I have had the pleasure of working with Mindy of CPADNA for nearly the last two years and I must say she has been the most professional and communicative AM I have worked with in a long long time. Her dedication and loyalty to her work is only surpassed by her love and devotion for her husband David. Her husband is a M1A1 Tank crewman for the US Marines. When I first met Mindy â€“ he was deployed in Iraq and was totally amazing to me how she was still able to do her work with all the uncertainty of her husband being abroad. Well â€“ here is their story, enjoy!
1) How long have you guys been together? How did you meet?
We have been together since December 2007. I proposed on April 25th, 2009. Got married on September 21st, 2009. We met in Mrs. Harris’s 10th grade math class. Mindy tells everyone she asked me for a pencil even though she had her own because she thought I was cute.
2) David, why did you join the Marines? Where was your basic training? Where/when did you end up?
I joined mostly because I was bored. My best friend already signed up and he took me with him to his recruiter and I talked to him and next thing you know I’m off to boot camp. I was at MCRD Paris Island, SC. for recruit training Feb 22nd, 2007 standing on the yellow foot prints. I graduated June 15th, 2007 and headed home for 10 days of leave. Mindy had a little too much to drink at my graduation party and confessed to my mother that she was madly in love with me. Then I headed to Camp Geiger, NC. for MCT (Marine Combat Training) for just under a month. Graduated on August 1st and headed to Ft Leonard Wood MO. for Military Police school. I got into a some trouble and was given a new job. Sept 2007 I headed to Fort Knox, KY. for Tank school, 3 months later I graduated and took leave for the holidays in December 2007. Then it was MCB Camp Lejeune, NC. where I have been stationed since as an M1A1 Tank crewman. I have been with Alpha Company, 2nd Tank Battalion for 3 years in Feb 2011. Right now I am a loader in 2nd Platoon.
3) Mindy, when you came to know that would be going away – what was going through your mind?
I was scared. But I was glad to know that he would be going over there in a tank. I met his platoon and his Lt. which made me feel better to know he would be with a great group of guys.
4) David, talk to me a bit about some of your experiences abroad? I can’t begin to imagine some of the things you must have seen and experienced, but what was your driving force to get you through the time you were deployed?
We were actually the last tank company in Iraq. My platoon was chosen to separate from the rest of the company and were attached to an infantry unit on a small base about 2 miles in diameter. We went on patrols, saw some camels, wild dogs, lots of trash, and locals that looked happy to see us most of the time. What got me thru the deployment was our ability to contact our loved ones as much as we did. I got to talk to Mindy at least once a week if not more, minus the few times we spent weeks out in the middle of nowhere scanning the deserts of Iraq. Near the end of the deployment our cans (the metal shacks we stayed in) had internet so I was able to video chat with Mindy on my laptop.
5) Mindy, we just heard from David as far as what was going through his mind, I have worked with you for the last couple of years and you have always been a cool cat, do share with us what you were going through while he was away? Was there ever a time you just wanted to give up or said to yourself this is not for you?
No not at all. The first few months were the hardest then about the 5th month all I could focus on was him coming home, figuring out where we were going to be living, packing- you know fun adult stuff :)
6) It is so easy for us to look down upon other nations and their tendencies, surely you must have had some positive takeaways or at the very least things that may have otherwise not appreciated?
I appreciate the small things. Like for instance showers. The water over there was non potable. So lots of us were getting sick from the water while we were there from general hygiene. But for the most part we were well taken care of. The chow halls had good food. We received tons of packages from family, friends, church groups, and schools.
7) Tell me about your most memorable experience. Do you have any photographs from the service that you can share with us?
One of most memorable experiences was when we played in a flag football tournament the last week we were overseas. There were 17 teams and we played all day and swept the tournament. It was a great moral booster, and a good time to let loose and relax and have fun.
8) Tell me about your career choice or what you are doing now that you are back.
I have just over a year left. Right now there are talks of another deployment but I’m not too sure. Can’t really go into too much detail.
9) Mindy, I tend to give you a hard time every now and then but in the large scheme of live – it is all so minor and minute no? What have you learned about life and yourself having gone through what you have?
I have learned to take it one day at a time.
10) David, if you had the choice to do this all over again – would you?
I would do it in a heartbeat. The life lessons/experiences that I’ve had as a Marine have made me who I am today.
I attached a couple pictures as well. The first picture is of my company in formation before we got on the busses to leave. The second is a live fire exercise we did while over there. And the final picture is of Mindy’s “hops” before I left.
It’s not hard at all. I get paid to drive the tanks you see in video games!
2) Is it fun at the same time?
The fun never ends. We all become a close family because we are stationed together for so long.
3) Are you glad to be a Marine?
I am very proud to call myself a U.S. Marine!
4) What places have you fought in?
We didn’t fight, but I was deployed to Iraq for 7 months.
5) Did you like the food they served while serving?
I loved the food in the chow halls over there! We had ice cream from Baskin Robbins for dessert
6) Have you ever gotten hurt fighting before?
I’ve never been hurt while overseas. But some of the training we do while here has caused a few injuries. Right now I don’t have a toe nail on my right big toe.