HADITHA, Iraq --
HADITHA, Iraq – Marines from the Haditha Dam Forward Logistics Element, Combat Logistics Battalion 2, 1st Marine Logistics Group delivered a Mobile Post Exchange to the Marines and Sailors of 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, Sept. 15 during their stops at Combat Outpost Haqlaniyah.
“It’s a great help for us when this convoy gets here,” said Lance Cpl. Jason R. Michael, 23, a rifleman with 3/7 at COP Haqlaniyah, from Gadsden, Ala. “We don’t have a PX out here and we can’t always get the creature comforts we need.”
The combat outposts where Marines are stationed in Haqlaniyah and Haditha are remote and goods are scarce. The camp’s population usually consists of infantrymen and interpreters who rarely make it to larger bases to purchase goods at a PX.
So the FLE Marines load up their wares and double-time to the outposts in order to give those Marines what they need.
“This is my main mission,” said Sgt. Christopher D. Smith, 24, a morale, welfare, and recreation specialist at the dam, from Pittsburgh. “The Marines (at al Asad) can come to the PX anytime they want, but the guys at the (combat outposts) don’t get that.”
Smith says that he takes the mission very personally. Not only is his military occupational specialty geared towards providing other Marines with the morale they need, but he said it also provides enjoyment for him.
“I really enjoy seeing how the Marines act before and after they get into the store,” he said. “I see how happy they get and it makes me happy to do my job.”
Smith originally deployed to Iraq in February with CLB-6, 1st MLG, who CLB-2 replaced in early September. He enjoys his job so much, that he volunteered to stay another 7 months with CLB-2.
Other Marines joined the convoy to the outposts to provide their services also. The Haditha Dam disbursing agent, Sgt. Adrian G. Campos, 22, from Houston, went along to make sure the Marines were able to get money to buy what they needed. Pvt. Ben R. Magiera, 20, a postal clerk with the FLE team from Oceanside, Calif., came along to ensure the Marines received their mail.
“The major thing is the morale,” Smith said, smiling. “Morale is one of the most important things out here, and an easy way to bump up morale is for us to get out to the Marines.”