CAMP HANSON, Afghanistan --
U.S. Marines serving in Marjah, Afghanistan, say when they have the time, they often think about the luxuries and comforts they miss at home. Naturally, there’s always one lady missed very much by a deployed Marine – his mother.
Guard sentries here spend large chunks of their day guarding Camp Hanson at fortified posts around the base. As they keep vigilant, scanning the scenery immediately in front of them all the way back to the horizon, on the lookout for threats and enemy activity, they often think about home and memories thereof.
Two Marines guarding the entry control point said they wouldn’t even be serving at the forward edge of the battlefield if it weren’t for the support from their mothers respectively, who they said they miss.
Lance Cpl. Seth Isaacs, a rifleman serving with Golf Company, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, who stands watch at one of the base’s entry control points, said it’s his “duty” to call his mother at least once a week.
“I know once a week isn’t much, but she knew how it was during my last deployment,” said Isaacs, a Sophia, N.C., native. “Every time I talk to her, she’s in good spirits. I tell her how I am, and she knows I’m OK.”
Isaacs said no matter what happens during his time in combat operations, he assures his mother every week that he’s safe and she has nothing to worry about.
Isaacs’ sentry partner, Pfc. Taurean Benn, a small arms mechanic serving with the battalion, said when he’s on watch, all he can do is think of home and reminisce about moments with his family in Three Rivers, Mich.
“My mom is the only lady in my life so she’s the only one I call when I’m out here,” Benn said.
When he made up his mind to join the Marine Corps almost two years ago when he was 18 years old, he said his mother tried to persuade him to think of other options. When she realized her son wasn’t budging, she gave him her full support, along with some worries.
Isaacs said he thinks Marines should always keep their parents from worrying by calling.
“It’s important just for the simple fact that your family worries; your parents worry – especially your mom. She worries,” Isaacs said.
The Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., -based battalion has taken a new role in their deployment, providing guidance to Afghan National Security Forces in Marjah, as the Afghan forces take lead in security operations.
Marines have even reduced Camp Hanson’s perimeter as they consolidate forces, making the guard force a more vital asset to security.
In between shifts and rest time, Isaacs and Benn were both able to make arrangements they said is a must on Mother’s Day.
Benn said he knows the surprise will brighten the day on “her day.”