MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. --
Four Maintenance Center Albany civilian-Marines departed Monday from Southwest Georgia Regional Airport in Albany for service in Afghanistan and Kuwait.
Chase Minett, a heavy mobile equipment mechanic supervisor, and fellow civilian-Marines, John Edgerton and Joea Bradwell, both heavy mobile equipment mechanics, are providing support for the Joint Program Office/Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected vehicle efforts in Afghanistan for up to one year. Blair Jordan, a work supervisor, is providing support of Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected vehicle maintenance in Kuwait for up to one year.
Col. Terry Reid, commander, MCA, and families and friends bid farewell to the group before they boarded their flight.
“These augments (are going to assist) Marines with depot-level (maintenance) work,” Reid said after he shook hands with each Department of Defense employee and family members.
The commander noted that MCA prepared the four for their overseas tours.
“We make sure our civilian-Marines and families know we support them (when they deploy),” he said. “We gave a pre-deployment brief to the civilian-Marines and families last week. We make sure they (civilian-Marines) have situational awareness and the families understand what they are going through.”
Minett said he was looking forward to his first duty in Afghanistan.
“I know what (we’re) doing is making a difference (and we’ll) see the impact firsthand,” he said. “I’m a former Marine so it’s nice to be able to serve with the Marines. (Even though I’m not in) I still get to contribute to the team, just in a different way.”
Minett’s family from Pewaukee, Wis., wife, Jamie, and daughter, Isabelle, 5, said they were prepared for Chase’s second deployment to the region. He served in Iraq from February to December 2009.
“I’m proud of his service,” Jamie said.
Isabelle practiced counting from one to 10 in Spanish and German and hugged her dad, while they waited for him to board his flight. Afterward, mother and daughter returned home to Wisconsin for work and kindergarten.
Also from Wisconsin, Edgerton, who calls New Lisbon home, described his feelings concerning his first tour in Afghanistan.
“I’m kind of excited because it will help out the troops and hopefully make their lives easier,” said the former Army National Guardsman.
An Albany native and former soldier, Bradwell portrayed his first overseas duty as thrilling “to be able to go over and serve with Marines.”
Dad to five children and granddad to 11 grandchildren, several family members accompanied Bradwell to the airport.
Daughter, Sykie Bradwell, grandsons, Rashard and Mark Robinson, and Joea’s two older sisters, Janice Bradwell Roy and Patricia Bradwell Womack, gathered around him to wish him well on his deployment.
Sykie said she was excited for her dad because “it gives him an opportunity to do something he likes while helping others.”
Mark, 11, and Rashard, 12, ex-pressed their pride for their grandfather. They said it’s great he’s helping America.
Roy, a Vietnam veteran who served in the Army, depicted Joea’s trip as “a win, win situation for everyone and I’m extremely proud.”
Womack echoed her sister and said she was glad her brother is serving.
Heading to Kuwait, Jordan’s viewpoint of his deployment mimicked those of his fellow civilian-Marines.
A former Marine and father to seven children, ranging from 8 to 20 years old, he’s served about six times there.
“I love it. It’s the best job. I’m honored to be serving with Marines,” Jordan said.