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06-21-07, 12:36 PM #1
Corpsman continues family's military heritage
Everyone has their own reasons for joining the military. Some join for the free college, others for the opportunity to travel and some to follow in the footsteps of their family members.
For Petty Officer 3rd Class Joseph P. Nededog, platoon corpsman, 4th Platoon, 3rd Squad, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, joining the military is something common in his family.
“My father was a retired Marine and stepdad was in the Navy, so I knew I had the right mentality to join the military,” he said. “I always had thoughts of joining the military, but I really always wanted to be a professional football player.”
Nededog, a Kalihi, Hawaii, native, said he played football in high school but knew becoming a professional was just a dream.
“I guess I knew I would end up in the military since I was brought up around it,” said the Pearl City High School graduate. “I was already used to moving around a lot since I was a military child and lived in Florida, Guam, Virginia and Hawaii.”
Nededog left for Navy boot camp in Chicago, Sept. 11, 2004, and said it was exactly what he imagined.
“I was always told that boot camp is a lot easier on people who were athletes before they joined,” he added. “They were right. It was all about teamwork and playing football throughout high school taught me that at an early age.”
Upon completion of basic training, Nededog went to Corps School which was also in Chicago and attended Field Medical School at Camp Johnson, N.C.
“I checked into 1/3 in July of 2005,” said the 23-year-old. “It’s great working with the Marines. I love these guys. I had to earn the name ‘Doc’ and make sure they could trust me with their lives.”
Nededog said working with the Marines is a full-time job and they look at him as a health father figure.
“They come to me for everything,” he added. “Whether they’re having personal problems, dental or medical problems. It’s much more than being just a corpsman, but I’m glad they can come to me, it lets me know they trust me.”
Much like a father, Nededog knows the blood types and allergies of all of the Lava Dogs, another name for Marines assigned to 1/3, in his squad.
“To be honest, at first I didn’t really know what a corpsman did,” said Nededog. “But once I walked through the doors at Corps School, I was motivated as I read about the history of the corpsman on the walls.”
During his enlistment, Nededog has deployed to Afghanistan with 1/3 and is currently in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“When I found out I was going to Iraq I was a little nervous in the beginning because I didn’t know what to expect. I was confident in my job when the time to leave came because of the training 1/3 had put us through,” he exclaimed. “I’ll admit I had a few nightmares about the deployment, but it got better after we completed Mojave Viper. Doc Conklin (a senior corpsman with 1/3) kept me in his left pocket through training and taught me a lot of what I know. Now, if I’m in a situation and am not 100 percent sure what to do I think, ‘what would Conklin do?’”
Nededog said the deployment is going well so far, but events have occurred that will stick with him forever.
“On one patrol, our convoy hit an (improvised explosive device) and two Marines were injured, one of which I became very good friends with before we got to Iraq,” he said. “It just lets you know that you never know when it could happen. No matter how well you know an area or how many times you patrol an area, something could happen at any second.”
After the IED went off Nededog didn’t hesitate and did exactly what we has trained to do, said Sgt. Joshua T. Isberner, section leader, 4th Platoon, 3rd Squad, Bravo Company, 1/3.
“He is a great corpsman, and I pretty much fought to make sure he was going to be our corpsman,” Isberner, a St. Cloud, Minn., native added. “He keeps morale up in the Marines and we’re all glad to have him.”
Nededog said once he returns to Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay, after the deployment, he plans on working in the base dental clinic.
“Dental is one of my weaknesses, so I figure I should attack it head on,” Nededog added. “I plan on being a lifer in the Navy, so I should be efficient at every aspect of my job.”
He said he would also like to attend college and work toward a degree in business.
“The Navy is great and I love what I do, but once I retire I want to move to the East Coast and open my own restaurant,” he said. “Even when I’m out, I’ll never forget the times I’ve had during my deployments and working with the Marines of 1/3.”
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