The training and conditions were intense, said Maderan and U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Brent Ruvalcaba, at the 1,600-acre Camp Leatherneck Marine Base in the Helmand province, but the effort was filled with a sense of pride, accomplishment and duty.
Ruvalcaba, 23, recently returned from serving in his second tour of duty in Afghanistan.
The Marine base routinely came under small arms, rifle and mortar fire, but is large and well protected, he said.
Ruvalcaba said his military occupational specialty was armor and small arms repair, but Marines had various other opportunities, and were often called upon to do whatever jobs that were at hand...