Truck Company Marines work hard to play hard

10/15/2009 By Cpl. Triah Pendracki , Multi National Force - West

Tactical vehicles are staged for the next convoy at the Truck Company, II Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group (Forward) motor pool and Marines make sure all their gear is ready, it looks like the work day is over for the “Scavengers” aboard Al Asad Air Base, Iraq.

Meanwhile, across the large lot of sand and gravel, Marines get ready to step up to the plate – literally.

“We do a lot of work in a short amount of time,” said Lance Cpl. Terrance Boykin, a motor transport operator with Truck Company, II MHG (Fwd). “But, sometimes it will take us only half the work day to do a day’s work. In those cases, we take the time to relax and have fun.”

Even as the operational tempo for the service members with Multi National Force - West begins to slow, the Marines of Truck Company continue to conduct responsible drawdown convoys from Al Asad.

“After a hard work day getting everything ready for the next convoy, it’s nice to use some of that spare time to build morale,” says Sgt. Juan Tellorios, truck master for Truck Company. “It helps with camaraderie and breaks the monotony of the day.”

“Sometimes we do softball or volleyball,” added Cpl. Keith Young, a wrecker operator with the company. “We’ll go for runs and some of us like to practice [the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program]. Mainly, it lets us all get a feel for one another and brings us closer as a unit.”

With many individual ready reserve Marines and several others returning home, Truck Company’s size has dwindled. But, their motivation and teamwork has remained at full strength, even as their time remaining in Iraq is just a few short months.

“We’re out here no matter what,” said Young. “We do the ‘Marine thing’. Part of that is the balance of work and play and I think we got it down pretty well.”

In their down time during the day, the sergeants and corporals often pull their Marines together and conduct training which allows them to continue building bonds with their junior Marines.

“Our NCOs will sit down with us and ask us what we feel like doing, what we’ve learned and so on,” said Boykin. “This makes it very easy for us to approach them if there is ever a problem.”
Whether these Marines are playing a friendly game of softball, enjoying a ping pong tournament, or taking steps to further their military education, they are working close together just as they do when they’re tackling the bumpy and dangerous roads of Iraq’s Al Anbar province.