Skip to comments.Marines bring smiles to front-line troops (Traveling BX)
Posted on 10/26/2005 6:02:47 PM PDT by SandRat
AR RAMADI, Iraq (Oct. 26, 2005) -- Some service members walk away with a snack, maybe a can of soda or a pack of cigarettes, but one thing that everyone walks away with is a smile on their face.
Traveling from Camp Taqaddum, Iraq, a small group of Marines loads up and heads out to various forward operating bases. Their mission -- to provide a small piece of comfort to service members who dont have the luxury of an immediate post exchange at their location.
Todays stop is Combat Outpost, located in the heart of Ramadi and the center of the fight, but that doesnt stop the exchange Marines.
The mobile PX was something that was used during Operation Desert Storm to bring the exchange to forward deployed troops, said Master Sgt. Elvis S. Dixon, the operations chief at the Camp Taqaddum post-exchange
These select three Marines are responsible for running an entire store with minimum manpower. The Marines have many responsibilities to include financial and stock management, intense preparation and long hours, said Lance Cpl. Robert C. Owens, an exchange Marine.
Just being a lance corporal, I have many responsibilities, said Owens. When we set up the [exchange] we are open as much as we can, and sometimes just one of us is left to run the store while others are resting.
Bringing the post exchange to the troops has proven to be a morale booster to the Marines running it as well as the service members benefiting from it.
Seeing a smile on their face is just one of the many things that motivate the Marines participating in the operation, said Owens, a Houma, La., native.
It is extremely motivating to see [service members] who havent had anything for a long time, said Lance Cpl. Juan J. Rivera, an exchange Marine and Dateland, Ariz., native. Its great to see them be able to spend their hard earned money and have them look forward to something; it boosts my morale as much as theirs.
Being in a combat environment does not intimidate the exchange Marines. Their dedication to providing a little taste of home for the troops here helps them to endure the front, Dixon explained.
They are out here fighting everyday, and its our responsibility to serve them, Dixon said. If I could go right to the front lines and sell a couple of Mountain Dews I would. Dixon also speaks of his Marines outstanding performance.
Its in Iraq you get to see the potential of many of the young Lance Cpls out here, the Englewood, N.J. native said. These exchange Marines are doing an outstanding job; sometimes I want to stand back and bow down to them for their cooperation.
That is one of the coolest stories I have ever seen!! Thanks for all your pings SR! And for posting such great stories about our heroes that the MSM ignores.
Makes one want to weep, when one realizes just how many of our guys are in little out of the way FOB and less, that have nothing. But how little they complain.
Amen, and God bless them! Would like to see a picture of the traveling PX.
The others might like to see the Traveling BX.
Being from the USAF side of the family, the BX was always welcome. But ours never needed wheels since we tended to stay in one place once we got there.