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2nd AABN Marine translates success

Marine Corps News

Story Identification #: 200552433359
Story by Lance Cpl. Evan M. Eagan

CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq (May 24, 2005) -- Whether he’s manning the turret of an amphibious assault vehicle, finding weapons caches with his Marines, or interpreting information from Arabic to English, this 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion Marine always gets the job done.

Lance Cpl. Daniel Rourk, 29, crew chief, 3rd Platoon, B Company, is currently stationed here with 2nd Marine Division on his first deployment to Iraq.

Citing frustration with life in the civilian world, Rourke was led to the Marine Corps at the age of 27, after working as a sound engineer for popular rock bands.

“I felt like I could make a difference out here and now I am,” said Rourk, a Charleston, S.C., native. “I know I am making a difference and being out here makes me realize why I joined the Marine Corps.”

Before deploying, Rourk took a basic Arabic course at Camp Lejeune, N.C., which has proved to be instrumental in the success of Bravo Company.

“The course crammed one year of college Arabic into a one month class,” said Rourk. “I am not fluent, but I learned the basic essentials and how to apply it to questions like, ‘do you have any weapons,’ or ‘have you seen any insurgents.’ Basically, the who, what, where, when and why.”

Although he’s trained in Arabic, he considers the local Iraqi’s to be the one’s doing the most important job.

“We have received some really good information from the people,” he said. “It’s the Iraqi’s who have the courage to speak up that are doing all the work.”

On their most recent operation in Al Anbar province, Bravo Company uncovered four weapons caches in one day, accounting for the company’s most significant find during their deployment.

Recently, Rourk went in front of a company wide meritorious corporal board, where he and another Marine were chosen, out of five Marines, to be promoted June 2.

For Sgt. Isaac Alexander, assistant section leader, 3rd Platoon, B. Company, Rourk was an easy choice.

“He is a front runner in our platoon,” said Alexander. “He doesn’t slack off and he never half-steps. He is one of the oldest Marines in our platoon and it shows through his maturity. He is a damn good Marine.”

Rourk plans on making a career out of the Marine Corps, but meanwhile, he is living one day at a time.

“Right now we are just going to keep doing what were doing,” he said. “Aside from completing the mission, all I care about is getting all the boys home safe.”


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