A Marine Comes Home
By Kelly Cole
It is the phone call every mother dreads when their son or daughter has enlisted in a branch of the military. The call their child makes to tell them that they are being deployed to Afghanistan to take part in the war.
Jonathan Douglas, First Lieutenant in the US Marine Corps, made this call seven months ago to his mother Dorothy Maloney of West Wyoming and his father Ivan Douglas of Sugar Run, before he left for Afghanistan.
Many may remember Douglas as part of WVHS’s class of 2002. He was part of Wyalusing’s cross country and track teams. After graduation, he continued his education at East Stroudsburg University where he graduated in the fall of 2006 with a history degree.
Douglas decided after receiving his degree he wanted some change and decided to enroll in a 10-week course at the Officer Candidates School (OCS) for Marines in Scranton. He was familiar with the military, since his grandfather, John Douglas, father, Ivan Douglas, and older brother, Dennis Maloney had all served with the Navy.
He chose to study in the ground field area where he was trained for specialties that included command combat forces and combat support units. Marine Officers who are assigned to positions in this area will lead ground operations to support the overall mission. These officers and their Marines would be those that exemplified the physical strength and fierce combat capability. And that is what the Marine Corp is known for.
After completing the course and being commissioned as a Military Police Officer, Douglas began active duty at The Basic School (TBS) in Quantico, VA. He endured an intense six-month program where he took what he had learned at the OCS and built on that to gain the tactical knowledge he would need to make critical command decisions if he were in a war situation.
After graduating from TBS, Douglas was sent to the Military Police Basic Officers Course in Fort Leonardwood, MO. He was put through a 9-week course and upon completion he was then stationed at the Marine Corps Base at Camp Lejeune, NC. He remains at Camp Lejeune today.
After putting in the intense training and dedication, Douglas received notice that he would be deployed to Afghanistan. He spent seven months in the midst of the war as a Security Platoon Manager. He was responsible for running vehicle recovery missions, serving on personal security details and running logistic convoys.
Douglas worked alongside the locals and took them on missions. A lot of the locals that he interacted with on a daily basis had very limited education and it would be comparable to what a typical 8 year old in the United States would know. Education is not a priority in many places over there.
He was stationed with the Combat Logistics Battalion 8 – 2D Marine Logistics Group. This group contained 700 men and women and Douglas’ platoon was made up of 45 members. He got all 45 back to the States.
He recently returned to the States and was given a brief time of leave to reconnect with his family and friends in the area. On Saturday, September 17, there was a sense of relief in the room as they met at the Towanda Gun Club to welcome him back. Their son…brother…uncle…friend had returned unharmed.
Douglas is a man of few words. He mentions not really knowing what he had been getting himself into when he signed up for the OCS. Now it is who he is.
After his leave is up, he will return to Camp Lejeune and begin training for the next possible deployment. This is his job, what he is good at and what he knows. He had no hesitation in saying he would return to Afghanistan if they needed him. The war is still going on over there – it has not ended.
Douglas is part of a lifelong brotherhood and when the day comes that he retires, he will still rise every morning and turn in each night as a Marine. Many cannot step forward as he has to protect those of us in the U.S.
He put himself on the front line for us. That is who First Lieutenant Jonathan Douglas is and always will be. He is a leader, a warrior, and an upstanding citizen who has been given the trust and confidence of our nation to lead its expeditionary force. Our community is honored to have him fighting for us.