FALLUJAH, Iraq -- For many people a birthday means a day off. It’s a time to celebrate the successful passage of another year of life and to look forward to the year that lies ahead. It’s a time of celebration with family and friends, relaxation and gifts.
For Seaman Michael E. Weaver, a corpsman with 2nd Squad, 3rd Platoon, Company F, 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, a birthday is just another day. He still has a mission to do while deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The Lancaster, Penn., native turned 28 years old on Oct. 17. He celebrated his birthday by decorating his room with decorations sent to him in the mail and passing out bullhorns and Happy-Birthday hats for his Marines.
He also did his duty, going out on patrol with his fellow warriors. During the course of the patrol a stream of laughing, smiling kids constantly surrounded Weaver as he handed candy to them.
“I love kids,” said Weaver. “These kids can’t help the situation they’re in. If I can give them some kind of joy, even if it’s just a piece of candy, then it makes me feel good. I have tons of candy and I give some out every time I go out.”
Weaver says that the members of the platoon jokingly refer to him as “Uncle Weav.”
“I am one of the older guys in the platoon and more mature than most because of my age,” he said. “A lot of the younger guys come to me for advice and I try and point them in the right direction.”
Weaver has been in the Navy for 14 months and decided to enlist after looking at how much it could help him continue his medical education.
“I always wanted to get into the medical field,” he added. “It’s really hard to go back to school and I knew that being in the Navy would make it easier.”
For now though, the dedicated corpsmen is focusing on the present and on his Marines.
“I take it day by day and make sure that all my guys get home safe.” Weaver said.