Newspaper Archive of
Stone County Enterprise
Wiggins , Mississippi
December 16, 2010     Stone County Enterprise
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December 16, 2010

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2 STONE COUNTY ENTERPRISE I LOCAL I www.stoneceuntyenterprise.cem December 15, 2010 Diabetic Footwear White's Pharmacy, Inc. AN EAT Friday Nights Boiled Shrimp s1299 with corn, taters, sausage & onions Saturday Nights Snow Crab Legs s1599 with corn, taters & onions & DINNER Now open on Mondays for Lunch ONLY 11am2pm PoBoys Seafood. Steaks AJligator and lots more! So Come on Down & Have o Good Time SHA!!! r Authentic Coiun cooki.# from DffP ;outhwest touisiono! 6208 W, Fron!oge Wiggins 601 5288606 JODY O'HARA STAFF WRITER Jason Reed took advan- tage of his time in the U.S. Marine Corps to do a little growing up. A 28-year-old who now works as a water operator for the City of Wiggins, Reed believes his military service gave him a leg up on others his own age. "My time in the Corps set me a little ahead of my peers where discipline and structure are concerned," he said. Born in Philadelphia, Miss, and raised around Meridian, Reed graduated from Newton County High School in 2OOl. He then moved to Stone County and went to work for Hood Industries while trying to save money to attend Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College at Perkinston. That didn't work out as well as he'd anticipated. "There just wasn't enough hours in the day," he said. "Working at Hood made me think the Marine Corps was a more attractive option." Reed joined the Marines in October, 2001, shortly after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. "I joined half because of 9/11 and half out of a desire to see more than the small towns I'd seen all my life," he said. He went through boot camp at Parrs Island and attended Marine Combat Training at Camp Geiger, Reed North Carolina. "Aviation ordinance dealt with all explosive compo- nents on aircraft," Reed said. "We built ordinance and maintained all ele- ments of ordinance on Blackhawks, Cobras and other aircraft." He was assigned to the fleet at Camp Pendlet0n in California in October, 2002 and was deployed to Iraq in January, 2003. Iraq was an entirely dif- ferent world for a Mississippi boy. "The heat was what I noticed first," Reed said. "It was 13o degrees every day and we had digital thermometers that said it reached 153 one day. "Even being from N.C ..... :Mississippi, with all the , From there it was ontoA School at Naval Air Station Pensacola for training in : aviation ordinance and C School at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in humidity, it was miser- able:" : Reed was assigned to a variety of FARPs, or Forward Arming and Refueling Points. "FARPs were basically a Stepping off point for air attacks," he said. "We were building ordinance or pro- viding security for our- selves while others were building it. "The war was lOO miles in front of us." After a three-month rota- tion back to the United States, Reed was rede- ployed to Iraq, this time assigned to the 3rd Low Altitude Air Defense (LAAD) Battalion. He arrived just as things were heating up in Fallujah, a city in the Al Anbar province. "We served as security forces at Al Asad, a mili- tary base the U.S. Army had recently taken," he said. "We were upgrading security and mending fences and once we got everything up to snuff, they started running convoys and ran attacks on Fallujah from there." It was while at Al Asad that Reed's military career came to what proved to be a rather unromantic end. While taking part in physical training, he suf- fered an open dislocation of his right ankle. "An open dislocation is where the joint is dislocat- ed so badly, the bones actually come through the skin," he said. TOMCAT WltIOSUlT at All AI Salem, Kuwait He was medevaeked to Baghdad, then to Germany, then to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.- From there, Reed went to Grissom Reserve Air Base in Indiana and then back to Camp Pendleton. "I was on crutches for nine months," he said. Discharged in April, 2006, Reed returned to Stone County and eventu- ally married the former Ashley Baxter. He hired on with the city in 2008. If he had it all to do again, Reed wouldn't change much. "I'm proud that I joined," he said. "I would do it again. There's not a lot of 28-year-olds who've seen what I've seen and I had a great time." He said if young Americans wanted to grow Up, the Corps is a good option. "Four years in the Marine Corps will give you a good start on that," he said. He said his time in the Corps prepared him well for life in the civilian world. "You didn't have anybody telling you what to do with all this money you had all of a sudden," he said. "I would've done some things differently, I may have applied myself more as a Marine. "I made mistakes and I fell on my face, but I learned from those mis- takes and took something from them." iSTB ETCH YOUR HOLIDAY