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Reservists keep 3/5 on the move

Marine Corps News

Story Identification #: 200512223612
Story by Lance Cpl. Graham Paulsgrove

CAMP BAHARIA, Iraq (Jan. 19, 2005) -- They moved out of the office, out of the college class room and left their families to fly across the globe to a desert and be with another family that has few, if any blood ties.

Truck Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, is mainly comprised of reservists from Edensburg, Penn., who left their civilian lifestyle to fulfill their duties as Marines and keep the battalion on the road and at the tip of the spear.

“We support the battalion in all of its operations and our Marines play a bigger role than just driving or fixing the vehicles,” said Sgt. Dean A. Nist, platoon guide, Truck Company, 3/5. “Our guys go above and beyond. They are going on patrols and clearing houses right along side the grunts, in addition to keeping the vehicles running.”

Being a reservist means having to drop one life and assume another at a moments notice to fight abroad, and the men of Truck Company were not phased by the change.

“Going from a family life or a college life to coming out here and doing a Marine Corp job 24/7 is a major change, but our guys adapted well and fast,” said Nist. “We are leading two lifestyles, the military lifestyle and the family lifestyle. A lot of the guys have kids, so missing Christmas and birthdays has been tough on everyone, but they have plugged along.”

While the changeover from one life to the next was executed smoothly, a few surprises were experienced on the road into the combat zone.

“The newer guys in our unit didn’t know that sleep and chow are not the highest priority out here, but they adapted quickly,” said Sgt. Nathan T. Hostetter, platoon sergeant, Truck Company, 3/5.

In addition to adapting to the rigors of a combat zone, the mechanics and drivers have been busy since the day they landed on Iraqi soil.

“I can’t say enough good things about the mechanics,” said Nist. “They have kept the battalion’s readiness at 95% or better, keeping them on the road and in the fight. All of our guys have been working around the clock."

“We have only a few drivers compared to the number of our trucks, so our operators are a hot commodity, because they move everything,” said Hostetter. “Our Marines have been giving 110%, all the time.”

During Operation Iraqi Freedom I, the same men from Edensburg were spread over three different grunt battalions but this time around, the men have stayed together and have become a tight knit unit.

“This is a great group of guys,” said Nist. “We are busy non stop but you rarely hear a (complaint). Usually, there is a guy who complains about everything. Not here. Not these guys.”

When the men of Edensburg, Penn., return to their daily grind and families, a bit of relaxation will be welcomed with open arms, but until then, the Marines continue to push on.

“No one has let their guard down since we started training for this at Pendleton,” said Hostetter.

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