USS GUNSTON HALL --
Lance Cpl. George Lynch Jr. is living his childhood dream on his first deployment.
“I’m excited,” he said. “Me and my buddies are going to go sightseeing.” The 20-year-old Seaford Long Island, N.Y., native serves as a rifleman with Charlie Company, Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit. His job entails being able to perform a wide range of infantry-centric missions such as patrolling, raids, and security. He is currently sailing across the Atlantic aboard the USS Gunston Hall – training, working-out and waiting to receive the call to carryout whatever mission the MEU has for him. “We could be training on the well deck, and out of nowhere (the company commander) could get the call ‘alright were going in … it could change any second,” he said. Lynch explained that he joined the Marine Corps in large part due to the influence of his uncle, retired Gunnery Sgt. Jimmy Lynch. “My uncle was in for 22 years,” he said. “When I was 8-years-old and my brother was 6-years-old, we got to wear gasmasks and my entire family got to check out NBC (Nuclear Biological Chemical) stuff.” He said it was memories like these that had a lasting impact and steered him toward a career in the Marine Corps.
“As far back as I can remember, seeing all this stuff, it was cool,” he said. “Ever since I was little, I dreamed of being a Marine and so far it’s been everything I expected it to be.”
Out of 2,300 Marines assigned to the unit, many are like Lynch – on their first deployment aboard ship. These young warriors, partnered with their more experienced counterparts have just begun what is currently a planned 8-month deployment with the Navy's Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group.
Their primary mission will be serving as a forward deployed, rapid response force ready for a variety of missions in the European and Central Command theaters of operation. While waiting for his company commander’s call Lynch and his fellow Marines will also participate in a number of training exercises with foreign militaries and visit other countries during port stops.
“It’s awesome we’re getting to see the world,” Lynch said.