CAMP DWYER, Afghanistan --
After spending his entire life growing up in Los Angeles, Petty Officer 3rd Class Joshua Stallings decided he needed to make a life altering change if he was going to become the man he wanted to be.
The youngest of six, Stallings looked to the military as a possible career path.
“My family was very supportive of the medical field, so I decided to join the Navy and became a corpsman,” said Stallings, 23.
As a first duty station, Stallings worked with Marines at Parris Island taking care of countless recruits in training. After two and a half years, he was sent to Combat Logistics Battalion 1, 1st Marine Logistics Group at Camp Pendleton, Calif.
“I love California,” said Stallings, who was more than happy to be stationed much closer to his family. “It’s my home, and family is the most important thing to me.”
A few months after joining CLB-1, Stallings deployed to Helmand province, Afghanistan where he now serves as the corpsman for 3rd Platoon, Motor Transport Company, CLB-1, 1st MLG (Forward).
“It’s an important job,” he said. “I need to be here for [my Marines] no matter what. It’s my job to take care of them and keep them safe.”
Stallings goes out on every combat logistics patrol on which the platoon is sent. The platoon is responsible for providing supplies to smaller patrol bases on a regular basis.
“I understand that the logistics we do is a big part of the fight out here,” said Stallings. “I am proud to be an American because of the freedoms and luxuries that we have, but being here makes me feel that we take for granted what we have.”
Stallings said that being in the military during a time of war has a dual meaning for him.
“I’m fighting for my country because that’s where my family is, but I’m also fighting for the Marines next to me,” said Stallings. “They are protecting me, so it’s my job to take care of them.”
Working out of Camp Dwyer, Stallings said the area has remained calm for most of the deployment.
“I’m glad we’re in a quiet area because I don’t want any of my guys to get hurt,” he said.
Though combat has been minimal, Stallings still has his work cut out for him. During a combat logistics patrol, a Marine was injured by a 300 pound tow bar while he was trying to fix it.
“I was sitting in the truck, and I heard someone yelling, ‘Doc, Doc we need you!’” said Stallings. “I’ve never moved so fast in my life.”
The young corpsman gave the Marine immediate medical care and got him loaded into the truck that brought him to the base hospital.
Stallings is unsure if he will remain in the military or get out and seek further medical education. For now, he says he is proud of what he is doing.
“I’m proud of the changes I have made in my life,” said Stallings. “I’m becoming a better person, and hearing my family say they’re proud of me and what I’m doing with my life makes me happy.”
Stallings has a family history of military service, but he says he doesn’t feel like he is following in those footsteps.
“I feel like I’m making my own path to becoming the man I want to be,” he said.