Father, son reunite in Iraq
Submitted by: II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward)
Story by: Computed Name: Lance Cpl. Joshua C. Cox
Story Identification #: 200572175430
Lance Corporal Ryan M. Sweet and his father 1st Sgt. William R. Sweet pose for a photo after meeting up here July 17. The Marines are not only father and son, but brothers in arms as well.
CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq(July 21, 2005) -- One hardship service members face while deployed is spending a considerable amount of time away from their loved ones; however, two Marines here have each other to lean on while serving in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Lance Corporal Ryan M. Sweet and his father 1st. Sgt. William R. Sweet recently met up with each other and are both aiding in operations here.
William, who arrived at Camp Fallujah July 17, is company first sergeant of Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 8, 2nd Marine Division.
William came into the Marine Corps in 1982 after a spontaneous meeting with a recruiter.
“It was almost spur-of-the-moment,” said the Kalamazoo, Mich., native. “I just decided to do it.”
Twenty-one years later, his son joined the Marine Corps for a few different reasons.
Ryan, a reservist serving as an explosive ordnance disposal watch clerk, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, supporting Combat Logistics Battalion 8, 2nd Force Service Support Group (Forward), initially did not have intentions to follow in his father’s footsteps.
“I’ve always told my father ever since I was a little kid that I was never going to join any military branch,” Ryan said. “The recent events of Sept. 11, 2001, persuaded me to make the call. I did not want my father being the only one serving his country during the time of crisis.”
Ryan said he always looked up to his father and his love for the Corps.
“I see how my dad presents himself at a higher standard -- how he talks about the Marine Corps,” he said. “I wanted to be a part of that.”
Ryan said his father was very surprised when he decided to join the Marine Corps.
“I didn’t tell him anything about it until the recruiter came,” Ryan said. “I just saw the joy in his eyes -- I was following in his footsteps.”
William said he had several emotions when he found out about his son's decision to join the Corps.
“I was surprised at first and pleased secondly, and finally, proud,” William said. “He had made it clear that the military wasn’t for him. We totally expected him to go to college.”
Now, father and son are serving in Iraq together, supporting the mission and looking after each other.
“As a father, I worry -- as a Marine, I know it’s his job,” William said.
Ryan, who has been serving in Iraq for more than five months, said he shares the same concern for his father.
“As a son, I am going to worry because he is my father in a combat zone,” he said. “As a lance corporal in the United States Marine Corps, I am proud to have a father who is a first sergeant leading a company of grunts into combat. I know he will do his best to ensure their safety and his as well.”
William said he is extremely proud of his son and what he is doing in support of operations here.
“I think I am fortunate. I’m one of those fortunate fathers who has a son serving in country,” he said.
As Marines in a deployed environment, the Sweets can share a lot more than just a father and son bond.
“We’re not only father and son now, we’re brothers in arms as well, which means a lot,” Ryan said.
Now that is the kind of story that can make a father gets tears in his eyes.
God bless and look after the two of them and all their fellow countrymen.
A good ol father an son asswhoopin for the ROPers
God speed you two great men!