Enlistment and Basic Training
Interviewee: Morgan S. Hall
Morgan Hall grew up in Levan, a small rural town in Utah. He was raised in a family with a strong military tradition but decided to join the Marines when he was seventeen primarily to pay for college. Morgan felt that Marine boot camp helped him grow up, but he began to feel that the experience he was receiving in the Marines was not the one advertised to him when he enlisted. He joined the Reserves and decided to serve with Fox Company 2/23. In response to the 9/11 attacks Morgan’s unit was called to active duty and served in California as part of a Quick Reaction Force in Operation Noble Eagle, and Operation Enduring Freedom in 2002. His service in California left him unprepared for his unit’s reactivation in 2003. His unit was assigned to the 1st Marine Division in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Morgan explains the emotional stress of needing to put his higher education on hold for his Iraq deployment. Upon his arrival in Iraq he describes going numb to the violence around him and points out that for the first part of his service he could never see return fire only tanks destroying buildings. Due to supply issues he and his comrades were constantly in need of food rations. He describes the unsanitary conditions of Iraqi cities and the mixed reactions he received from native Iraqis. His unit encountered some of its heaviest fighting in Baghdad and due to injuries that he sustained during this time he is the recipient of a purple heart. Morgan concludes with the difficulties of transitioning back to civilian life. He experienced symptoms such as nightmares, depression, and sleeplessness on his return. The help he has available for treatment of his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder leaves him feeling very grateful. After his six years of service in the Marine Corps he looks back on his experience as a good one, just not the one he had expected going into the Marines.