About 100 excited Marine Reservists and nearly twice as many relatives and friends were briefed Friday night about the Marines' deployment as part of Operation Desert Shield.
The Marine Reservists leave Monday for Camp Lejeune, N.C. Nobody knows yet where they will go from there. Many attending the briefing seem to believe they will head to Saudi Arabia.They are Company C, 4th Light Armored Vehicle Battalion, 4th Marine Battalion. They will be joining the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force, which consists of several task forces including ground combat units like Company C.
It was standing room only in the Tooele Army Depot's former Community Club Building, which is now a training center. Some of the Marines sat on folding chairs with civilians, but most stood lining the walls.
Wearing camouflage fatigues, from time to time they growled "HOORAH!" to show approval of the speakers' comments.
Katie Glaubensklee, wife of Lance Cpr. James Glaubensklee, Murray, said, "I'm just proud of him, and I know that he'll come home. We stand behind him."
"We're ready!" said Lance Cpr. KendallBrown, West Valley City, who in civilian life works in the parts department at a GM dealership.
He said he is excited "as much as anyone can be."
His father, Ron Brown, said he hates to see his son go. "He kind of had an idea of what he was getting into when he joined the Marines. We just hope they get it over and done with real fast so the boys can come home."
Asked what his personal feelings are about the crisis, Ron Brown said, "Basically, I don't think we can stand for aggression anywhere in the world."
The fiance of one Marine, asked for her comment, said sadly, "Nothing I can do about it."
Asked if his leaving is upsetting to her, she said, "What do you think?"
One corporal, who is a gunner on a light-armored vehicle, said, "I hope we head over, as a matter of fact, because we're not the Girl Scouts and we're not the National Guard - we're the Marines and we're here to do a job."
Maj. Ronald Canale, commander of the company, said, "We are officially activated on the 24th of November . . . at 0600, which is 6 a.m." On Monday they will leave TAD at 4 a.m. and depart from Salt Lake International Airport at 6 a.m.
Tears glistened in the eyes of several people in the audience. One man asked the major, "Are all the troops properly ordered to write once a week?"
Canale said that when the men reach Camp Lejeune they will have to sit down and write home with their forwarding addresses and they will telephone home also.
Meanwhile, a support group is being formed back at Marine Reserve Headquarters at TAD. Canale said those who want information about the unit can call 833-3631.
Canale said the Marines will probably learn soon after their arrival in North Carolina whether they will be shipping out for another destination. He pledged to let family members know just as soon as he finds out.
The message notifying him of the reserves' activation said they will be on active duty for six months and that they should be prepared to stay a year.
Canale offered his opinion about comparisons with the Vietnam War. "That is a very tired and old cliche, and I get sick of hearing it . . . It's not going to be another Vietnam."
For one thing, he said, the enemy will not have a place to hide in the desert.
After the briefing, Canale told the Deseret News, "I don't want to go over to the Middle East and fight. Nobody does."