From this squadron to the squadron in Okinawa
[VMM-265], it’s a lot different, the day to day. We
don’t do that many dets here, so we stay and work on
our line. If something comes up, it’s a small one. In
Okinawa, half the squadron is gone. It’s a lot more of
a demand in Okinawa. It’s not always like that here. In
Japan, there’s only two of us.
We actually just got back in September. We were on
the USS Boxer. It was a lot different from the first MEU
I was on, in Okinawa, because you’re on the boat for
three to four months, you get off for two months, you
go back aboard for two to three months. Here, you’re
on the boat for a solid six or seven months. That was
something to get used to.
I was way prepared for this one. I knew what I
should bring. I would also tell the other Marines what
to bring. You just had to get used to how long we’re
going to get stuck on the boat. I adapted to the boat
quickly. But on the ship, it makes everything harder.
The ports really help out, and get you some time to
get off the boat and relax. Working with the Navy for
this float, you have to have constant communication
because there’s so much on their side that’s going
on. Our platform, we’re not a priority. It’s the ships
that are the priority, we’re kind of on the back burner.
Here, we are the priority.
We want [Marines in this squadron] to get in the
mindset that you’re going to eventually go to the ship,
so we slowly train and teach the Marines that have
never been on a ship what it’s like and what to expect.
Since we’ve been back, we’ve been setting up our shop.
This squadron has a crazy camaraderie. Everybody has
a good attitude, that is really nice.
I take so much pride in what I do, especially as an
airworthy inspector. It’s looking at the whole integrity
of the aircraft. You are the last eyes that look at it and
say that aircraft is safe to fly. That’s the thing, shooting for my career outside the military, I wish to be an
airworthy inspector for civilian aircraft, but that takes
like six years of experience to get that because that’s a
very important qualification. That’s my dream job. I’ve
got a very keen eye for detail.
I have a lot more confidence now. I know what’s
going on. Somebody can come up and ask me questions
and I can answer it. Here, the only time I’ve flown
the aircraft is when we went to and from the boat. In
Japan, with all the dets we had going on, we would fly
in the aircraft.
I know that I’m going to miss it when I get out,
but I do want a change. I’ll be in Inactive Reserve for
I have my collateral duty inspector [qualification],
and plane captain is translated to civilian as airworthiness inspector, so it shows that I know how to do
hourly inspections. That’s the big thing. What we do in
the Marine Corps for phase is the closest [comparison],
and being in the shop has helped me a lot. Everything
is starting slowly to line up now.
I would be nowhere without the Marines I’ve
worked with and the people in my shop. The Marine
Corps, it’s not about yourself, it’s the Marine left and
right of you. We all work together, we all suffer the
same struggles, we would never leave someone behind.
If one stays late, we all stay late. It’s bonding. You
can’t work well if the shop doesn’t work well together.
For my first deployment, people I was in the shop
I was with I’d always get them water. They’d joke and
call me “Mom.” In Okinawa, for holidays, I would
bake, and I’d get eggs and I’d hide them for people to
find. I’d always try to get people together. Ever since
that, they kind of call me “Mom.” n