To all my fellow warriors:
I hope this letter finds you in good spirits. My name is Willabert Bonet but everyone calls me Will for short. I served in the United States Marine Corps from August 2002 to August 2006. I was born and raised in Brooklyn East New York. I never thought about joining the military until that dreaded day 9/11. From my school you can see the Twin Towers because they were so big. So on that day in class you can hear everyone running up and down the halls screaming and that’s when another teacher came into our classroom and told us that a plane crashed into the towers. We all looked out the window and all you could see was this smoke. So immediately I thought of my mom because she worked down the block from the Twin Towers. When she came home the look of disbelief on her face and the fear got to me. As she told me how she witnessed people jumping to their deaths made me angry and when she told me how she was in the crowd of people that was running from the smoke as the towers fell got my blood boiling. I was angry, scared and confused at the same time and this was the point where I decided to Dep in and join the Marines. I served in OIF 2 and was deployed in Iraq from February 2004 until September. The unit I was with was called First Maintenance Battalion. When we deployed to Iraq I not only did Maintenance for generators and hooking power up to multiple bases in Iraq, I also was part of the security team for convoys during resupply missions. I went on over 150 convoys, all successful and this is where all the action was from getting mortar shots at us and seeing vehicles get blown away, but thankfully no one was ever hurt physically but I can’t say the same thing about the mental aspect. Like many of you I have been diagnosed with PTSD. I have been fighting my demons for years and I now realize that this is going to be a long road to recovery. But I know it’s possible through support from my wonderful wife Lily and also through the support of this group. Even though these terrible things haunt me every day of my life I don’t regret it and if I was given a chance to do things over I wouldn’t change a thing, because this is my burden that I will always carry with me to show respect for all the troops that never made it back. So with that I would leave you with a saying I use to live by while in Iraq “Keep your head down and your spirits up”. God bless you all.
LCPL Willabert Bonet