Local Marine returns home
John, who was part of the first wave of American soldiers who entered Iraq, vividly remembered his time in the country.
He recalled the time an Iraqi man helped him and other Marines burn a picture of Saddam Hussein. He talked about going 45 days without a shower. And he remembered the sand storms that grounded aircraft and infiltrated the eyes, ears and clothing of the soldiers.
The otherwise serious sergeant smiled shyly when he talked about meeting Iraqi children.
He said he was surprised when two Iraqi children offered him and other soldiers hot tea using their family's fine china while fellow Marines searched for members of the Baath Party.
John and Jennifer said they are anxious to begin their lives together. Besides his four-month tour in Iraq, John also has been away from his wife while he participated in military training.
John said their main priority now is to celebrate their first anniversary which was May 18. John and Jennifer are planning a trip to Atlanta and maybe New Orleans.
He also said the couple will return to North Carolina, where John is stationed at Camp Lejeune, and he will continue his work with the Marines.
John said he believes America was successful in liberating Iraq and he was glad to help. But now that is done, he said, he is more excited about life with his wife.