CAMP AL QA’IM, Iraq --
Families come together in times of crisis, holidays, celebrations, and other average events, but it’s not normal news to hear about a father visiting his son in a war-torn country. Father and son vacations are normally to the ballpark, going out fishing, hiking, museums but how about Al Qa’im, Iraq?
Lt. Col. David McMorries, the Deputy Communications Officer with Multinational Forces West stopped by Camp Al Qa’im to visit his son, Lance Cpl. Brennan McMorries, a rifleman with Charlie Company, Task Force 1st Battalion, 4th Marines attached to Regimental Combat Team 2 after conducting business at a nearby camp.
“I was deploying the same time as my son, so I wanted to make sure I could come see him,” McMorries, the proud father, said.
Brennan enlisted, and it became hard for him and his father to see one another because of their busy lifestyles. David wanted to make sure he saw Brennan while they were both deployed.
“Nobody told me at the battle position what was going on,” Brennan said. “I was told to pack my stuff, because I was heading to Al Qa’im.”
Brennan was finally told by his company commander that his father was going to stop by and surprise him with a visit.
“I was pretty excited,” Brennan said referring to how he felt when he was told his father was to visit him.
Task Force 1/4’s hospitality allowed Brennan some rest and relaxation with his father here, but this has been the only time he has received any special treatment.
“I never really told anyone that my father is a lieutenant colonel because I didn’t want any special privileges,” Brennan said.
“Every Marine has to earn the title,” David added. “Your venture is your own.”
The two walked around the camp while David’s son showed him how 1/4 Marines live.
“It’s pretty different being out at the tip of the spear because we hear 1/4 is doing a great job from what we hear at headquarters, but now I can see they’re doing a great job!” David said.
The two Marines, father and son, lieutenant colonel and lance corporal have a strong bond because of their eagle, globe and anchor that many parents cannot compare.
“I didn’t take the path to boot camp because OCS is different,” David said. “He’s completed boot camp and I’ve completed OCS, but the end result is the same.”
The father and son outing on the camp wasn’t like going fishing, or hunting because they were restricted to the safety the base had to offer. They decided to use the Morale, Welfare and Recreation room to relax and watch a movie with one another. Brennan and his father were able to enjoy their time together as a family and as Marines, no matter what their rank.
“The two paths are different, but both earn the title of US Marine,” David said.
The Marines walked off wearing their digital desert-camouflage uniforms. One looked slightly younger with less weight on the collar and the other looked a bit saltier, but both wore a striking resemblance of family and brotherhood on their upper-left blouse pocket. The family name was U-S-M-A-R-I-N-E-S.