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Junior Marine, young father fights for country, daughter

14 May 2005 | Lance Cpl. Athanasios L. Genos

Out patrolling in the streets of Nasser Wa Salaam, the Willimantic, Conn., native, is fighting in the Global War on Terrorism so his daughter can grow up not having to worry about terrorism in her back yard.

Lance Cpl. John D. MacNaughton, a machine gunner with 1st Squad 2nd Platoon, patrols the streets with a watchful eye looking for anything suspicious.  This Marine, young father and husband gives up his freedoms so they can keep theirs back home.

“I don’t want my daughter or anyone’s children having to grow up worrying about car bombs in the street or terrorists attacks,” explained the 2004 Windham Tech High School graduate.

As he patrols through the streets, MacNaughton thinks back to his decision to join the Marines. In his mind he knew he would deploy to Iraq, but didn’t think it would be so soon. 

Upon finishing the School of Infantry, he reported to 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment. He was on a plane less than one month later.

“No matter what situation he is in, he always has a good attitude towards everything he is doing,” explained Lance Cpl. Michael D. Nichols, who is the fire team leader of MacNaughton, and Bassett, Va., native.

Arriving in Iraq, MacNaughton and his Company were assigned to Abu Ghurayb Prison in the town of Nasser Wa Salaam.  His squad is tasked with conducting security patrols and post security as they work with Iraqi National Guard members. 

This assignment has taken him away from his two-year-old daughter and newlywed wife of less than a year.

“Although I am away from my family, I have a second family here with me,” he explained.  “We all work and live together and are brothers out here on our deployment to Iraq.”

Having a high school sweetheart and a daughter whom he loves dearly, he makes all the sacrifices of being a Marine to ensure they are safe.  Seeing the children in the streets of Iraq, he thinks of his daughter in their place and is reminded again and again of what he is doing here as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, fighting in the Global War on Terrorism.

“He is always waving to the children and shaking their hands as he walks by them on our patrols,” explained Nichols.

While moving through the streets providing a strong military presence he smiles and waves to the children showing them the Marines are here to help and provide them with a free and peaceful Iraq.

“I love children and think they are important in the future of the world,” explained MacNaughton.  “If it wasn’t me here fighting for the future of the world, it would be someone else and I want to be the one making sure my daughter and the rest of the U.S. are protected.”