PDA

View Full Version : Determination drives Devil Dog through difficult time



thedrifter
01-29-08, 09:10 PM
Determination drives Devil Dog through difficult time
Marine Corps News ^ | Pfc. Casey Jones, USMC

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (Jan. 28, 2008) -- Sgt. Jeremy F.
Boutwell, a 23-year-old Marine, knows a thing or two about “honor,
courage and commitment.”

Boutwell, an intelligence specialist with Headquarters and Service
Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II
Marine Expeditionary Force, is planning for an upcoming deployment to
Iraq after sustaining severe injuries during an attack in Al Anbar
Province, March 14, 2004.

Boutwell was an MK-19 machine gunner with Weapons Company, 3rd
Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine
Expeditionary Force (forward), when the attack occurred during a
motorized routine patrol.

“We were going on a patrol about to cross the Euphrates River, a spot
we
crossed about every day, and for some reason we stopped,” Boutwell
explained. “I looked to the left and I heard a loud noise like an
explosion and everything went black after that.”

The thunderous explosion caused Boutwell to lose consciousness, but he
was able to regain awareness moments later.

“It felt kind of weird but everything came crashing down to reality
after a while,” said Boutwell, who was a lance corporal at the time
of
the attack. “I could feel myself being pulled out of the truck and I
could hear my buddies yelling. I could hear and feel everything, I just

couldn’t see anything. The last thing I remember was the wind from
the
chopper. When I woke up a few days later I was in Germany.”

Boutwell said he was then transferred from Germany to Bethesda, Md., to

San Antonio, where he stayed for two years undergoing a total of 18
surgeries. Boutwell depicted the pain of no longer being “in the
fight”
with his Marine brethren as one of the toughest moments of his life.

“Honestly, leaving Iraq was the worst time of my life,” Boutwell
expressed. “It was nice being around home for about the first month
because I got to see my family and friends, but then it tore me up
inside knowing my buddies were still heavily engaged at the time (in
Iraq).”

Boutwell said he never lost his desire to be a Marine during the
surgeries and his ensuing recovery, but quickly found himself in
another
battle: the fight to reenlist.

“I didn’t want to get out of the Marine Corps, and I wanted to go
back
to Iraq,” Boutwell said. “Headquarters tried to retire me from the
Corps
when I was stuck down in Texas for my surgeries. But I didn’t want to

get out, so I fought the decision and they finally let me lateral move
to a different (military occupational specialty) and reenlist. You just

really got to believe in being a Marine and believe in what you’re
doing
and that’ll carry you as far as you want to go.”

Boutwell is now preparing for a second deployment in support of
Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“I feel good about going back to Iraq,” Boutwell said. “I’ve
been trying
to go back for almost four years.”

Boutwell said he is excited about seeing the positive changes between
his last deployment and his upcoming deployment.

“I’m going to be happy to see the differences from the way it was
(in
2004),” Boutwell said. “The last time I was there we were in the
middle
of a firefight everyday, and now it’s a lot calmer. I know just from
my
experience from being over there the first time--we definitely made a
difference over there.”

Boutwell, with the battalion’s deployment approaching, has set a few
personal goals he would like to accomplish while in country.

“I want to come home without a scratch, try to learn a lot while I am

there, go out on patrols and get to see and talk to the locals--you
know, do something interesting,” Boutwell said.

Ellie