Journey of a United States marine

Derek Thompson enlisted to serve as a marine his senior year of high school when he was 17. Like many of the others who enlisted after the attacks on Sept. 11, Derek wanted to help and do as much as he could for America’s war against terrorism.

“My first tour over seas was to Ramadi, Iraq, in the months of Sept. 2008 to March 2009,” he explained this as an eye- opening experience for him.

“Iraq was definitely a culture shock for me in many ways, but helped me see a view of how the other parts of the world are and what we as Americans have to help stop,” he said.

His next deployment is very soon and as an infantry Marine, it will be a seven month tour in a combat zone.

Derek stays motivated by remembering the deployments that he has trained long and hard for in the field. “Our training is challenging in every way” he says.

One of the physically challenging parts of training is the long, long hikes. They are done in full gear with the crew serve systems on their shoulders most of the time, he explains.

Being in a Weapons Company, it is his job to manipulate heavier artillery like heavy machine guns, 81mm mortars, and tow missile systems also.

The brotherhood and camaraderie the Marine Corps brings is one thing he enjoys each day. “Never will I experience anything like the situations and circumstances that I have been in with the fellow Marines I have served with,” Derek explains.

Derek is very close to his mom, Tracy Thompson, dad, Robert Thompson, and his younger sister and brother, Hope and Andrew. He has been so inspiring to them and such a wonderful role model.

“My biggest supporters are of course my friends and family, as much as some of them don’t want me to be over there for my own well being.

They understand it is for a bigger purpose,” he said.

Like many of the others who enlisted after the attacks on Sept. 11, Derek wanted to help and do as much as he could for America’s war against terrorism.

“My first tour over seas was to Ramadi, Iraq, in the months of Sept. 2008 to March 2009,” he explained this as an eye- opening experience for him.

“Iraq was definitely a culture shock for me in many ways, but helped me see a view of how the other parts of the world are and what we as Americans have to help stop,” he said.

His next deployment is very soon and as an infantry Marine, it will be a seven month tour in a combat zone.

Derek stays motivated by remembering the deployments that he has trained long and hard for in the field. “Our training is challenging in every way” he says.

One of the physically challenging parts of training is the long, long hikes. They are done in full gear with the crew serve systems on their shoulders most of the time, he explains.

Being in a Weapons Company, it is his job to manipulate heavier artillery like heavy machine guns, 81mm mortars, and tow missile systems also.

The brotherhood and camaraderie the Marine Corps brings is one thing he enjoys each day. “Never will I experience anything like the situations and circumstances that I have been in with the fellow Marines I have served with,” Derek explains.

Derek is very close to his mom, Tracy Thompson, dad, Robert Thompson, and his younger sister and brother, Hope and Andrew. He has been so inspiring to them and such a wonderful role model.

“My biggest supporters are of course my friends and family, as much as some of them don’t want me to be over there for my own well being.

They understand it is for a bigger purpose,” he said.