Father and son from Douglas reunite in Iraqi city

Karen Colbenson/The Daily Dispatch

For some people, September 11th is a day of remembering those who suffered and those who died at the hands of terrorists during this nation's most horrendous attack 5 years ago.

Other people, like Douglas resident Maria Orozco, are reminded every day what that tragedy brought upon this nation, because two of her loved ones are still involved in the fighting and suffering.

Orozco's husband, Joe W. Orozco, and their son, Joseph B. Orozco, both serve in the marines, and the war situation has not yet allowed them to leave.

Joe is a Master Gunnery Sergeant for the marines, and following in his father's footsteps, Joseph is also serving in the marines as a Lance Corporal.

After graduating from Douglas High School in 2005, Joseph joined the marines and began his service in Iraq. He has been over there for 7 months so far, and will be coming home temporarily in a few weeks. After a short leave, he will again be deployed to start his second tour of duty.

"Joseph joined the marines because he wanted to experience new places and things," his mother said. "He actually turned 19 years old over in Iraq."

Then just last month, Maria had to deal with another family parting when her husband, Joe, left the safety and security of Douglas to complete a mission in the war torn country of Iraq. But that duty was not the only thing Joe had in mind when he was deployed.

In an email to his wife, Joe wrote, "Besides my assigned mission here in Iraq, my own personal mission was to find our [son] JB."

On August 29, that personal mission was completed. Joe and Joseph were reunited in the Iraqi city of Al-Qaim, a border city at the western edge of Anbar province. (Al-Qaim is located about a mile from the Syrian border along the Euphrates River, which is about 200 miles northwest of Baghdad.)

Although news of the reunion was a happy day for the Orozco family, Maria and her other two children, Jeremy and Gaby, want their family back together in Douglas. "We miss them. We want them home."

Presently, there is no known time frame for Joe's return to Douglas.

Joe, who is the son of late Joe Orozco and Lucy Orozco, has served in the Marines for 25 years now; since 1981. He would like to make it at least 30 years before he retires.

Joseph is in his first year of service.