Fort Mill High School graduate Michael Volker, 20, is a married man and a Marine. He’s balancing a deployment in the Helmland province of Afghanistan with family back home, including a wife, Mickayla, of just more than a year. So far, he’s getting everything he expected.
Cpl. Volker left Camp Lejeune, N.C., on July 9 as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. A combat engineer, he’ll provide logistical support for deployed Marines and U.S. allies while advising the Afghan National Security Forces. He signed up for those tasks because he liked the military environment and “wanted to do more than the average Joe.”
Last week he took a few minutes from his work to share the experience with the Fort Mill Times.
Volker: “I’m over here in Afghanistan helping the transition (to Afghan governmental control). We’re getting everything ready to hand over to the Afghan people and working with them to help them take the lead. We’re helping them as much as we can while we’re here.”
Volker: “Morale over here is great. We all decided to be over here doing what we’re doing. This is what we wanted to do.”
Volker: “The biggest thing is family back home, taking care of them and pushing forward. When I get home I want to move my wife to a base and start our life.”
Volker: “It’s a great thing. It’s definitely life-changing. A lot of exercise. They would need to make sure they have the right mindset.”
Volker: “It becomes second nature. We talk about it sometimes, but it pretty much becomes second nature.”
Volker: “They train us really well. Not a lot of huge surprises.”