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Operation Iraqi Freedom /
Enduring Freedom
Al Anbar Province, Iraq
1st Battalion 23rd Marines
Navy Corpsman
HM2 McCay




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I, now forty eight years of age, was raised in the civilian world until the age of thirty six, two month's before my thirty seventh birthday, the cut-off age for the Reserves then, when I stepped into a Navy recruiter's office and offered my services as a civilian Paramedic.

Since the age of seventeen, when my high school football field was invaded by all the branches of the armed forces, each branch having set up their own recruitment tent in preparation to fill their quotas, my thought of becoming a Navy SEAL had surfaced. I never took the bait back then but the desire to "do my part" in the United States Armed Services followed me. I wanted to be able to say, "I know where you're coming from" when in conversation with another service member. I was in a bit of need for a job and support at that time in my life and word had it that the Service was incorporating civilian experience into the military.

One morning, while having breakfast with a Navy recruiter who was nearly half my age, I was offered a part-time enlisted position as a Navy Corpsman in the Ready Reserves which I accepted with a signature on the dotted line. The next day I was officially sworn in down at the 32nd Street Naval Air Station, San Diego, California. Yes, it was a crash course into the Navy but in the eight years that I served I learned a bit more about the services that protect my country.