LARGE ABROAD: JAMAICANS FIND SUCCESS OVERSEAS
LIEUTENANT COLONEL Mark Denton, a major in the United States Army at the time, tried desperately to prolong the few hours he had left at home the morning he was to be deployed to Iraq. It’s two years after the 2003 Iraqi invasion and the military occupation of the Middle Eastern country is in full swing.
After numerous assignments around the world in places such as South Korea, Africa, Kosovo, Yugoslavia, Egypt and Germany, this would have been his most difficult yet.
“Although it is very adventurous to move around and travel the globe every two years, I do not get an opportunity to see my family very often. Although my family is not in the military, they also serve. They sacrifice so much. One moment which stands out as being difficult is when I was deployed to Iraq for a year,” he told The Gleaner.
While he had to put on a show of strength in his role as combat adviser for the troops in Iraq, worries about his firstborn constantly weighed on his mind.
LEAVING HIS FAMILY BEHIND
“During this deployment in 2005, my son was only three months old, and that made it hard to leave him behind, but again, duty calls. My wife (Teresa) and son (Zach) meant the world to me. If it were just my wife and I, it would have been demoralising, but I believe it would have been easier to leave,” he explained.
With 13 years elapsed and three additional children, the lieutenant colonel now looks back at his Iraq assignment as a watershed moment in his 20-year military career – a career that has culminated with his appointment as commander of the 309th Military Intelligence Battalion at Fort Huachuca, Arizona.
“I was extremely humbled to have this