A story by Nicholas Krier from 2010
My father re-commissioned in the Army in 2008, and soon after his unit prepared to leave for Afghanistan. I was 18 years old, and my twin brother was in boot camp at Parris Island, eventually becoming an Aviation Ordnance man stationed at United States Marine Corps Air Base (USMC) Cherry Point, N.C. I was somewhat excited to go to college after high school, but ended up dropping out right before the end of the first semester to join the Marines. I didn’t join because of peer pressure, but in an eagerness to test myself and become a part of something more, something I saw in my brother when he came home from boot camp.
I finished USMC boot camp in 2009, and soon after I went to the School of Infantry in Camp Geiger, N.C. Fast forward three years, my father had returned from Afghanistan but it was then my turn to go, as an Infantrymen. I was sent in a small team of six Marines to Tarin Kowt, Afghanistan to train Afghanistan Nationals to become police officers. We did this mission in collaboration with the Australian Federal Police, U.S. Army, and Australian Special Forces.
We lived out of an Australian base known as, “Camp Holland”. I still miss the people and atmosphere on the base. Camaraderie was very strong throughout base. This unity surpassed nationality; it was about fighting together and supporting one another. For the majority of my entire experience overseas I was outnumbered by our Coalition Forces (non-U.S. military) but it never felt like I wasn’t with them.
After 11-months, together with the Coalition Forces, we had trained and graduated over 1,000 Afghan National Police. I returned home to Maine and finished my Associate Degree in Criminal Justice I had started in 2009 at Southern Maine Community College. Today, I am a Senior in the Exercise Science program at the University of Southern Maine, and I am working toward becoming a Registered Dietician. I work for the Veteran Services office at University of Southern Maine, where I help veterans to get control and access over their military benefits.