CAMP AL QA'IM, Iraq -- Someone once wrote that an army lives off its stomach. This axiom holds true even today, with all the current technological accoutrements of modern war.
To help keep that stomach full so an army can continue fighting, men stand behind the lines and often behind the scenes to ensure necessary supplies reach those who need them. One such group works in the Headquarters & Service Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment’s supply section.
During Operation Iron Fist – the sweep of the Euphrates River towns of Sa’dah and Eastern Karabilah, the rifle companies of the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines moved at a breakneck pace. As they moved forward, the supply Marines followed in trace with a re-supply of food and water, concertina wire, and materials for the eventual construction of fortified battle positions in both towns.
“It was a 24 hour-a-day job. Me and Cpl. Cruz (Aljericho C.) worked at the forward supply point, running chow, water and other supplies to the infantry and battle positions,” said Pfc. Chad R. Lamb, native of Grapevine, a Ft. Worth, Texas suburb, and warehousemen, Supply Section, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines.
At the battalion supply point, work is not danger free for the Marines.
“We were under mortar fire, one landing not too far in front of me,” said Lamb. “It had no effect on the work we were doing. A lot of Marines need our supplies to do the job.”
Under fire with Lamb was Seattle native Cpl. Aljericho C. Cruz. “We just kept going. If the mission states we have to drop supplies, every Marine is a rifleman, we do it.”
Back at Camp Al Qa’im, the supply Marines worked equally as hard to ensure the Marines fighting had the supplies they needed.
“We loaded all the convoy’s heading out,” said Pfc. David J. Sumerville, native of Westland, Mich., and 2004 graduate of John Glenn High School. “I still worked my hardest even though I wasn’t out there.”
Working with Sumerville was Temecula, Calif., native Lance Cpl. Anthony R. Chaidez; St. Petersburg, Fla., native Pfc. Darrin L, Ortiz; St. Cloud, Fla., native Cpl. Brenton H. Thai and Cpl. Myles F. Tweedy.
“They were going through supplies quickly,” said Ortiz, 27. “Luckily, we had access to our own forklift so we could easily move supplies from the warehouse to the convoy trucks when necessary.”
Overseeing the operation within the battalion’s supply warehouse was the supply chief, Staff Sgt. Mickey E. Gibson, 30, from Georgetown, Ind.
“We have a job to do: To support the fighter, sustain the fight, and accomplish the mission. It’s our responsibility to keep that going, to ensure no Marines go without something they need,” he said.