomes a Marine. From that moment I wanted to know what the Marines were all about.”
And Brown found out just what the Marine Corps was all about.
In the last seven years, Brown has been stationed on both coasts of the United States, assisted in recruiting duty in Denver and is now deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. After his tour in Iraq, Brown would like to see what else the Marine Corps is about and continue serving his country.
“For my future in the Marines, I guess I would like to ultimately go back to recruiting,” Brown said. “But as for any goals of mine, it would definitely be to own my own house, that is my biggest goal before I turn 40.”