Marshall’s job `for the greater good’ |

Marshall’s job `for the greater good’

Ryan Graff
Post Independent Staff Writer

CARBONDALE- “Hearing the captain say, `moored in Norfolk’, that’s the best thing,” said Jennifer Marshall, who returned from service aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt earlier this month.

Marshall has been elected, with fellow service people, a grand marshal in this weekend’s Strawberry Days parade for her service in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“I feel honored,” she said. “It makes everything worth it.”

Though the crew worked hard while at sea, typically working 16 or 18 hour days, they were determined to accomplish their mission.

“We were anxious to get over there, as long as it took, and get it done,” she said of the carrier’s time in the Mediterranean Sea, where it served as a floating air base for fighter jets.

“We launched a lot of planes, dropped a lot of bombs,” she said.

“There’s just hundreds of bombs,” on board, she said. “You try not to think what that’s going to do.”

Despite the loss of Iraqi and American lives in the war, Marshall said, “It’s for the greater good.”

“Generations of Iraqi people would be oppressed,” she said. “The Iraqi people are better off today than they were a year ago.”

Though Marshall was not on the front lines, she was close enough for her father, Terry Marshall of Carbondale.

By his own admission he was, “scared to death.”

“It’s just a parent thing,” he said.

For Marshall’s mother, Diane Marshall, the uncertainty was frightening. But her daughter’s military service was worthwhile.

“The Navy’s been the best thing for her,” Diane Marshall said.

In addition to serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom, the USS Theodore Roosevelt’s cruise, which began Jan. 6, took its sailors through the Caribbean, Greece, Slovenia, and Italy.

“It was great,” Jennifer Marshall said of her first time in foreign ports. “It really opened up my eyes.”

“I realized how lucky we are to be Americans.”

Contact Ryan Graff: 945-8515, ext. 535

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