AR RAMADI, Iraq -- Corporal Tyler S. Trovillion and fellow Marines with 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment made a discovery in the city here that had them rubbing their eyes in disbelief.
Trovillion was one of 12 Marines with 3rd Squad, 2nd Platoon, Company A, conducting a presence patrol through a neighborhood with their platoon when they ran across an unusual combination – a vehicle mounted with Texas Truck license plates. The odd vehicle was parked in the carport of a home the Marines needed to search.
“I thought ‘no way,’” said Trovillion, a grenadier and team leader with 3rd Squad, from Richardson, Texas. “I couldn’t believe it when I saw them. They look just like the plates I have on my truck.”
The 23-year-old owner of a 2002 model Dodge Ram 1500 pickup wasn’t the first to see the vehicle, though. Corporal Adam C. Daigle, a rifleman and team leader with 3rd Squad had that honor.
“Right when we walked through the place’s front gate and entered, I saw it,” recalled the 20-year-old from Cromwell, Conn. “My first thought was to show Trovillion.”
Trovillion and two other Marines with 3rd Squad are from Texas. Private Ricardo A. Orega is a 21-year-old rifleman from Houston, and Lance Cpl. Jose A. Gonzalez, is a 21-year-old rifleman from Lake Jackson, Texas.
Curious to know how the plates got all the way from the Lone Star State to Iraq, Trovillion, who speaks a moderate amount of Arabic after having taken some language classes prior to his deployment, asked the owner of the vehicle where he got them.
“He wouldn’t tell me where he got them, though,” said the 2000 Plano East High School graduate.
After conducting a detailed search of the building and deeming threat-free, Trovillion and his platoon sergeant, Sgt. Fidel A. Alcoces, also a Texas native from San Antonio, paused to have their picture taken with the little reminder of home before continuing their mission.
Trovillion said it was 3rd squad’s strangest discovery since their deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom began in early March, adding they specialize in finding things out of the ordinary.
“Our squad is known for finding stuff,” he said proudly. “We’ve found sniper rifles, several IEDs (improvised explosive devices), caches of money and other weapons.”
He and his fellow Marines of 3rd Squad have created an image for themselves as being experts at finding hidden insurgency material. Having sniffed out and uncovered numerous caches belonging to the insurgency backs their claim, he said.
Trovillion attributes skill, not luck, to his squad’s many discoveries.
“It’s our attention to detail,” he said. “We’ve proven that many times.”