View Full Version : Father, son plan for special day together in Iraq

06-18-05, 07:42 AM
Father, son plan for special day together in Iraq
Submitted by: II Marine Expeditionary Force (FWD)
Story Identification #: 200561741916
Story by Staff Sgt. Ronna M. Weyland

CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq (June 17, 2005) -- This Father’s Day will be spent in a foreign country, but the day will still be celebrated together for one Powder Springs, Ga., family.

“I have a couple of cigars that were a gift to me that we are going to smoke on Father’s Day or the first chance we get,” said Larry Murray, civilian contractor, G-6, II Marine Expeditionary Force (FWD).

Murray, who arrived in Iraq June 1, was fortunate enough to be stationed on the same base as his son, Private Nicholas R. Murray, 20, assault amphibious vehicle crewman, 2nd Platoon, Bravo Company, 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 2nd Marine Division.

Nicholas said he knew his father might be coming to Iraq before he deployed himself in March.

“There was talk about it, but nothing was for certain,” said Nicholas. “I was pretty excited when I found out I would have my father out here at the same time. That doesn’t happen for too many people.”

Larry said it was a unique opportunity to be able to come to Iraq; one he couldn’t pass up. He had learned about a job available working for DataPath in satellite communications supporting II MEF (FWD).

“I got a leave of absence from work and my guard unit, to take this opportunity,” he said.

Larry said he is no stranger to deployments and was deployed in support of Operation Bright Star during the terrorist attacks Sept. 11, 2001. He is a reservist with 283rd Combat Communication Squadron, Georgia Air National Guard at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, in Marietta, Ga.

He said despite being in the National Guard, he hasn’t had the opportunity to deploy in support of Operations Enduring Freedom or Iraqi Freedom.

“It gives me a chance to feel like I have done something for the cause,” he said about working in Iraq.

Despite Nicholas’ high operational tempo requiring him to go outside the wire often, both father and son hope to be able to spend some time playing cards and just hanging out getting to know each other on a different level.

“It is a good chance for us to bond and get to know each other, not to sound to cliché,” said Nicholas about spending time with his father. “I got to take him out on a ride in one of the tracks too and that was fun.”

Both agree they believe in what they are doing in Iraq.

“I didn’t know exactly what to expect when I first got here since it was my first deployment,” said Nicholas. “I think we are doing a lot of good out here. I am lucky to be working with a good group of guys who know what they are doing and learning from some who have been here before.”

Nicholas said he has also learned to appreciate things a lot more and not to take life for granted. His father agreed.

“I think learning to appreciate life is a lesson people don’t usually learn until later in life,” Larry said. “In a way it is a gift for these young people to learn this early on in life.”

Back home in Powder Springs, Deborah Murray is proud of both her husband and son.

“I am so proud of both of them. The feeling is too big for words,” she wrote in an e-mail. “When I found out about Larry going over there I was happy. I am glad they are together and that Nick has someone to look after him. I am greatly comforted by that. Most people don't understand, they say it's terrible that both my husband and son are over there, and I tell them, no, that's right where Larry needs to be right now.”

Deborah had her own message to pass to her husband, “Happy Father’s Day Larry...you are truly the best dad and as far as I'm concerned, no one else even comes close. I love you and am very proud of both of you.”

Please feel free to publish this story or any of the accompanying photos. If used, please give credit to the writer/photographer, and contact us at: cepaowo@cemnf-wiraq.usmc.mil so we can update our records.


Private Nicholas R. Murray (right), 20, assault amphibious vehicle crewman, 2nd Platoon, Bravo Company, 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, and Larry Murray, civilian contracotr, G-6, II Marine Expeditionary Force (FWD), pose for a photo inside an AAV. The Powder Springs, Ga., father and son are currently stationed in Camp Fallujah, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and plan to spend Father's Day smoking a cigar together. Photo by: Courtesy Photo