View Full Version : From War Ship to War Eagles, Ship Store Resupplies Marines

04-23-03, 05:57 PM
by Cpl. Theresa E. Seng
Marine Corps News
April 22, 2003

JALIBAH, Iraq -- The Marines and Sailors of Marine Aircraft Group 29 here in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom received a treat when Sailors from the Supply Division aboard USS Saipan brought out items from the ship's store off the blue waters of the Persian Gulf and set up shop in the scorching sands April 9.

Lieutenant Col. Darrell L. Thacker, MAG-29 executive officer and Navy Lt. Cmdr. Bryant W. Knox, assistant supply officer aboard Saipan, and many others involved, coordinated the effort to bring out merchandise for Marines and corpsmen to purchase as well as Morale, Welfare and Recreation goods to hand out.

Three weeks after MAG-29 hit the dirt, thanks to the efforts of Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 464, who transported 3,000 pounds of cargo, some of the merchandise available were essential items to Marines when in the field, such as toiletries, socks and green t-shirts. Some of the goodies from MWR were $40,000 worth of cookies, ice-cold juice and candy.

Inside the briefing tent, which doubled as a makeshift exchange, for one day scores of Marines lined up to receive their goodies and buy their hygiene items.

"This is awesome," said Lance Cpl. Donald P. Ferguson, ordnance technician with HMH-464, as he chomped on his cookies. "I've been waiting for a chance to get some stuff for awhile now. They came just in time too. We have nothing out here and we're even running out of that."

Sailors of the Supply Division were veterans once they reached Jalibah, after they visited two other camps and received just as an outstanding welcome here as before.

The importance of bring the store to the Marines is two-fold, said Thacker, it allows a few Navy personnel to see what our life is like and have a better understanding what Marines do in the field, and it let's the Marines learn a better appreciation for how much the Navy supports us.

"Our life is good on ship by comparison," said Knox. "It's the least we could do and a really good feeling to know you're really helping out one of our sister services."

Knox even set some MWR goods aside to be sure Marines who were still working had a chance to get juice and candy.

This is a great morale booster, Ferguson said. Morale's been pretty good out here because the Marines are doing their jobs well and helping to win the war, but the post exchange was just one more thing to help out.

The Marines and Sailors who needed some items were glad to have the chance to restock their sea bags.

"We are very grateful that the ship's personnel thought about us and cared enough about the blue-green team to bring their store to us," said Thacker.

It's important to Knox and the rest of the sailors who work for him to strengthen the blue-green team any way they can.

"The Marines are so happy that we brought stuff out to them in the field," said Knox. "Everyone out here is working hard to give the ship support and protect us. The least we could do was our part to support them the best we can."