By Roxanne Baker
When Lance Corporal David Grant returned from an eight-month deployment to Afghanistan in 2012, his proud dad was waiting on the parade deck when the buses rolled up.
“He looked like a million bucks,” said Donald Grant, David’s father.
“You’re just proud of all of them; it brings tears to your eyes.”
Donald said he was “supportive from the get-go” when David enlisted at 21 years old while he was studying biology at Irvine Valley College. David had always been interested in anything military related and was constantly watching the military or history channels growing up.
The native of Newport Beach, Calif., graduated from boot camp at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego in September 2011 and was assigned the Marine rifleman military occupational specialty,0311. “I have a special place for David because he is doing something that no one else in the family has done,” Donald said.
There is one fellow Marine in the family tree. Donald’s aunt served in the Marine Corps during World War II.
David deployed to Camp Dwyer, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in March 2012 with 1st Platoon, 3d Battalion, Eighth Marine Regiment. “I don’t focus on the negative, “ Donald said of the deployment. “They know what they’re doing, and they’re as well trained as they can be. They have a job and they do it well. As long as you think that way you’ll get through everything.”
David is deployed again. He is training with his unit in Spain and Italy and will soon return to his home station, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C.
“He’s doing something he wants to do and it’s not easy,” Donald said. “The training has been hard and difficult. Not everybody can do it.”
Donald says he finds it “fascinating” to follow where David is stationed around the world. He never knows when David will call or from what phone number.
“I get messages at all hours of the day and night,” Donald said. “He always calls from a different number, so I make sure to always pick up every call because it could be him.”
Although David is constantly on the move and out of touch, Donald said he knows David fits in perfectly with the action-packed lifestyle. He couldn’t be more proud of the path his son has chosen.
“They could be called on at a moment’s notice,” Donald said. “And they can’t wait to go.”
The Marine Corps Association & Foundation wishes all Marine dads a wonderful and happy Father’s Day. Semper Fi.
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