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Photo Information

LCpl. Silvio J. Davilaruiz, motor transport operator, Headquarters and Support Company, 2d Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Regimental Combat Team-2, drives a 7-ton truck on various types of operations in western Iraq while deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. (Photo by LCpl. Zachary W. Lester)

Photo by Lcpl. Zachary W. Lester

San Mateo, Calif., native faces danger, supports troops on frontline

17 Aug 2005 | Lance Cpl. Zachary W. Lester

Lance Cpl. Silvio J. Davilaruiz can often be found in his 7-ton truck rolling through the desert sands of Western Iraq, where his fellow Marines from 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion work to rebuild the country.

Davilaruiz, a motor transport operator with Headquarters and Support Company, is often out in his 7-ton truck conducting various types of operations to provide support to his infantry counterparts deployed here in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“We take supplies, such as food and water, to the Marines at the FOBs (forward operating bases).  We also make sure that they have fuel,” Davilaruiz explained.

The FOBs that the San Mateo, Calif., native supports are small bases on the western border of Iraq.  The Marines at these outposts rely on Davilaruiz and his fellow motor transport Marines to bring them the supplies that are vital to their survival.

“We go out every week to deliver supplies.  There are also special missions every month to get the needed supplies out to the Marines,” Davilaruiz stated.

Though his job may seem simple at first look, it is actually extremely dangerous. The roads he and other Marines travel to ensure the well-being of his fellow service members are some of the most hazardous.

“Last week with Company E, we found an IED (improvised explosive device) factory. We also had some VBIEDs (vehicle-borne improvised explosive device) go off near us.  Nobody got hurt though,” he said. 

According to Davilaruiz driving in Iraq is very different than driving in the United States.

“There are no traffic laws to follow out here.  We pretty much get to roam free,” he explained.

When the 26-year-old joined the Marine Corps, he was unsure of the job he wanted. He chose motor transportation because he knew that it would provide a good background for his future and security for his family.

“My senior drill instructor told me that working as a motor transport Marine would allow me to spend more time with my family,” he explained. “I want to work in law enforcement when I get out.  It is a lot easier to get hired when you have a military background.”

The graduate of Aragon High School is currently on his first deployment to Iraq.

“It has been interesting.  We have done things here that we would never do at home,” Davilaruiz said.  “Being out here allows us to do what we are trained to do. We work on trucks and drive a lot more while in Iraq.”