RAMADI, Iraq --
RAMADI, Iraq (October 10, 2008) – As one of the few Marines in his platoon to have already deployed to al Anbar Province, Sgt. Samuel R. Lott quickly was looked to as a leader by both Marines his junior and his senior.
Lott, a 23-year-old motor transportation operator from Mojave Valley, Ariz., with Headquarters and Support Company, Regimental Combat Team 1, first deployed to Iraq for a year in February 2004 with RCT-1.
Back for his second tour with the same unit, Lott’s previous combat experience makes him a valuable asset to his platoon’s mission accomplishment on the roads of Iraq.
“We have a few people who deployed to Iraq before, but it is really key that he deployed with RCT-1 to Fallujah,” said Gunnery Sgt. Christopher L. Hambaugh, the RCT-1, motor transport chief, from Tampa, Fla. “The knowledge he has from being here before has helped out immensely. He knew the city and the routes already and it really helped having him.”
But Lott’s deployment history has been wrought with injuries; severe enough to take him off the roads, but not out of the fight completely.
During his first deployment, Lott broke his ankle while doing physical training.
On his current deployment, while conducting training operations, Lott fell from a vehicle and broke his collarbone.
“(Both times) the first thing I thought was ‘I’m not going home,’” said Lott. “I had worked to hard training our Marines for me to leave them a couple months into the deployment,” said Lott.
The injuries may have slowed him down, but not enough to make him ineffective to the regiment.
“He is like all Marines; he wants to be out there doing the job on the roads,” said Hambaugh. “Getting injured grounds you and you have to be pretty strong willed and have a great head on your shoulders to push through that with no complaints and he did that. He progressed and healed and got right back in the mix like he never lost a beat.”
Although his collar bone injury took him out of the driver’s seat and into a desk job, Lott was not ready to kick up his feet and relax.
“My job changed. I couldn’t wear my gear so I moved to dispatch and worked in an office,” said Lott. “After a while I was able to try on my gear once in awhile, but still had to let it heal more before I was able to get back into some of the machines.”
After a lot of persistence, Lott was cleared to wear his gear just in time to help the regiment move from Camp Fallujah to Camp Ramadi.
Lott is licensed to drive almost a dozen of the Marine Corps tactical vehicles, making him one of the most valuable assets during the move to Camp Ramadi.
“It was really uncomfortable at first, but I was able to climb in and out of vehicles carry my weapon effectively, so I was back in the game,” said Lott.
“I was responsible for anything that needed the use of heavy equipment,” said Lott. “I unloaded concrete barriers, loaded and unloaded gravel around the camp and we did that for about 5 days straight,” he said.
Hambaugh said Lott does these jobs and more on a day-to-day basis, never faltering, never wavering and never complaining. He remains diligent in his task and in his responsibilities as a senior non-commissioned officer.
“The stuff he is doing right now is on a (staff non-commissioned officer) level,” said Hambaugh. “He’s an awesome Marine. You never hear him complain. You ask him to do something and he does it with a smile on his face. You couldn’t ask for better than that.”