LARGE ABROAD: JA­MAICANS FIND SUC­CESS OVER­SEAS

Jamaica Gleaner - - SOMETHING EXTRA - An­dré Poyser Staff Re­porter

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

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