ASP WOLF, AL ANBAR, Iraq -- Marines are most impressionable when they first begin their military careers. What they learned from their instructors at Marine Combat Training often stays with them throughout their enlistment.
Now, with the continuing operations in Iraq, Marines find themselves serving with their former instructors and for one former instructor that makes his time in the Marine Corps worthwhile.
Sgt. Anthony A. Muro is a 1995 graduate of Whittier Christian High School of Whittier, Calif., a busy city where he says you never see the same person twice. He is currently a security platoon sergeant attached to Company B, 4th Combat Engineer Battalion at Ammo Supply Point Wolf.
"I was a bad kid growing up,” the 29-year-old remembered. “I found out I was adopted when I was five and never had a father, so I was very angry a lot in my life.”
He joined the Marine Corps in 1998 and found the discipline he had lacked while growing up. It was then that things really started to improve for him.
“It tested my limits; physically, mentally, emotionally and I became a better person because of that.”
During his first term in the Marine Corps there wasn’t any major operation ongoing that he could participate in, so he became a Marine Combat Training instructor at the School of Infantry East, Camp Geiger N.C.
“Then when Operation Iraqi Freedom came about, I couldn’t deploy,” said Muro with a hurt look. “It was like training for a big game and then never getting a chance to play.
“I felt left behind, so I began training other Marines who might be able to deploy. I felt this was the best I could do to participate in the war on terrorism.”
During his time as a training instructor, he made an impression on a lot of his students.
“I really think I passed on to my students both Marine Corps knowledge and life experience.”
He separated from the military in September 2004 when his contract expired and was voluntarily recalled the following January. He knows his decision to return was the right one, especially when he got a chance to serve with those he taught.
“When I finally got to Iraq, I saw many of the Marines I trained and they remembered me and told me how much I had helped them.
I even got a chance to ride in a convoy with one of them. Seeing him behind a squad automatic weapon in the gunner’s seat really motivated me.”
Although he’s happy to be here serving his country he feels bad about having to miss his first wedding anniversary with his wife who is also a Marine.
“I figure everything will work out fine. She is very supportive of my decisions. She is also on deployment in a different part of the world. So it will make our time apart go by much quicker.”
Muro’s future in the Corps is very much like his past. He has no regrets about coming back in the Marines and always wants to be a part of it in someway.
“I’m thinking of becoming a law enforcement officer, but if my wife re-enlists then I will re-enlist also,” Muro said. “I figure I may still influence more Marines and who better to do that with than someone who will grow old with me in the Corps.”